Discover Mabul and Sipadan - Kota Kinabalu
If you're excited about experiencing marine animals in one of the best dive sites in the world, Trip Guru can't recommend Sipadan enough. With world-class dives and populated with sea animals, it's hard not to feel like a mermaid when you try out one of their spectacular dive. After your dive, head on over to Mabul Island to relax and partake in the delicious food and various activities available.
Sipadan is a protected site, and as of this writing, the only way to reach it is to take a boat from Mabul. Walking around the beach, you can wade a little bit to reach the very tip of the reef wall, which is a staggering 1,000m to 2,000m. From there, the magic can begin, as you can see that Sipadan hides various beautiful fish, hard and soft corals underneath its waters. There are thick schools of jackfish and barracudas, and you can even see an underwater whirlpool of them as they change direction and swim away. For the more experienced divers, if you manage to get a cave-certified and knowledgeable divemaster, you can go inside Turtle Tomb with torches. There are warning signs set up for those eager to explore further, as the risk for getting lost is quite real. Inside however, Turtle Tomb is true to its name, as well—there is a narrow passage where you can see turtle skulls and bones.
After your dive, you can settle in Mabul Island, where you can feast on gorgeous blue crabs and relax in comfort, with the fresh sea air in your lungs and where you can listen to the wind whistling in your ears. Mabul has beautiful beaches lined with coconut trees, and is a beautiful place to see scorpionfish and crocodilefish for snorkeling. It’s the perfect place for shallow dives, as well.
The quickest way to get to Mabul and Sipadan Islands is to take an airplane ride from Kota Kinabalu, and land in the nearby port town of Semporna, and then use a boat to get to the Sipadan and Mabul Islands. For Sipadan island, Sipadan is a protected site and only 120 divers are allowed per day, with dive times from 8:00am to 3:00pm. To get to Mabul Island, boats depart from Semporna and the trip takes about 20 minutes.