Saturday, January 04, 2014

Sipadan Island – The Dive Legend of Borneo

In 2009, Sipadan Island was nominated as ‘New 7 Wonders of World Nature’ by the New7Wonders Foundation. The initiative followed an earlier New7Wonders of the World campaign, and attracted 100 million votes from around the world before the voting completed on November 11, 2011.

Sipadan Island didn’t manage to make to the list but you bet that many feel that it should. Ever since diving celebrity Jacques Cousteau raved about Pulau Sipadan’s diversity of marine life, this dive mecca has been indisputably the most famous scuba destination in Malaysia.

And it is famous around the globe as well! In fact, it was listed as ‘World’s 50 Best Dive Sites’ by CNN Travel in 2012. If you love scuba diving, then this is a must-visit place.

Sipadan Island (Pulau Sipadan in ‘Malay’) lies off the east coast of Malaysian Borneo in Sabah – near the town of Tawau in Sabah. You can take a plane directly to Tawau airport or if you are visiting Sabah via Kota Kinabalu, you can catch a bus from Inanam Bus Terminal in KK.

Travelling by land to Tawau from Kota Kinabalu will take about 10 hours. Not bad actually, since you can enjoy the nice view of beautiful tropical rainforest of Sabah along the way. You might want to stop at a few places like the Sabah Parks and Poring Hot Springs on the way to Tawau. That’s if you hire a vehicle for you to drive yourself.

Before reaching the town of Tawau, you need to take a turn to Semporna at a T-Junction (Tawau-Sandakan-Semporna Junction) since you’ll need to get to Semporna first to fetch a boat to Sipadan. If you travel by commercial bus, you just need to buy a ticket directly to Semporna at Inanam Bus Terminal.

Once you reach Semporna, I suggest that you take a rest and find a nice place to stay first. Sipadan used to have resorts but to protect the environment these were closed around the year 2002. To dive in Sipadan waters you have to stay somewhere nearby, such as on Mabul, Kapalai or in Semporna, and take a boat to the island.

A boat trip to Sipadan Island from Semporna will take about an hour. So, settle down and plan for your big day carefully. You are about to begin the trip of your life.

Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: Sipadan Island – The Dive Legend of Borneo