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Dive Review of Sipadan Water Village Resort in

September, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Bob & Pat Thompson, Pa, USA
Reviewer   (3 reports)
Report Number 4429
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Bonaire, Wakatobi, Cozumel, Bahamas, Curacau
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy  
calm, choppy  
Water Temp
80   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 70    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
No decompression diving.  50-60 minutes max  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
1 stars  
Divemasters were excellent in pointing out photo ops.  Some dive boats had
no camera tank. We held our cameras until the dive, handed them to the
divemaster before backward-rolling, and then were handed them back by the
divemaster or boat captain. Battery charging was done in our room, using a
converter, but batteries never seemed to achieve a full charge.  There were
2 dedicated camera rinse tanks on the dock.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
3 stars
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
3 stars   
4 stars    
The Village itself is located on the island of Mabul, and diving is done on
Mabul, Sipadan, and, Kapalai.  There is an extra daily charge for diving
Sipadan for marine park preservation.  Sipadan is a 30-40 minute boat ride,
depending on sea conditions, and the best of the three islands for spotting
large marine life. We saw sharks, lots of turtles, a school of baracuda,
cuttlefish, bumphead parrots, and beautiful soft corals.  Mabul and Kapalai
are mostly muck diving, but also had large schools of fish, and there was a
school of batfish right under the boat dock.  The house reef provides many
photo ops and shore dives are available all day, and for an extra charge in
the evening. 
The entire resort is built on a boardwalk over water, and cabins are
spacious and comfortable. If you have knee or back problems, try to arrange
a cabin near the dining hall and dive area: the 5 minute walk to the cabins
all the way at the end of the resort can become uncomfortable for those
with such problems. There is no air conditioning, but a large ceiling fan
keeps night temps comfortable for sleeping.  The staff is extremely helpful
and accommodating. The morning we left, it was raining heavily and we
feared extra luggage charges for wet luggage, but the staff covered every
bag with plastic to wheel it from the cabins to the boat launch.  (It is a
20-30 minute boat ride back to the mainland for departing flights.)
Be sure to walk onto the island and visit the little village.  It makes you
appreciate what you have.  There are several small vendors selling shells,
hand-made pearl necklaces and bracelets, and wall plaques. They expect you
to bargain with them. The kids love having their picture taken and want to
see it on your digital screen.  We had taken bags of butterscotch and mint
candy, and they enjoyed these treats.  
Overall, we enjoyed our stay very much and would recommend it to other
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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.

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