Turtle Kingdom - Sipadan
Palau Sipadan means "Border Island" in Malay local language, it is an island of outstanding natural beauty. The island is the only oceanic island in Malaysia, rising 600 meters from seabed, it was formed over thousands years by living corals growing on top of an extinct volcano.
The amazing diversity and abundance of marine life found at Sipadan makes it one of the top world's top diving spots and without doubt the most famous scuba destination in Malaysia.
Scuba dive with the swirling tornado-like formation of Barracudas, the big-eye trevallies, the thousands silver jack fishes, the giant size parrot fishes, the numerous turtles and many others such as mantas, eagle rays, tunas, scalloped hammerhead sharks, whale sharks and 3000 more species of fish.
Scuba diving Sipadan is year round with the best time being between April and December.
The best way to discover the underwater world of Sipadan is by the only liveaboard - Celebes Explorer, so you can enjoy up to 4 dives a day and every day in Sipadan without worry about the Sipadan permit.
As since 2005, all the resorts located on Sipadan island were relocated in order to help protecting this exceptional marine and land ecosystems. Since then, visitors are brought by boat from resorts located on the nearby islands of Mabul, Kapalai, Mataking, etc. In 2006, a permit quota system by was introduced whereby a visitor requires a permit (120 permits per day) for diving or snorkeling at Sipadan. During peak seasons, when the resorts are full, there could be as many as 600 guests in all the resorts together, 120 permits are obviously not sufficient for all of them. So, if you really want enjoy less people and as much dives as possible in Sipadan, the Celebes Explorer liveaboard will be your best choice.
Our Trip review
In April 17th, we arrived Tawau airport by Malaysia Airlines, then we got into the nice A/C pickup minivan from Celebes Explorer, after nearly 1.5hrs on the road, we arrived Semporna, the little seaside town where we were went aboard Celebes Explorer, and began our 8D/7N, 6 diving days trip.
The boat travellled from Mabul to Sipadan every day and enabled 4 dives at Sipadan. Since now it's not anymore aollowed to do night dive in neither Sipadan or Mabul, most of the days we started as early as 6:00AM, in order to make 3 dives before lunch and 1 in the early afternoon. The dive time planning was really great, we only met divers from the resort twice out of our 6 diving days, most of the time we were left alone with less than 8 dives in the blue.
We made 3 dives on the first diving day, and from 2nd diving day to 5th diving day, we had 4 dives every day, on the 6th diving day, we decided to make 2 dives in Sipadan, 1 dive in Mabul, otherwise you can decide to make the last 3 dives all in Sipadan, in total, we had 22 dives during our trip.
Celebes Explorer is one of our longest partners/old friends, and it is the only dive liveaboard that holds permit to operating in Sipadan. It runs by a professional team with excellent service, the dive guides are both with years of experience in leading in Sipadan, and they always keep safety in mind. The crew are always friendly and helpful. For each meal there were usually at least 5 diffrerent dishes and fruits, and the food was tasty and plentiful.
The boat itself is large and functional. It does has looks a little bit old and need some small maintain, but everything on board are working, and it does offers all the necessary facilities. You can have the good sized ensuite cabins and the roomy indoor and outdoor common areas.
So if your goal is DIVING IN THE SIPADAN AS MUCH AS YOU CAN, then Celebes Explorer won't let you down!
Contact us for more informations ;-)
Dive and Cruise Team
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