Travel Malaysia - Top 5 Diving Site For 2013
"I have seen other places like Sipadan 45 years ago. Now we have found again an untouched piece of art”.
Sipadan Island - Heaven On Earth
Jacques-Yves Cousteau, world famous French underwater explorer and filmmaker found untouched beauty in Sipadan Island. The island is located in the Celebes Sea of the east coast of Sabah, Malaysia. Sipadan Island is an organic island and was formed by living corals growing on top of an extinct undersea volcano, which rises 600m from the seabed. The waters surrounding the island are crystal clear and its pristine beaches make one’s visit to Sipadan Island truly magical.
Sipadan Island is well known among the diving community as one of those places that must be visited. It is the center of one of the richest marine habitat in the world and believed to contain more than 300 species of fish and an abundant number of coral species. Thus, the diversity and abundance of marine life found at Sipadan Island makes it one of the best diving sites in the world. Lonely Planet listed Sipadan Island, Malaysia as number five in its list of top ten dive sites for 2013.
How Do You Get There
The town you need to get to is Tawau in the east of Sabah. For those not in the know, Tawau is in East Malaysia and not in West Malaysia. It is a two and a half hour flight from the capital city of Kuala Lumpur. An alternative route would be to fly directly to Kota Kinabalu, which is the capital of Sabah and then to take a domastic flight to Tawau. From Tawau you would need to get a taxi to the town of Semporna. Semporna is the main gateway to the beautiful island of Sipadan. Sipadan Island is a protected space and no lodging or businesses are allowed here and there is a limited number of permits issued to visit the island. These permits can be bought in the Dive Shops in Semporna. Once on the island, you have to register at the park office before proceeding to your diving site.
Packing And Planning
Keep things simple. This is the best advise I can give you. Pack as if you would pack for a tropical holiday and top this with your diving equipment. Sipadan Island is in the tropics and hence, travel light. There are numerous shops in Tawau and Semporna where you can buy just about anything and everything. Travelers just love to buy sundresses and t-shirts here so just keep enough space for the added shopping.
Plan your trip. Book your flight tickets early. Holiday seasons are the busiest so if you prefer a cheaper and a more quiet holiday opt for the of season periods. Malaysian school holidays are in the months of June and December. Check to see if you can buy your island permits in Tawau. Usually there would be no problems getting to the island, but why take the chance. Use the internet to check out the diving sites. The images of the beautiful island of Sipadan will give you a clue of what awaits you. It truly is beauty at its best.