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Dive Review of Sipadan Water Village in

July, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Susan Simpson, WA, USA (2 reports)
Report Number 4932
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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

Water Temp
82   to 86    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 70    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
You were expected to stay with the dive master and group  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  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  
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):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
2 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
3 stars   
4 stars    
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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