Blogs from Sipadan, Sabah, Malaysia, Asia

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Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sipadan January 19th 2014

About the only real sustained extravagance of our travels was our addiction to scuba diving. We dived in the waters of Indonesia, Tonga, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines. We did over 40 dives in a year and a half. It’s not particularly remarkable if you consider that a dive shop employee may do that many in a fortnight. But we’re pleased to have had the opportunity to dive so much. We saw the good – colourful, healthy reefs and abundant sea life – and the bad – devastation caused by dynamite fishing; a juvenile shark served up for dinner at a beachside restaurant on Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand. We saw how the vast majority of dive shops are owned and run by westerners, with locals only employed as lackeys, if at all. (Where possible, ... read more
Green turtles
Grey reef sharks
Butterflyfish

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sipadan August 28th 2013

After an amazing 7 weeks of volcanoes, beaches, scooters and boats it came time to bid Indonesia goodbye. I absolutely loved my stay in spite of the fact that I have merely scratched the surface of the country. I will have to save Java, Sumatra and Sulawasi for another trip as I clearly had underestimated the enormity of the country and the tediously long bus trips and ferries that made many of the farther away islands an impossibility while holding a 60 day visa. Interestingly, leaving Indonesia felt like the conclusion of my journey; a familiar feeling after many years of 7-8 week summer trips. However, instead of arriving home, a new adventure lay just to the north and a new trip began. How Malaysia turned up on my travel itinerary was by pure accident. A ... read more
Pretty damn adorable
The most ridiculous animal ever: the proboscis monkey
Needing new camo

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sipadan August 8th 2011

So here’s the deal with Sipidan. It sits on the end of the continental shelf like a pinnacle over a valley. When you reach this gorgeous round jungle island surrounded by white sandy beach it’s hard to stomach the fact that at the end of the day you will have to leave. I found myself hoping the boat would break down. At the edge of the white sand and teal water is a 2,000 kilometer (6,000 foot) drop off to the bottom of the sea which makes for a pretty dark blue, pretty sudden contrast in the water color. All I had to say was a repeated blissful, “wow.” During surface intervals we were forced to relax on the island (sarcasm). The sand was so white and so uniform. It felt amazing on my feet. We ... read more
the drop off
Sipidan dock
illustration of the shelf

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sipadan May 9th 2011

Sipadan!! We have both done some incredible things on our trip which we will never forget, but our two days in the underwater world of Sipadan were the best yet.  Known as one of the best dive sites in the world, Sipadan is (now) an uninhabited island off the east coast of Borneo. Due to it's magnificent reputation, the government imposed a permit scheme, where only 100 divers per day are allowed to visit the island and it's surrounding reefs, therefore protecting it from overuse and development. Because of this, we had to book our permits in advance and after a long period of sending emails, we  managed to secure a days diving in Sipadan along with a days diving off the nearby island of Mabul. The company who we booked with were the cheapest we ... read more
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Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sipadan January 24th 2011

Well we had been looking forward to this diving ever since we read about it at the start of our journey. At man. Different point we thought we might not be able to but here was the day. Matt and I were stoked, all week we had been hearing other peoples stories as they came back from their own diving trips to this crown jewel of south east asia. We grabbed our dive gear checked it all to make sure we were good ( the last thing we wanted was to arrive at sipidan with malfunctioning gear) then jumped on the boat with about 8 others. The boat ride only took about 20 minutes prompting speculation about secretly swimming over from Mabul. When we arrived Matt and I got put into two different groups because he ... read more

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Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sipadan January 2nd 2011

(english text see below) Eine 8-stündige Busreise brachte uns von Sandakan in den chaotischen und siffigen Ort von Semporna. Eigentlich wäre die Busfahrt ruhig und angenehm gewesen (wenn man von den frostigen Klimaanlagen einmal absieht). Aber irgendwie vertragen die Malaysier Busfahren nicht und sie füllten fleissig ihre Kotztüten, die immer in den Bussen in Sabah verteilt werden. In Semporna hiess es für uns eigentlich nur, eine Nacht zu überleben. So waren wir extrem angenehm überrascht, als wir in unser Zimmer im Dragon Inn kamen. Es war gross, sauber und sehr günstig. Das ganze Hostel ist auf dem Wasser gebaut und gehört immerhin zu den Top 10 Floating Hotels der Welt. Am nächsten morgen fuhren wir dann 1 Stunde mit dem Boot in unser Paradies: Pom Pom Island. Über Sylvester gönnten wir uns einfach 4 Tage/3 Nächte ... read more
eiskalte Busfahrt
Dragon Inn in Semporna
Sipadan bei Unwetter

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sipadan November 11th 2010

Sipadan Island is rated one of the top dive sites in the world and as we were newly certified divers we thought this was an opportunity not to be missed. It is part of a protected marine park and only 150 diving permits are issued each day. Permits are hard to get without booking months in advance so we had to search many dive shops for prices and permit availabilities but most saying they had no openings for Sipadan for weeks. We had heard that Uncle Chang’s dive company had extra permits and the dive gods smiled upon us as they organized a three day dive trip on the spot, a day later we were on away to Mabul Island to stay on Uncle Chang’s Dive Resort. Our first day was spent chilling on Mabul, eating ... read more
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Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sipadan October 23rd 2010

The sun is muted by the water into gradients of baby blue while darker sapphire obscures the ocean’s depths. I might be looking out for miles without exaggeration. Big turtles and white-tip sharks, one to two meters long, swim behind a hazy blue curtain, giving perspective on distance and visibility. I equalize my ears and sink lower, unable to take in every detail that vies for attention on the coral wall. Kaleidoscopes of fish flicker every which way. I'm in an otherworld on par with Dr. Seuss’s imagination. This is Sipadan, for the Big Stuff. If poetry takes physical form, surely, the ocean provides one of the most prosaic experiences. Sharp, crackling sounds travel through the water (4x the speed of sound in air). Every diver turns a different direction while trying to pinpoint the sound’s ... read more
Sipadan Turtle (photo courtesy of TY Kim)
White Tip Shark (photo courtesy of Catherine)
Sipadan (courtesy of fellow diver)

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sipadan April 12th 2010

Pour voir la video cliquez sur le lien suivant: Sipadan / Mabul diving trip Les afficionados de la plongee connaitront surement ce nom: Sipadan, petite ile au large de Borneo, du coté malais, un bout de terre sans pretention au bord d'une fosse de 600m de profondeur, qui descend a la verticale a quelques dizaines de metres de la plage, et couverte de coraux et de vie marine. Cette particularite physique fait que l'ile attire un nombre impressionant de poissons de recifs et de coraux, mais est aussi un lieu de passage pour les especes oceaniques, bancs de poissons, tortues et autres requins. Considere comme l'un des meilleurs spots de plongee au monde, les places y sont tres convoitees depuis la transformation de l'ile en parc naturel jalousement protege. Il est maintenant interdit de passer la ... read more
Poissons clown
Tortue
Eagle rays

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sipadan April 3rd 2010

Semporna est un endroit qui n’offre pas beaucoup d’attraits touristiques... Cependant, certains des sites de plongés qui se trouvent à proximité sont parmis les meilleurs au mondes, ce qui est d’ailleurs notre raison principal pour avoir inséré cette destination dans notre itinéraire. Je me suis aussi permis de m’inscrire au cours de ‘’Advance Open Water’’ ce qui me permettra de plongé jusqu’à 30 mètres de profondeur à l’avenir... Donc, après s’être installé dans notre chambre d’hotel, nous sommes allés voir l’école de plongée pour s’assurer que nos réservations étaient tous en ordres. Pour notre première journée, nous avions la chance de visiter l’île de Sibuan où l’on y trouve supposément la plus belle plage des environs ainsi que du très bon snorkeling et diving. Pendant mon séjour sous l’eau, Vy en a profité po... read more
big turtle and another kind of creature...
Nice turtle...
Diving along the coral wall...




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