So, you have decided to dive in Sipadan but you don't know where to start?
Yes, hop on board. I've been there. When I made up my mind to explore Sipadan, I, like any other normal person, typed in "Sipadan" in google and for some reason, the tour operators for Sipadan are all very highly internet savvy!!
They own all sorts of Sipadan related domain names and blogs and use content as a front to sell their packages.
While I am not saying that it's not good, it's just very confusing for the end reader - you and me. So, I decided to break it down into simple blocks here.
1) You want to dive at Sipadan, you have 3 accommodation choices:
a) Stay at Kapalai Island (10 mins boat ride from Sipadan)
b) Stay at Mabul Island (10 mins boat ride from Sipadan)
c) Stay at Semporna (1 hour boat ride from Sipadan)
2) There are no mid-range accommodations. Just low or high.
Low-range accommodations are found in Mabul and Semporna. High-range ones are found on Mabul and Kapalai.
3) There are many dive operators...
- Billabong Scuba
- Scuba Junkie
- Seaventures Dive Rig
- Sipadan Scuba
- Uncle Chang
4) Check out reviews on wikipedia, check out the dive operator's facebook fanpages/accounts, see what others say.
5) To get to Sipadan from Singapore, here's what we're going to do:
SG - KUL (transit 3 hours) - Tawau - Semporna - Mabul
6) Your dive operator can easily arrange taxi and boat transport for the Tawau - Semporna and the Semporna - Mabul leg of your journey.
It took us 12 hours of transit time from SG to Mabul Island. Long, tiring but definitely worth it! Turns out, we decided to go with Uncle Chang's at Mabul Island. We had like more than 16 dives with them and enjoyed all their instructors and dive masters. The food & lodging was nothing to shout about but the company, and the dives were everything we were there for. Thank you Uncle Chang! Read this post of mine for more info on pricing!
Hey who else here loves diving and the underwater ecosystem like I do?
That's me with the yellow flippers!
One of the most beautiful places I've been to for reef diving is in Sipadan. Here's a photo I took of the reefs at Sipadan.
While Singapore may not have such beautiful coral reefs but there are still some and these coral reefs are important. Here's why:
> Coral reefs form natural barriers that protect nearby islands' shorelines from the eroding forces of the sea.
> Coral reefs provide irreplaceable sources of food and shelter for many spieces, much like how tropical rainforests play a similar role on land.
We need to protect these quickly diminishing reefs around the world, even in Singapore and KOSE is one of the environmentally-conscious brands here to do their part in conservation.
Save the Blue Project is an environmental initiative by KOSÉ to protect the world’s fast depleting coral reefs. Beginning with the corals reefs off the Japanese island of Okinawa, the Save the Blue project now expands to Singapore.
As part of the Save The Blue Campaign, KOSE SEKKISEI launched a limited edition full sized lotion and travel set. Check it out here:
Save the Blue Limited Edition SEKKISEI Travel Set (Retail price: $209, Special promo price: $142, promo till 31 July 2012). From 01 June to 31 July 2012, for every purchase of Save the Blue Limited Edition SEKKISEI Lotion (360ml) and/or SEKKISEI Travel Set, KOSÉ will donate part of the proceeds to the research, education and conservation efforts of Singapore’s coral reefs.
Save the Blue Limited Edition SEKKISEI Lotion (Retail price: $121)
I super love the SEKKISEI Lotion! I pour some onto a cotton pad and pat it into my face like 30 times every day and night as the first step of skincare right after cleansing. My skin is clearer and brighter after 2 weeks of consistent usage. My forehead is constantly having breakouts and I think the situation has been improved after using the SEKKISEI Lotion. It is pretty cool. Ariel Lin (林依晨), Taiwanese Actress/Singer, keeps raving about it too!
The SEKKISEI White Powder Wash is a powder-based cleanser - interesting yeh? This is my first time using a powder-based cleanser! I pour some powder onto my hand, mix it with water and then gently cleanse my face with it.
Just added a little water... and it foams up well! What a surprise!
Perfect as a travel companion and you can even bring it onboard cos it's not liquid! How cool is that!
KOSÉ’s bestselling skincare and cosmetic brands include SEKKISEI, SEKKISEI SUPREME,SEIKISHO, ESPRIQUE, BEAUTÉ de KOSÉ, COSME DECORTE, INFINITY, ASTALUTION, MOISTURESKIN REPAIR, JUNKISUI and more.
KOSE Save The Blue products are only available at the 18 departmental stores below. Travel sets will only be available at airports after July so go grab yours now! Remember, part of the proceeds of the sales will go to researches that will try their very best to save and protect the coral reefs in Singapore.
Isetan Katong, Scotts, Tampines, Serangoon
Metro Paragon, Woodlands, Sengkang, City Square
OG Albert Complex, People’s Park, Orchard Point
Robinson Centrepoint, Raffles City
BHG Choa Chu Kang, Bugis Junction, Bishan Junction 8, Clementi Mall
Just thought I'll drop by with a quick post on how I spent on diving and lodging for my recent diving trip to Borneo, Sabah, East Malaysia.
Arrive at Tawau via Air Asia from Kuala Lumpur
1h 30mins taxi ride from Tawau Airport to Semporna @ RM100
Overnight stay at Dragon Inn, Semporna @ RM77
1h boat ride transfer from Semporna to Uncle Chang's at Mabul Island @ Complimentary for Divers
6D5N Stay at Uncle Chang @ RM90 per person per night
Open Water Diver Certification for 3 day course @ RM850 per person
1 Day Dive (3 Dives) at Mabul Island @ RM220 per person
1 Day Dive (3 Dives) at Sipadan Island @ RM560 per person (plus permit fees)
1 Day Dive (3 Dives) at Siamil Island @ RM340 per person (plus permit fees)
1h boat ride transfer from Mabul Island to Semporna @ Complimentary for Divers
1h 30mins taxi ride from Semporna to Tawau @ RM100
Overnight stay at King Park Hotel, Tawau @ RM128
Depart Tawau via Air Asia to Kuala Lumpur
More pictures and a log of my dives coming up soon!