21 August 2008

Sipadan Dive Trip 08 - 3 Jan Day 2 - Part I

Day 2 - 3 Jan

All of us woke up bright and early (did I mention that divers are a seriously discipline breed), had breakfast, checked out and proceeded to the jetty for a 40 min speedboat ride to Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort.

To conserve the eco-system of Sipadan and its surroundings, dive and resort operators can no longer operate on Sipadan Island itself. Most divers opt to stay either on Kapalai or Mabul, and travel via speedboat to Sipadan. But I think there is a daily restriction on the number of dives/divers allowed at Sipadan.

In the distant is the landmark of Mabul Island, a former oil-rig now known as Seaventures Resort. This meant that we were near to our destination, Sipadan-Kapalai Resort!
I was all excited upon sighting the resort that is nestled over a large submerged reef. The waters was fairly shallow, in an enchanting emerald and turquoise colour. Already, sea stars and corals could be seen clearly on the sand beds.
The speedboat pulled up at the main building housing the reception and restaurant. As we couldn't check in yet, we left our luggage and dive gears at one of the activity rooms and went for some light refreshment. As it was still early, we had some free time to explore the resort before check in and dive time. I spared no time in taking out my camera and started snapping photos after photos of the picturesque resort. Ah, what a paradise. If Sipadan is already so beautiful, can't imagine how Maldives is like.

Main building where the reception and restaurant are.

All meals are at the restaurant, 5 meals are served a day (I think, can't remember how much I ate!), buffet-style. Divers are definitely well fed here. One thing to marvel, the whole place was really well-maintained and illustriously clean. All guests are encouraged to go bare-footed and people automatically took off their shoes at the restaurant.

Sundeck and helipad. We spent most of our time underwater, no time to sunbath at all!
The entire resort is connected by wooden walkways, ideal for strolling by the clear blue waters.

The luxury chalets, all with breathtaking sea views (of course, we are in the open sea!)

Our chalet is actually triple-sharing. The room was really spacious with all amenities provided. No air-con available but who needs air-con when we have cool breeze all day long.

The attached bathroom was really big with a long bath next to a full length timber window. Idea was to let guests soak in the tub while admiring the fishes below. Hubby and I were joking about whether anyone had ever fallen into the water, butt naked, being over-zealous to catch a glimpse of the fishes :p

I love the balcony. This was where we rested after each dive, admired the vastness of the sea, listened to sounds of the wind and waves over some peanuts and ice cold coke. Sheer bliss.

At night, spotlight would shine from each chalet into the waters. Many different kinds of marine creatures were attracted by the lights and we spotted stingrays and even turtle.

The dive centre.

The dive centre was well equipped and organized with ample space for divers to gear up as well as wash up. Each diver was given a basket to deposit their belongings and baskets could be placed on racks provided. BCDs and regulators were tagged with room numbers for easy identification. Divers were really pampered here as the dive centre staff would prepare dive gears with full tanks and placed them into the boats in advance such that divers only needed to don the wet suits with weight belts, masks and fins.
This jetty is located right in front of the dive centre. Dive site is called Mandarin Valley. Divers can do as many dives as we want here so long as we observed the minimum 1 hours surface interval time, had a dive buddy and indicate their names on a large whiteboard.

Dive sites of Sipadan-Kapalai. The dive site near the jetty is known as Mandarin Valley, famous for its resident but elusive Mandarin fishes.
Dive sites of Sipadan. Of the 3 boat dives we had daily, 2 would be at Sipadan dive sites.
Mabul Island is famous for its muck diving. Divers could expect to discovers lots of critters, provided we are sharp enough. Most of the time, we replied on the local dive masters to guide and point out the creatures to us.

All raring to go for our check-out orientation dive!
To be continued.



  1. Hi,
    My name is Sam, from Penang.
    I plan to go Sipadan island this coming Nov.

    Any info share with me?
    Now we still dunno which resort to stay. Any advices for us?


  2. Hi Sam,
    I stayed at Sipadan-Kapalai Resort and enjoyed it very much. The whole place is very clean and well maintained. Room is very spacious. Food is not bad and dive centre very professional.
    Not sure about the other resorts but I heard Sipadan Water Village Resort and Sipadan-Mabul Resort are good also.
    Heard that nowadays the authorities restrict access to Sipadan very strictly, so divers are allowed 1 or 2 days of diving at Sipadan per 5-6 day stay. Not sure if true.

  3. Hi, i love your underwater photos.....may i know what camera u used?