Trip Start Aug 14, 2002
Trip End Aug 16, 2007

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Flag of Malaysia  ,
Sunday, June 11, 2006

Sipadan, a pinnacle rising hundreds of meters of the floor of the South China Sea is one of the best diving sites in the world. Hammerheads and whale sharks are occasional visitors, but for most visitors, it is the sheer number of turtles (expect quite a few on every dive), sharks (try a dozen sitting on the bottom being cleaned) and a wall of barracuda which they will go away remembering.

Nearby islands of Mabul and Kapalai provide the exact opposite of the spectrum.
Ghost pipefish, pygmy seahorses, giant frogfish (man, you're ugly!), ribbon eels, mandarinfish and an unlimited supply of nudibranchs are just some of the macro diving highlights.

Diving isn't really suitable for beginners, as it does typically involve quite deep dives (air consumption can be a real problem) and frequent currents. That's not to say newly-qualified divers shouldn't visit, but rather, getting a few dives under your belt first is going to enable you to get so much more out of the trip.

It is not possible to stay on Sipadan any more, which although is unfortunate, if it means the island is protected, then it is entirely understandable. There is excellent accomodation on Mabul, Kapalai and even a converted oil-rig (though that's pretty ugly!). Finally, if you are a Malaysian resident (and that includes work and social visa holders) you can get substantial discounts on packages.
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sylvia on

Sipadan is a interesting place. i like it.

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