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Dive Review of Sipidan Water Village in
Malaysia/Sipidan, Kapalai, Mabul

Sipidan Water Village, Jun, 2006,

by Tracey Bennett, NV, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 5 reports). Report 2764.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments From LAX it took two days to get to Sipidan Water Village and it was well worth it. It is an amazing accommodation, with potted plants and trees along the boardwalks that lead to private bungalows. My deluxe room was large, with a separate sitting area, huge bathroom and wrap around deck. If you are at the end of the boardwalk it is a brisk 5 min. walk to the dive shop. Not easy with a heavy camera. There is a full bar and the restaurant serves meals buffet style with choices of American, Asian, and local dishes.

The dive shop is extremely organized and necessarily so, as it catered to 40 plus divers most days I was there. Your name will be posted under the boat you are assigned to and you can choose all combinations of diving Sipidan, Mabul and Kapalai in a single day. You can change boats daily to dive the areas desired, and the divemasters are eager to fulfill requests for particular sites. 3 dives per day with a possible 4th dive in Sipidan or a dusk dive at 5:30. Night dives allowed only for groups traveling on a dive shop sponsored trip.

Sipidan divers are now required to pay a US$10 levy to the government each day they dive the reefs around the island. The boat will stop by the guardshack on the way to a site and pay for the whole boat. If you prepay the levy with the rest of your reservations and decide not to dive every day in Sipidan, the resort will not refund the unused levy.

Sipidan diving is known for barracuda, batfish, schools of jacks,
turtles, and sharks. They were all there. Favorite sites, Barracuda Point, South Point, and Mid Wall were repeated several times. Sometimes currents would start to rip and we would tuck in and fly together through valleys and channels until we reached an area that was not affected. There were areas with healthy hard corals, but many areas void of coral . Hopefully the recent closing of the accommodations on Sipidan will allow the corals to grow back. Many whitetips on most dives. A few huge grey reef sharks and three leapard sharks. June and July is great time to see sea turtles as it is mating season. We saw huge turtles on most dives.

Muck diving at Mabul and Kapalai was excellent. Tons of nudibranchs, painted frogfish, orangutang crabs,giant mantis shrimps, soft coral crabs, blue ribbon eels, leaf fish, whip coral shrimp,ornate ghost pipefish,robust pipefish, cuttlefish, longnose hawkfish, pigmy seahorses, and a rare pink hairy octopus made it hard to decide where to dive the next day. Guides at the resort were excellent critter spotters.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Indonesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Costa Rica, PNG, Palau, Honduras, Belize, Grand Cayman, St. Vincent, Bahamas, Hawaii
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy, dry Seas calm, choppy, currents
Water Temp 80-82°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 45-85 Ft/ 14-26 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Depth restrictions, dives maxed at 1 hour
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 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 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments Water buckets on boats upon request. Ample rinse facilities on dock. Small camera rooms near shop available for rent. Staff experienced handling cameras.
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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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