If you’ve seen everything-on land and at sea, we invite you underwater! Diving and snorkeling on the islands of Malaysia is an incredible adventure that will amaze with its splendor.
Sipadan Island, 500 meters long and 200 meters wide, formed by living corals that have grown on an extinct volcano for many thousands of years, located east of Borneo Island, is one of the best diving sites in the world. Back in 1933, the island was declared a bird sanctuary, and in 1964 it was included in the Sabah Turtle Nature Reserve.Here, in the Sulawesi Sea, the underwater world is extremely rich in flora and fauna. Hundreds of varieties of corals, more than three thousand species of fish, whale sharks and manta rays – all this attracts tourists from all over the world. Especially after the film by Jacques-Yves Cousteau, who called this island “an untouched work of art.” The Malaysian government was forced to impose restrictions on visits to the island, and in 2004 all resort complexes were relocated from the island. Now it is a real nature reserve, and divers wishing to visit it stop at the neighboring islands of Mabule and Kapalai.
Hot and sunny weather prevails here almost all year round. The island does not know monsoons and typhoons, but heavy rains are frequent here from January to March.The best time to visit the island is from April to December, the peak tourist season is in July and August, as many tourists come here for New Year and Christmas, Chinese New Year.
Average temperature +30 °C +32 °C.
Water temperature: +27 °C +30 °C
The island can be reached from Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or Kota Kinabalu. From these cities, it is necessary to fly to Tawau, and then continue the trip to the port city of Semporna. The trip from there to the islands will take about 45 minutes by boat.
Sipadan itself is a real uninhabited island that can be bypassed entirely in just half an hour, with magnificent tropical vegetation and beautiful snow–white beaches.There are no cafes or restaurants here, but you can admire the untouched nature: turtles, huge monitor lizards, exotic birds. Since 2005, only 120 people can visit this island at the same time – this requires a permit issued by the Sabah Parks Authority. The stay on the island is limited in time from 06:00 to 15:00. All divers’ dives are also limited by this time. Permission to visit the island can be obtained from the hotel where the accommodation is booked, all of them have quotas. Each hotel issues tickets according to its own rules, but in most cases the chance to get on the lucky list depends on the length of stay at the hotel. Those who are unlucky can get acquainted with the underwater inhabitants near the islands of Kapalai and Mabul any day.
Diving on Sipadan is allowed for divers with Advanced Open Water Divers certificate or experienced divers who have already recorded at least twenty underwater dives.Unfortunately, the use of underwater cameras is prohibited. You can also not use gloves so as not to damage the corals. Guests of Sipadan are provided with food, diving equipment, and a transfer from the resort and back, which will last from 15 minutes from Kapalai Island to 30 minutes if sailing from the city of Semporna.
A unique accommodation option offering daily diving permits on Sipadan Island, except Sundays, is accommodation on board the MV Celebes Explorer. Its eight cabins can accommodate up to 16 divers. Every morning, a ship based off Mabul Island arrives at 6 a.m. at Sipadan Island. Such accommodation does not involve the cost of land-based hotels, but it will allow you to make up to 4 dives per day near Sipadan, one dive per week on Kapalai, night dives in the area of Mabul Island and a day in the area of Siamil Island.
We recommend booking your trip in advance, as small island hotels can be completely full.
A new diving resort located in the Semporna Marine Park. In fact, these are two islands connected by a sandbar, along which you can walk at low tide. The private Mataking Reef Dive Resort is located on the larger island of Besar. The small island of Kesil is uninhabited. Real tropical jungles, beaches of white coral sand and azure waves – all this creates an incredible, heavenly beauty.
Reef Dive Resort Hotel offers accommodation in 5 villas, 8 chalets and 24 rooms, the maximum number of guests at the resort is only 32 people.Getting to the hotel is not so easy, you need to purchase a package of accommodation with diving or a package without diving, you need to book at least 2 nights. The “No shoes” rule applies throughout the complex. The Jamu Spa Complex is located in the north of the island. The hotel is perfectly integrated into the surrounding landscape, and the rooms have everything you need for a comfortable stay. 16 hectares allow guests to feel secluded, and the “points of attraction” — bar, cafe and dive center will not allow you to feel sad alone.
Mataking Island seems to be created for snorkeling enthusiasts and novice divers. However, even more experienced divers will not be bored here.
The best time to travel is from February to November, the peak season is in July and August.
You can get to the island from Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or Kota Kinabalu. From these cities, it is necessary to fly to Tavau, and then continue the trip to the port city of Semporna. The boat ride from Semporna to Mataking takes about 40 minutes.
The underwater world of Mataking is incredibly diverse. Here you can see blue-ringed octopus, blue–spotted stingray, flaming cuttlefish, clown fish, frog fish, rock fish, seahorses, moray eels, parrot fish, red-toothed triggerfish.Great attention is paid to the safety of divers. The first trial dive is always conducted under the guidance of an experienced instructor on the “home” reef.
If desired, a trip to Sipadan Island can be arranged from the island.
The island is located in the Sulu Sea, northeast of Borneo, almost at the border with the Philippines. It is part of the Marine Protected Area. Four and a half hectares of the island are covered with rainforest and surrounded by white sandy beaches.
Accommodation on the island is possible in 23 chalets of the only hotel — Lankayan Dive Island Resort.
The best time to visit the island is from February to September, in November the monsoon season begins. From March to May, there is a lot of plankton and sand in the water, but at this time there is a high probability of meeting whale sharks.
You can get to the island by boat from the city of Sandakan, the largest Malaysian port on the Sulu Sea, in one and a half to two hours.
Diving in Lankayan is interesting not only for exotic species of fish, octopuses and crabs, the opportunity to meet whale sharks, but also for the presence of three wrecks in the immediate vicinity of the island- Lankayan Wreck, Jetty Wreck, Mosquito Wreck descents to which will delight researchers.
This island is also a great place for snorkeling enthusiasts. The coral reefs around the island are full of life. Here you can enjoy meeting exotic fish and turtles.The disadvantage of the island is the presence of a poisonous species of jellyfish — physalia
From July to October, green turtles and biss lay eggs on the beaches of the island-the only representative of the genus Eretmochelys. There is a turtle research station here.
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