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Dive Review of Sipadan Water Village in

November, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by Graham McGregor, Kilmacolm, GB
Sr. Contributor   (24 reports)
Report Number 6329
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
galapagos, malapascua, maldives, red sea, caribbean, florida, hawaii, spain
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

cloudy, dry  
Water Temp
29   to 30    Celsius  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
15   to 40    Meters  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Generally 25 metres depth and 45 mins to 1 hour dive duration. All dives
(apart from House Reef dives) were guided boat dives  
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
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
3 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
4 stars   
4 stars    
4 of us travelled from the UK to Sipadan. This is a long way for most
divers and, for us, involved 3 flights, a bus and then a boat transfer - in
total just over 24 hours there and back. Most of the divers were Japanese
or Russian. A few Chinese, US and European.
Sipadan Water Village is an over water resort on Mabul Island. There are 3
or 4 resorts on this island plus nearby Seaventures and a couple on nearby
Kapalai. SWV offered reasonable, clean, accommodation. All units has double
or twin beds, separate large bathroom and a balcony. NO AC but a ceiling
fan. Mini bar in each room. The resort also had a bar area and a large
dining area plus a small shop.The food was a bit same - y but there was a
reasonable choice and it was fine. The staff were friendly.

The dive operation is in a self contained area and is professionally run.
You get allocated a locker and hangers for your wetsuit and BCD. The BCD
rentals were of reasonable quality. The tanks are standard 12 litre
aluminium tanks. If you are concerned about air consumption they have one
15 litre tank, so make sure you request that in advance (it's the only one
they've got!)

You get a different dive guide each day. genarally they are pretty good and
will spot critters for you. Most guides will allow you up to 60 minutes
each dive, although the "standard" for Sipadan says 25 minutes.

Most of the sites are close by (5 to 10 minutes by boat) around Mabul
island or Kapalai. These are generally walls with some artificial reefs.
Mostly this is critter territory although you will see multiple turtles on
most dives here and at Sipadan. We saw lots of great small stuff, including
flambouyant cuttlefish, orang utan crab, clown frogfish, peacock mantis
shrimp and loads of nudibranchs.

Most people are here to dive Sipadan island itself. Be warned - the permit
system in place means you will probably only dive there one day in three!
We were there 6 diving days and dived Sipadan twice. You get 3 morning
dives and can pay extra for an additional afternoon dive. You'd be mad not
to do this, as the diving at Sipadan is world class. We saw the bumphead
parrot fish school both days, thousands of schooling barracuda, likewise
thousands of schooling jack. You get multiple turtles and whitetip sharks
on every dive. The coral is pristine and the fish life abundant. 

There is another island called Siamil, about 45 mins away. This is a
location like Mabul/Kapalai - mainly critters, including pygmy seahorses.
It is less dived and a better location. The dive centre won't advertise
this - you need to ask!
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All Malaysia Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Malaysia
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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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