Mabul, one of the amazing paradise islands in front of the North-East coast of Malaysian Borneo. A lot of the diving centers of the area have accommodations on this island. Although you can also start your dives from the mainland, we’d say that Mabul is the place to be for people who love to dive or snorkel. Also when your planning to get your PADI, your at the right spot.
I would say 99% of the tourists on Mabul come to snorkel or dive. But Mabul is also a great island to book a place on the water and just relax. There are a couple of great places like Coco Scubainn or Mabul Paradise Lodge where you can enjoy the great view of the blue ocean right in front of your own lodge. We can tell, the view is amazing!
Diving with Mabul as starting point
When you dive from Mabul there are several options to go to. You can go diving or snorkeling in the surrounding waters of Sipadan, Kapalai or Mabul itself.
The most popular option of the 3 is without a doubt to go to Sipadan, one of the most famous diving spots in the world. Sipadan is known for its beautiful coral, big sharks, turtles, and other astonishing and exiting animals that has made the surrounding waters of Sipadan their home. Because it is so popular the government of Malaysia turned this area of Sipadan in a marine park with a limited amount of permits a day. So if you want to dive here, BOOK AHEAD! Months ahead if you can, just to be sure.
Sipadan is an volcanic island, the only volcanic island in Malaysia. Strong currents are one of the reasons that a lot of marine life gets past the island. All that marine life attracts other species as well and I’ve heard some biologists say that you can find more than 3000 species of fish and hundreds of different corals. To give you some exiting examples:
The green turtles and the hawksbill turtles gather at Sipadan to mate. But also the White-tip sharks, grey reef sharks even (more rare) the hammerhead sharks pays Sipadan a visit every now and then. And do you want to see Eagle Rays or Manta Rays? They are quite often spot in the surrounding waters of Sipadan.
I think you can experience Mabul in several ways. Of course the main reason to go to Mabul are the incredible diving spots near Mabul, Kapalai or Sipadan and the beautiful resorts on Mabul itself. But don’t forget the locals, their village, their environment and the effort of many people to preserve the nature in and around these waters.The people of Mabul live a basic live and their village shreds a big contrast with the resorts. If you’ll walk around the village you’ll see what I mean with the contrast. Just do it anders experience it yourself.
The bigger companies had build great accommodations that really help you to enjoy and relax when your not in the water. But they are also caring about the rest of the island. I’d stayed at Scuba Junkie. A company that build a school for the local kids on the island, educate the locals to grow their own vegetables, reduce plastic waste and lot of other things to improved the life on and around Mabul. It’s really interesting to hear about all these kind of projects. As I see it, it is a good balance between enjoying and caring. Oh almost forgot. Scuba Junkie also got a turtle hatchery to prevent the eggs from being stolen. I experienced the moment that the eggs hatched and the turtles were released into the see. Here are some pictures of this special moment.