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Dive Review of Sipadan Water Village Resort in
Malaysia/Borneo

Sipadan Water Village Resort, Sep, 2008,

by Bob & Pat Thompson, Pa, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports). Report 4429.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Bonaire, Wakatobi, Cozumel, Bahamas, Curacau
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 80 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 50 to 70 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No decompression diving. 50-60 minutes max
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 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
UW Photo Comments 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):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments 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 divers.
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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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