Since Jacques Cousteau, the world’s highly celebrated diver talked about the marine diversity at Pulau Sipadan, the area has grown to become the most popular diving site in Malaysia. This picturesque site lies at the east cost of the most eastern state of Malaysia, the Sabah. The area also lies strategically at the north eastern corner of the worlds third biggest island Borneo.
Jacques Cousteau, the world’s highly celebrated diver talked about the marine diversity at Pulau Sipadan. The area has grown tremendously and has become one of the most popular diving sites in Malaysia. A lot of vacationers who are staying at Kota Kinabalu hotels make sure to take a day trip to Pulua Sipdan. Kota Kinablu is just a few hours away so the drive will go by quickly. This picturesque site lies on the east coast of Malaysia, Sabah. Diving in Sipadan has become very popular with almost every great diver in the world and is on most peoples bucket lists. The area has also attracted attention from numerous magazines and travel journals in Pulau Sipadan Island. You can also find articles in Rodale’s Scuba Diving Magazine talking about how this remote place is better than Truk in Micronesia and the Galapagos Islands.
The popularity of Sipadan diving is attributable to the diverseness of unique and highly exceptional attractions with multiple big fish encounters. The area is also famous with its fascinating fish encounters, which has influenced the naming of the area as the world’s big fish capital. Some of the fish species that you will encounter while diving include a large group of trevally, barracudas and the marauding parrotfish. While diving, you will also encounter many turtles munching on the algae and sponges or idling on the edges of the wall. If you spend more time in the water, you will also discover a wealth of fish species and macro life that rivals other world great diving attraction. However, majority of visitors tend to overlook this fascinating scenery due to the number of major attractions that crave for attention.
What are the Highlights of Sipadan diving?
Visiting Sipadan is in itself fascinating. It features extraordinary clear waters, convenient diving sceneries, blue skies and
tropical scenery but it is what is hidden out of the surface that excels.
The area highlights include:
This is one of the most charming and highly fascinating places that should be on the top of your visiting areas in Malaysia. The site is known for its vast schools of jacks, snapper, bannerfish and hordes of turtles among other unique attractions. You may also spot a number of sharks in the area but the highlight of the area is the eponymous barracuda. While at the area you will get a chance to enjoy the awesome hurricane feeling of barracuda.
This is the most typical diving area in Sipadan Island. The area has abundant colorful walls, turtles, sharks and big numbers of school fish. You will also have the possibility of coming across other equally exciting attractions such as thresher sharks and hammerheads. The area offers both excitement and anticipation, which will leave you confused on whether to forge ahead or stay watching the fascinating walls. The areas diverse attraction gives you no time to idle around as the urge to explore further keeps growing.
Although the site has witnessed a reduction of diving activities in the recent times, it still remains a great place to dive as it offers a rare feeling that is not evident in other diving sites. As you get nearer the entrance of the cave you may come across a marauding horde of parrotfish as you sink. The cavern is attractively big. Inside the cavern you will come across turtle skeletons on the seabed.
Tips on how to plan your diving visit in Sipadan
The closest resorts in the area are at Kapalai and Mabul. Majority of these resorts have some of their own macro diving sites, which complements the overall excitement. Diving in Sipadan is on permit basis restricted to 120 permits on a single day. The diving permits are not issued in advance and thus, nobody can offer you a guarantee on the number of days that you would be able to dive. However, to enjoy diving, it is highly recommendable to stay for at least four days in the area.
When is the ideal time to dive?
Diving in Pulau Sipadan is available all year round but the best diving conditions are from April to December with the most ideal months being July and August. Although the rainy season has become less certain in the recent years, it is mainly between January and March. The area has a decreased visibility in the rainy season. If you are planning to visit Sipadan, it is necessary to book early.