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Dive Review of Sipadan Water Village in
Malaysia/Sipadan/Mabul/Kapalai/Siamil

Sipadan Water Village, Jul, 2009,

by Susan Simpson, WA, USA ( 2 reports). Report 4932.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving BC, Bonaire, Belize, Caymans, Cozumel, Honduras, Florida Keys, North Carolina, Hawaii, Washington
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 82 to 86 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 20 to 70 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions You were expected to stay with the dive master and group
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales > 2
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments The boats are pretty small. No place to put your camera but in your lap. The photo ops are wonderful though. Great Macro stuff.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 2 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments The rooms are very nice. We were in a standard unit. There is no air conditioning but when there is a breeze they are quite comfortable. There are large shuttered panels that make up part of the walls that open up to the balcony. We had a beautiful sea view. I've seen some comments about the shabby fishing village on Mabul wrecking the view. Pretty snooty if you ask me. We walked through the village and although the houses were modest by our standards, many were well kept and had plant pots or gardens outside. There is a bit of litter in some places. No worse than I have seen in the states however. Maybe the people have better things to worry about, like feeding their kids and aren't all that concerned about offending a bunch of rich foreign tourists.

The food was okay. There were several choices. Always something I recognized and was willing to eat. They had a lot of Asian choices and I'm not that brave culinarily speaking. The service was wonderful. The staff was very friendly.

The dive operation was pretty good as well. You have a different dive master every day. I didn't like this at first but we got to know a number of the divemasters this way and they were all pretty good at their jobs. The boats were small and you back rolled over the side. If it had been really rough these would have been tough to dive out of. I had already been warned by reading reviews that the access to Sipadan was limited. We were there for a week and got to dive Sipadan 2 days. I felt they did a good job at getting us there within the limits they were given. Sipadan was really quite wonderful. There was so much life. Lots of sharks and big fish. Turtles of course but these were plentiful and huge on all islands in the area, not just on Sipadan. The coral was in good condition and abundant. Barracuda point was a must do. We swam with a school of thousands. It was incredible. Macro on Mabul and Kapalai was also pretty incredible. The coral was not in the same great shape. But there are so many different nudibranchs. We also saw Peacock Mantis Shrimp, Ribbon eels, a pygmy sea horse and a number of crabs and shrimp that were so small, I did not fully appreciate them until I saw the pictures I had taken. We saw Mandarin fish as well which were much smaller than I expected. The divemasters were pretty good at pointing this stuff out. Good thing because some of it was pretty hard to see even once it was pointed out to you. On the last day they took up to Siamil. An island that they have just started diving on. It was lush and unspoiled. Great macro and the coral was in good shape too.

I would go back if it was closer. As it was, it took the better part of two days to get there. So this was probably a once in a life time experience due to the distance.
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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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