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View Full Version : where to stay at sipadan?



leesanhua
04-25-2008, 03:10
hi there. anyone stay at kapalai or mabul resort before?
which one is better?

gbrdiver
04-27-2008, 03:41
I have stayed at neither, but have looked through both. They are both nice although stupidly expensive. If you are considering either, $$ are not your problem - Kapalai looks a little nicer. The diving off the resort at Mabul is however better than off Kapalai IMHO.

leesanhua
04-27-2008, 03:43
gbrdiver, where did you stay b4?

gbrdiver
04-27-2008, 03:49
I did the homestay thing with Billabong. I checked out the Mabul village while I was there and the Kapalai one as well. Kapalai seemed more my thing if I had $$ to burn. I was doing 4 dives a day from Mabul and with the boat staying at Sipadan during dives, I was never back at my room for anything other than sleeping. I could not complain about the dive operation.

Diver Dennis
04-27-2008, 04:35
Kapalai is a great place, the rooms have a spot light off you balcony, the whole resort is built on stilts and you can sit and watch a variety of marine life at night. Excellent DMs and boats as well.

mobeeno
04-27-2008, 12:36
I did the homestay thing with Billabong. I checked out the Mabul village while I was there and the Kapalai one as well. Kapalai seemed more my thing if I had $$ to burn. I was doing 4 dives a day from Mabul and with the boat staying at Sipadan during dives, I was never back at my room for anything other than sleeping. I could not complain about the dive operation.
Thats what I'm talking about.

leesanhua
04-28-2008, 02:47
well actually im orginal from borneo. my hometown is kota kinabalu. i can get malaysian rate. that's why i want to stay on the island instead of the mainland. Plus, i;m living in kansas where it's in midwest of the state. i want to stay on the island if i can.
well... you know what i mean.

Quero
04-28-2008, 03:06
While Billabong is definitely not my style (I like to get a good night's rest before each long dive day), I know that it does meet some people's needs. And while I don't necessarily *need* the pampering that you get at Kapalai/ Mabul Water Bungalows/Sipadan Water Village, it really is nice to have! I did my Sipadan diving when I was residing in Malaysia, and I agree that having a resident's discount helps some, but it still doesn't get as cheap as Semporna or Billabong. A good middle alternative is Seaventures. There's nothing luxurious about the resort, but the price is less than the more upscale places while the living conditions are light years better than at Billabong.

And since you'll have three non-divers, leesunhwa, I do think you should take a look at Mataking, too.

leesanhua
04-28-2008, 03:14
well.. i agree what quero saying.
when you say billabong is not your style.. how do they operate and look like? since you say you need a good night sleep

leesanhua
04-28-2008, 04:13
what do you guys think if i plan to dive in sipadan in january?

Quero
04-28-2008, 04:31
Well, Billabong is quite basic. It's a single building made of wood with maybe six rooms separated by thin walls. The floors of the sleeping rooms are covered in plastic sheeting like the kind you might find on the tables at a food-stall-type place, I suppose to make it easier to keep them clean and maybe also to keep critters from climbing up between the cracks between the boards. Guests share the bathrooms, and bathe using the "mandi" system (you pour water over yourself with a scoop from a bucket of fresh water), though I do think there's a shower head outside for rinsing off after you come back from the dives. The rooms are equipped with fans for air circulation and also have windows for ventilation. The beds are low platforms covered with stuffed pad-type mattresses (quite hard).

There's nothing wrong with it as long as it meets your needs and expectations, but it's not right for me, personally. At one stage of my life I slept in even less organized places, but I don't do that any more. I can afford better now.

Quero
04-28-2008, 04:37
what do you guys think if i plan to dive in sipadan in january?

You can dive year round at Sipadan, but the best time of year is April/May to November or so.

leesanhua
04-28-2008, 13:02
You can dive year round at Sipadan, but the best time of year is April/May to November or so.

best time as in? current not that strong? or more things to see?

mobeeno
04-28-2008, 22:22
You can dive year round at Sipadan, but the best time of year is April/May to November or so.

best time as in? current not that strong? or more things to see?
I think the current attracts all the cool fish.

Quero
04-28-2008, 22:57
You can dive year round at Sipadan, but the best time of year is April/May to November or so.

best time as in? current not that strong? or more things to see?

1. Weather (it's rainy/monsoon season December/January to April/May.
2. Resulting sea conditions (wind causes waves).
3. Better visibility.

Reef fish are not bothered by viz or rain.

leesanhua
04-29-2008, 00:47
i was planning to sipadan this coming jun but something comes up so i have to postpone it till jan 09.
do you think it's still ok to dive in jan?

Quero
04-29-2008, 03:07
i was planning to sipadan this coming jun but something comes up so i have to postpone it till jan 09.
do you think it's still ok to dive in jan?

Sure. The Sipadan/Mabul/Kapalai/Mataking/Roach Reef, etc. area is diveable year round.

leesanhua
05-06-2008, 02:19
what kidn of wet suit should i wear for diving in jan?

Quero
05-06-2008, 05:06
what kidn of wet suit should i wear for diving in jan?

The water's usually quite warm. Unless you tend to feel chilled easily, you should be okay in a 3mm shorty or full suit.

Quero
05-06-2008, 05:36
what kidn of wet suit should i wear for diving in jan?

The water's usually quite warm. Unless you tend to feel chilled easily, you should be okay in a 3mm shorty.

Travelnsj
05-06-2008, 21:28
I stayed at Kapalai for 12 days or so, great dive operation and resort....unfortunitly that was the best part of Sipadan.

hiloboy
05-07-2008, 23:12
My wife and I stayed at Kapalai and had a great time. The resort is built over the water and from our room window we saw sting rays, turtles, and lots of fish. We even saw mantis shrimps on the walkway outside our room.

It truly was an amazing place.

mobeeno
06-07-2008, 06:24
How would you compare Uncle Changs to Billabong?

Reg
06-07-2008, 21:58
We stayed at Mabul with Borneo Divers. The trips out Sipadan were about 15minutes. We just got back and 3 out of the 5 days were raining. Water temp is still 31 though so didn't bother us.

mobeeno
06-08-2008, 00:00
We stayed at Mabul with Borneo Divers. The trips out Sipadan were about 15minutes. We just got back and 3 out of the 5 days were raining. Water temp is still 31 though so didn't bother us.
How was the vis? Was the diving good?

Reg
06-16-2008, 06:53
The Vis was 10-12m around Mabul and 20-25M at Sipadan. We did 16 dives, some of the best diving i've done to date. A great location with plenty of variety of marine life.

leesanhua
07-26-2008, 04:32
good. i think i will stay in kapalai. who else is going during jan?

leesanhua
07-29-2008, 02:55
did anyone try to dive during january?

mobeeno
07-31-2008, 11:42
I do not know about diving in January but if it is rainy season, the boat ride can be a bit rough and can effect visibilty.

SouthernSeas
08-01-2008, 04:46
I stayed at Kapalai in October 07. I don't know about January, but in October there were almost no barracuda at Barracuda Point! A bit disappointing.

The Mabul resort looked really nice too. If I went back, I might try that one. One difference is that it that the resort on Mabul is connected to an island in addition to having the chalets over the water.

I don't know how the dive masters are at Malbul, but it was really hard to get the DMs at Kapalai to go anywhere but the same handful of sites around Sipadan. The DMs were nice and the sites were good, but it was kind of a push to get them to go to different locations (they go to Barracuda Point and Drop Off all the time)

I have a couple of Sipadan/Kapalai/Mabul site reports at: Big Blue Planet - Holiday diving information for SCUBA divers to use. (http://www.bigblueplanet.com/myblueplanettopdivers.jsp?MBPUserID=128)

Hope its helpful.

SouthernSeas
08-01-2008, 05:09
Forgot to add some pictures of the Kapalai resort...

mobeeno
08-09-2008, 14:06
Last month I stayed at Sipadan Inn at Semporna. The place is basic, new, clean, smallish room, has aircond, tv, hot shower and free internet. It is close to the jetty and right in town.

Reg
08-13-2008, 06:43
Last month I stayed at Sipadan Inn at Semporna. The place is basic, new, clean, smallish room, has aircond, tv, hot shower and free internet. It is close to the jetty and right in town.

So did you do day trips out to Sipadan & Mabul everyday? How long did that take?

leesanhua
08-14-2008, 02:21
nice pics! did you take those pics?

leesanhua
08-14-2008, 04:15
i know jan is kind of a raining reason over there. do you think it's still ok?

mobeeno
08-14-2008, 20:41
Last month I stayed at Sipadan Inn at Semporna. The place is basic, new, clean, smallish room, has aircond, tv, hot shower and free internet. It is close to the jetty and right in town.

So did you do day trips out to Sipadan & Mabul everyday? How long did that take?
Yes did day trips to Mabul to pick up divers then to Sipadan. Takes over an hour from Semporna to Mabul to Sipadan. (About 20 minutes from Mabul to Sipadan).

namabiru
08-15-2008, 05:29
Yeah, the hour-long boat rides can get old from Semporna. We had to do the same thing-- picking up people in Mabul. I dived with Scuba Junkie, and also stayed in their guesthouse. I would absolutely dive with Scuba Junkie again, but stay somewhere else.

I was there in December, and the water temp was 29 on a hot sunny day, maybe 28 or so on a rainy day. I was in bathing suit and two rash guards. Others wore 3mil shorties.

leesanhua
08-15-2008, 05:32
I was there in December, and the water temp was 29 on a hot sunny day, maybe 28 or so on a rainy day. I was in bathing suit and two rash guards. Others wore 3mil shorties.

do you think 3mil full suit is too much on jan?

mobeeno
08-15-2008, 07:20
I was there in December, and the water temp was 29 on a hot sunny day, maybe 28 or so on a rainy day. I was in bathing suit and two rash guards. Others wore 3mil shorties.

do you think 3mil full suit is too much on jan?
I dont think 3 mil is too much.

gbrdiver
08-15-2008, 23:02
My son and I both used 3mm full suits in January...Mr Suunto recorded a min water temp of 28 deg although after 19 dives this did not seem warm.

leesanhua
08-16-2008, 05:08
all right. that means i don't need to get a new shorty suit.
thanks!

namabiru
08-20-2008, 23:23
That's a good point-- over repetitive days and diving and such, 29C won't seem so warm anymore...

If you currently have a 3mil shorty, though, that would probably work in January as well. Even if it's got several, several dives on it.

Maybe take a hood if you're afraid of getting cold. Hoods don't take up too much room.

leesanhua
08-21-2008, 00:57
We stayed at Mabul with Borneo Divers. The trips out Sipadan were about 15minutes. We just got back and 3 out of the 5 days were raining. Water temp is still 31 though so didn't bother us.

what's your experience diving with borneo divers?

davidlkc
09-30-2008, 15:40
The best time to be diving in Sipadan/Mabul/Kapalai is between April through October, some say November. This is due to the Monsoon which will bring rain to the area but diving will still be on throughout the whole year.

nikefreekz
10-02-2008, 21:23
Was diving in sipadan from the 15-21st, stayed at the Kapalai water village. I must say the resort is really fantastic, even for non-divers too! huge room with amazing views, makes you feel like taking time off from diving just to laze around!

The diving was just as good, though i thought the vis could be better. Amazing schools of jacks and barracudas, lotsa frog fishes and plenty of macros for photographers. Definitely worth going back again!

Reg
10-10-2008, 18:01
We stayed at Mabul with Borneo Divers. The trips out Sipadan were about 15minutes. We just got back and 3 out of the 5 days were raining. Water temp is still 31 though so didn't bother us.

what's your experience diving with borneo divers?

We had a good experience, we had just completed a 1 weeks stay at Layang Layang before arriving at Borneo divers. The accomodation was great, the food was buffet style with a BBQ on a Friday night. The DM's were experienced and the boats were comfortable. We were there in May 08 and it was getting quiet (which was good for us). Staying on Mabul was close to dives sites and Sipadan.

nikefreekz
10-10-2008, 21:14
how was Layang Layang???? heard so much about it but haven't got the chance to go as yet...




We stayed at Mabul with Borneo Divers. The trips out Sipadan were about 15minutes. We just got back and 3 out of the 5 days were raining. Water temp is still 31 though so didn't bother us.

what's your experience diving with borneo divers?

We had a good experience, we had just completed a 1 weeks stay at Layang Layang before arriving at Borneo divers. The accomodation was great, the food was buffet style with a BBQ on a Friday night. The DM's were experienced and the boats were comfortable. We were there in May 08 and it was getting quiet (which was good for us). Staying on Mabul was close to dives sites and Sipadan.

mobeeno
10-11-2008, 09:37
We stayed at Mabul with Borneo Divers. The trips out Sipadan were about 15minutes. We just got back and 3 out of the 5 days were raining. Water temp is still 31 though so didn't bother us.

what's your experience diving with borneo divers?

We had a good experience, we had just completed a 1 weeks stay at Layang Layang before arriving at Borneo divers. The accomodation was great, the food was buffet style with a BBQ on a Friday night. The DM's were experienced and the boats were comfortable. We were there in May 08 and it was getting quiet (which was good for us). Staying on Mabul was close to dives sites and Sipadan.
Reg, If you have to choose, would you prefer Sipadan or Layang Layang for diving?

Travelnsj
10-11-2008, 10:15
I've been to both...kinda a flip of the coin....probably Sipadan as I really liked staying at Kapalai unfortunitly that was the highlight of the trip. The diving I found to be about equal.

nikefreekz
10-11-2008, 10:45
very true, the resort is really quite magnificent, would be a perfect place to chill out even if not diving, just beautiful...

mobeeno
10-12-2008, 18:32
well actually im orginal from borneo. my hometown is kota kinabalu. i can get malaysian rate. that's why i want to stay on the island instead of the mainland. Plus, i;m living in kansas where it's in midwest of the state. i want to stay on the island if i can.
well... you know what i mean.
What is the price difference between Malaysian rate and non Malaysian rate?

mobeeno
10-12-2008, 18:35
I've been to both...kinda a flip of the coin....probably Sipadan as I really liked staying at Kapalai unfortunitly that was the highlight of the trip. The diving I found to be about equal.
Which one is more expensive to visit and dive between the two?

nikefreekz
10-13-2008, 22:57
have a look at their website, but i believe they are at the same price prince point

namabiru
10-18-2008, 00:09
Call me crazy, but I'd like to give Seaventures a go for the sheer hell of it. Something different...

mobeeno
10-19-2008, 08:45
Call me crazy, but I'd like to give Seaventures a go for the sheer hell of it. Something different...
Let us know how it goes

nikefreekz
10-19-2008, 08:55
Call me crazy, but I'd like to give Seaventures a go for the sheer hell of it. Something different...

Seaventure is probably the cheapest between the 3 option but you get what you pay for, it's decent enough tho, just not at the same level as the other 2...

namabiru
10-19-2008, 09:33
Oh, definitely on the price. I'm not a top-end resort type of person, though, so that's the type of accommodation I seek.

nikefreekz
10-19-2008, 22:24
but the other 2 resorts isn't a whole lot more but it's worth every penny of it, that's just me tho, and i'm also not the kind that splurge on top-end resort as well cos i figure most of the time you're not at your room anyway, but still, i thot it was worth the money :-)

namabiru
10-19-2008, 22:40
oh yeah? That's interesting. I'll have to price them all out. But you're right-- if you're getting little extra things like kit wash and so forth, that extra pampering can definitely make the holiday a bit more enjoyable. Not that I am one of those folks who is against washing kit and looking after myself in general...

nikefreekz
10-19-2008, 23:21
oh the folks there really takes real good care of divers, they'll kit your stuff up once you get there, change tanks for you and when you're done with all your dives, they have your gear properly rinse and deliver them to your room, how's that for service???

mobeeno
10-20-2008, 00:20
oh the folks there really takes real good care of divers, they'll kit your stuff up once you get there, change tanks for you and when you're done with all your dives, they have your gear properly rinse and deliver them to your room, how's that for service???
Some divers like to baby their own gear.

nikefreekz
10-20-2008, 01:30
different strokes for different folks

Reg
10-24-2008, 18:34
We stayed at Mabul with Borneo Divers. The trips out Sipadan were about 15minutes. We just got back and 3 out of the 5 days were raining. Water temp is still 31 though so didn't bother us.

what's your experience diving with borneo divers?

We had a good experience, we had just completed a 1 weeks stay at Layang Layang before arriving at Borneo divers. The accomodation was great, the food was buffet style with a BBQ on a Friday night. The DM's were experienced and the boats were comfortable. We were there in May 08 and it was getting quiet (which was good for us). Staying on Mabul was close to dives sites and Sipadan.
Reg, If you have to choose, would you prefer Sipadan or Layang Layang for diving?

Sipadan seemed to have a higher biodiversity, with some grey reef sharks ,white tips and barracudda. Layang Layang had less abundance of fish but more manta rays, eagle rays and hammer heads. In May 08, the Vis was better at Layang Layang.

In short these are two differenent locations both with their own benefits. I would go back to both, however we do favour layang layang because of the combined expereince of good resort, good weather, good atompshere, good people and a great diving experience, at the time.

nikefreekz
10-25-2008, 03:56
more pelagic huh, looks like another place that i need to visit soon :-)

Lj82
10-25-2008, 06:46
more pelagic huh, looks like another place that i need to visit soon :-)

Too many wants too few resources... Sigh...

nikefreekz
10-25-2008, 09:58
more pelagic huh, looks like another place that i need to visit soon :-)

Too many wants too few resources... Sigh...

tell me about it dude...