Undercurrent Home
Home  |  Members' Home
Get notified of the latest reader reports
What's this?

Join Undercurrent on FacebookJoin us on Facebook!

Dive Review of Sipadan-Mabul Resort/SMART Water Bungalows in
Malaysia/Mabul-Sipadan

September, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by Steven Levin, VA, United States (5 reports)
    Report Number 3545
Subscribe Now Questions?
Subscribers can send this reviewer an email directly from here.
Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Throughout Asia-Pacific, Australia, Galapagos, Carribean, Indian Ocean
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny  
Seas
calm  
Water Temp
82   to 84    ° Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
3
Water Visibility
45   to 100    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
In general diving is done as a group but there is some flexibility  Dives
at Sipadan limited to 50 to 60 minutes.  More time allowed at Mabul and
Kapalai.    
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
Lots 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
> 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
2 stars  
Shore Facilities  
1 stars  
Comments
On the boats there is a small bucket in which people put their masks and
small cameras.  Other than that boats at best have a mat on which cameras
can be placed.  At the overwater bungalows there are no camera facilities
other than a rinse area.  Charging and other camera activities are carried
out in your bungalow.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
5 stars
Food
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
5 stars   
Advanced
5 stars    
Comments  
This is my sixth visit to the Water Bungalows over the last three years. 
The quality of the bungalows, food, and operation of the resort remains
very high.

The resort.  SMART has two operations on the island of Mabul.  On the main
island there are chalets, a restaurant, and dive center.  Separate from the
main island resort are the Water Bungalows.  These are located at the end
of a long jetty with a beautiful setting.  Each bungalow is independent
with a large deck, A/C, mini-fridge, desk, sofa, bed(s), and satellite
television.

There is a separate restaurant for the Water Bungalows that serves very
good food.  All meals are buffets.  In the morning there are eggs cooked to
ordered and freshly squeezed orange juice.  Throughout the day there is
fruit and cookies.  Lunch and dinner features a range of dishes with three
or four dishes such as lamb, beef, fish, prawns as well as salads, soup,
and deserts.

The usual diving program is two dives a day at Sipadan and a third dive at
Mabul or Kapalai.  Due to the restrictions at Sipadan on the number of
divers dive boats leave for Sipadan at 5:30 AM, 9 AM, and 12:30 PM for
their two dives.  There is gear storage and pickup/dropoff for the divers
at the Water Bungalows.

Diving at Sipadan offers dramatic walls with large numbers of turtles -
Green and Hawksbill.  Sharks, mostly White Tips) are seen frequently as
well as resident schools of Jacks and Bumphead Parrotfish.  There are some
sightings of Zebra and Hammerhead Sharks but these are usually deeper.  The
interval between dives at Sipadan is spent on the beach where sandwiches,
hot drinks, and fruit are provided.  The trip to Sipadan from Mabul takes
about 25 minutes when the sea is flat but can be up to an hour if there are
big swells.

Diving at Mabul and Kapalai is about little creatures.  There are
mini-walls such as Lobster Wall and slopes at places such as Ray Point and
the Eel Garden.  Small creatures can include Frogfish, nudibranchs,
flatworms, pipefish, oranguatan crabs, etc.

The SMART House Reef is located at the end of the jetty at the Water
Bungalows.  Tanks are available and you can enter the water from steps down
to the water.  The House Reef is an extensive area with many large man-made
structures.  There is a resident school of Jacks, some large groupers, and
other small creatures.  When I was there three Frogfish were in residence.

Getting to the resort involves flying to Tawau which can be done via Kota
Kinabalu or Kuala Lumpur.  After flying to Tawau there is a 1+ hour drive
to Semporna (port) and a 40 minute boat ride to the resort.

Summary.  An excellent operation with diversified diving.


Leave a comment (Subscribers only -- 200 words max)
 

Subscribe Now
Subscribers can post comments, ask the reviewer questions, as well as getting immediate and complete access to ALL 56 dive reviews of Malaysia and all other dive destinations. Complete access to all issues and Chapbooks is also included.

Bookmark and Share

Other dive reports on Sipadan-Mabul Resort

All Malaysia Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Malaysia
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

Want to organize Malaysia reports in one place?
Use the Mini Chapbook Facility to create your personalized collection.

Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

Undercurrent Home


Sign up to receive our free
Undercurrent Online Update email
with news for serious divers
            Unsubscribe
We will not sell, exchange, or give your email address to any third party
.


Copyright © 1996-2014 Undercurrent (www.undercurrent.org)
3020 Bridgeway, Ste 102, Sausalito, Ca 94965
All rights reserved.