Another World Class Diving!

Trip Start Jan 09, 2013
Trip End Jan 22, 2013

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Flag of Malaysia  , Sabah,
Monday, June 3, 2013

After yet another loooong 6-hr bus ride to Semporna, I finally reached my final travel destination in Malaysia. Diving in Sipadan was highly anticipated, as it is rated #3 diving destination in the world.
And the verdict = it absolutely lived up to the hype!! It was ALL THAT and some.
Sipadan limits access to only 140 divers a day. Diving here is extremely competitive, given that divers visit Sipadan from all over the world. The permits are sold out months in advance, and with any agency, you have to book a minimum of 3-day diving packages, that includes diving in other islands. In other words, to dive Sipadan for ONE day, you also have to dive 2 additional days elsewhere.
I dived Sipadan today, and WOW. There were sharks and turtles galore. In the beginning, we were like "OOOH there goes a shark!" But after a while, we realized the sharks were everywhere. I stopped counting, there were so many! I got to swim up to one taking a nap and it was soooo cool. Their eyes look like a vampires.
We were also very lucky with an amazing weather today after a crappy cold rainy day yesterday. The sun brings out the colors of the corals against a dark blue ocean and....I don't have the words to describe the stunning views of the underwater world in Sipadan. Aside from the huge schools of jackfish and barracudas, the corals were incredibly beautiful and I think the quality of dive in Sipadan definitely matched Komodo. It's too bad I was only able to dive one day here. But the diving in surrounding areas were also amazing. I saw so many creatures I had never seen before, like cowfish, sea moths and flying gurnards!
Sipadan is rightfully rated as #3 in the world.

Besides the incredible diving, staying on the island of Mabul on a dive resort was just so much fun. On Day 1, I immediately connected with Yuraj from Slovakia and 2 Aussies Dale and Matthew. We dived together, ate our meals together, drank ourselves silly and laughed our asses off. I had a blast with those 3!! I stayed in a dormitory with 10 beds and although it was always full, people were so friendly and we were all lovers of diving. I loved the entire experience of being in the community of divers and sharing pictures and stories from our day.

Now the bad news: I encountered my first bed bugs. I woke up the first night with massive itch on my arms, but I am always prone to Mosquitos so I just thought I was falling a victim again. Then the second night, I woke up in the middle of the night again, with more severe itching on my legs and shoulders. When I woke up, I had almost 20 bite marks and I knew this was no Mosquitos!! I immediately asked to be switched dorms, which they obliged. Then as I was climbing into the new bed, I actually saw a dead bed bug on a side of the bed!!
I was preparing myself to sleep on the hammock outside for the night, but Dale generously offered his extra bed in his private cabin. That was so nice of him. I got to sleep comfortably in the air conditioned room but I got hideous looking welts all over my body :-(
Luckily I am getting off this island today so bye bye bed bugs!!

Krystoff, a boy from Sweden and I happen to be catching the same flight tomorrow morning to Kuala Lumpur so we decided to split a cab and accommodation tonight back to he mainland and head together to the airport.
It was a great 4 days on Mabul island and diving in Sipadan! Now my official diving training awaits in Indo :-)
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Oli on

Sorry to hear about bed bugs. At least you saw vampire sharks :-). Good luck in Indo

JulianAssange on

Pleaz, don't write anymore paradise blogs. I'm soooooo jealous being holed up in a small joint.

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