21 August 2008

Sipadan Dive Trip 08 - 2 Jan Day 1

Remember the Sipadan Dive Trip I mentioned back in January? Gosh, almost 8 months passed and I have yet to blog about it in detail. Reckon I should do so NOW or I'll never start and get stuck for my other travel entries to Macau and Tokyo!
Browsing the photos brought back fond memories; saw species of marine creatures and critters that I have never seen before, got up close and personal with turtles that were here there everywhere, fascinated by the famous swirling tornado of barracudas, experienced the intimidating yet intriguing wall dives...; . Sipadan is really a divers' paradise and a diver should go there at least once in a lifetime.
This dive trip was actually mooted by hubby's company's SRC and undertaken by Mako Sub-aquatics. We had 9 divers including Patrick Leong, big boss of Mako. It was great fun travelling and diving with this gang, especially Patrick who always tickled me with his teases and jokes.
Day 1 - 2 Jan 08

Day 1 was spent basically travelling as Sipadan is not exactly very accessible.

All of us gathered early in the morning at Mako's office at Ayer Rajah, settled some logistics and headed to Senai Airport, Johor Bahru via Woodlands Customs in 2 vans.

From Senai Airport, we took AirAsia to Tawau Airport in Sabah, East Malaysia. Flight took nearly 3hrs. Surprisingly, AirAsia was not bad for a budget carrier, at least the seats were quite new and comfortable. (Perhaps coz we took the seats at the Emergency exits which had more leg room).
After clearing the customs, we took a coach transfer to Semporna located at the east coast of Sabah, a base for diving trips to islands of Sipadan and Mataking.

The transfer took an hour and by the time we reached Semporna, it was already evening. Due to travel restrictions imposed by authorities, no boat transfers are allowed from Semporna to Sipadan after 4 or 5pm. So we had to settle for 1 night here. Lodging for the night was Dragon Inn Floating Resort and as the name already suggests, the entire resort and facility was built on the sea.
Restaurant where we had dinner and breakfast.
Rustic looking single/double rooms
The room was furnished with simple modern amenities, quite clean, except that there were a couple of rats running along the roof at night.
After settling down, the whole group gathered at the restaurant for a seafood dinner. After dinner, we walked to the local night fish market to take a look before heading back to the resort for a good night's rest, in anticipation of the dives in the next few days.


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