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Dive Review of Sipadan Water Village in
Malaysia/Sipadan, Mabul, Kapali

Sipadan Water Village: "Sipadan, Mabul, Kapali: spectacular diving", May, 2016,

by Robert and Laura Mosqueda, CA, US (Contributor Contributor 12 reports with 5 Helpful votes). Report 8945 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 2 stars Food 2 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 2 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Spectacular diving. The SWV is on the island of Mabul. Depending on the number of other divers you may get to the island of Sipadan (30 min boat ride) 1-3 times during 6 days of diving. The magic of Sipadan are schools of jacks (thousands), barracuda (hundreds) and bumphead parrotfish (dozens) along with turtles galore, healthy colorful coral with clouds of anthia and butterflies, and lovely walls. Around the islands of Mabul and Kapali are wonderful walls and macro sites. The guides know where the pygmy seahorses, ornate ghost pipefish, and wonderful array of nudibranchs are. On non-Sipadan days, the boat rides are typically 2-10 min and you go back to the resort after each dive. On Sipadan days, they set up a water/snack station on the island that you go to between dives. Dive guides are great. Some of the dives had strong current although it would only last for about 10 min. Mostly very easy diving.
The SWV was a disappointment Rooms were hot and fans inadequate, there are no freshwater showers (due to drought), food was ok at times and just plain bad at other times, buffet was frequently out of one or more dishes that may take 15-30 min to refill if ever, long lines would form at grill because the one cook with the one pot couldn't keep up with demand, repeated requests to get water at the table. When staying in such a remote location I understand that there may be difficulties with amenities. My complaint is that the SWV felt like the equivalent of a Hilton Hotel but I was paying Ritz prices to stay there. Most important though: spectacular diving and great dive guides.
Websites Sipadan Water Village   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving California, Socorro Islands, Cocos, Indonesia (Komodo, Lembeh, Wakitobi), Papua New Guinea, Sea of Cortez, Red Sea, Galapagos, Hawaii
Closest Airport Tawau Getting There most fly from Kota Kinabalu to Tawau, then there's a 90 min drive to Semporna, followed by a 60 min boat ride to SWV.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 84-88°F / 29-31°C Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 25-100 Ft/ 8-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions The dms would give an approximate profile and then allow competent divers appropriate leeway.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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