May 2, 2011

Paradise - Pulau Sipadan, Sabah

Sipadan Island (or locally, Pulau Sipadan), is located in the Celebes Sea east of the major town of Tawau, State of Sabah and off the coast of East Malaysia on the island of Borneo. Sipadan Island was formed by undersea volcano in million years ago. It is just 12 hectares in size and just around 9m or 30 feet from the beach edge, the water turns into indigo blue as the sea dropping to a depth of more than 2,000 feet or 600m from the seabed. Thus, making it the only oceanic island in Malaysia, and one of the best wall dive experiences in the world.

Sipadan Island won the “Best Beach Dive in the World” award in 1993 due to its famous feature that it was formed by living corals growing on top of an extinct volcanic cone that took thousands of years to develop. Due to its strategic location at the heart of the Indo-Pacific basin, Sipadan Island has one of the richest marine habitats in the world. Divers can easily find hardly seen school of Greenback and Hawksbill turtles, school of thousands barracudas and big-eye-trevally swimming in tornado-like shape. Others marine life like hammerheads, whale sharks, eagle rays, manta rays, scalloped, and more than 3,000 species of fish and hundreds of coral species. It is truly a diver’s paradise. The season for diving is from mid-February to mid-December.

How to get there
Fly to Kota Kinabalu and then on to Tawau which is in the Malaysian province of Sabah. From Tawau it is a one hour drive to the coastal town of Semporna and then another 1.5 hours by speed boat to Pulau Semporna. Pulau Sipadan is about 30 minutes boat ride from its jumping off point, Semporna.
Most people who go for diving in Sipadan live in Mabul island because the accommodation at Smart Diver Resort on Mabul is slightly more high-end than that found on Sipadan, offering private en-suites, fresh (not brackish) showers and loads of hot water. Others accommodations are Sipadan Water Village Resort, Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort, Seaventures Dive Resort, Sipadan Mabul Resort, Borneo Divers Mabul Island Resort, Mabul Water Bungalows.



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