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SCUBA DIVING IN BORNEO

MABUL SIPADAN WATER VILLAGE RESORT


Aerial View of Sipadan Water Village Resort
Aerial View of Sipadan Water Village

Entry to Mabul Sipadan Water Village
Entry to Mabul Sipadan Water Village


Mabul Sipadan Water Village Resort (SWV) is located to the North-West of Pulau Sipadan - about 15 minutes away by speed boat. The resort has been designed along the lines of a typical Bajau water village, using a mix of traditional and modern materials, offering luxury accommodation with breathtaking sea views. The resort offers chalet accommodation, a lounge and a restaurant. There is also a souvenir kiosk and a dive shop.

Rooms at Mabul are twin bedded, and have hot showers, private toilet facilities and ceiling fans. It is possible to go snorkelling directly from the verandah of your cottage.

Room types include Junior Chalets, Standard Chalets, Deluxe Cottages and Grand Deluxe Cottages. Junior Chalets and some Standard Chalets are semi-detached. All other accommodation is free standing. Sizes vary from 51 sq metres (Junior) to 140 sq metres (Grand Deluxe)

Junior Cottage

The smallest cottage category at the resort. It is situated behind the Dive centre and is convenient for divers. It is influenced, however, by a bit of noise from the compressor in the dive centre. The cottage consists of 2 single beds. It is not possible to have an extra bed. The Junior Cottage has an island or village view, and is semi detached, meaning that you will share the balcony with the next room.

Standard Cottage

Standard Cottage Accommodation at SWV
Standard Cottage Accommodation at SWV

The standard cottage comes in two types. First is the standard semi-detached type which has 2 single beds, with island view, and shares the balcony with the next room. For the stand-alone standard cottage, there are 2 single beds or 1 double bed, wth sea view and non‐sea view rooms. This category is larger than Junior cottage, and and extra bed can be added to the room. The Standard Cottage category offers island view or sea view rooms.


Deluxe Cottage

The Deluxe Cottage comprises only 2 units in the resort and has air‐conditioning. One unit offers Sea view and the other Island View. This is the honeymooner suite and is furnished with 1 King Size bed and a and personal bathtub.

Grand Deluxe Cottage

The Grand Deluxe Cottage is the grandest and largest cottages available. It is furnished with 2 Queen Size beds and a personal Jacuzzi. The room only four Grand Deluxe units, each with Island View and also located the furthest distance from the reception area.

Rooms amenities for the Deluxe Cottages include:

Deluxe Cottage Accommodation at SWV
Deluxe Cottage Accommodation at Sipadan Water Village on Mabul Island
  • King size bed
  • Balcony offering sea or island view
  • Tea/coffee maker
  • Private bathtub and toiletries
  • Hair dryer
  • Hot and cold showers
  • Ceiling fans
  • Mini bar (consumption is charged to your room account)
  • Couch
  • Dressing table and chair
  • Timber wardrobe
  • Electric light and power point (220-240V)



Bar and Lounge area at SWV
Bar and Lounge area at SWV

Mabul also has beautiful white sandy beaches, and for divers and non-divers alike, snorkelling along the edge of the reef is excellent.

Island View Chalet at SWV
Island View Chalet at SWV



A model itinerary for a stay at Mabul would be:

Day 1

Depart Kota Kinabalu for Tawau, then transfer by bus to Semporna, about 1.5 hours away. From Semporna, proceed by speed boat to Mabul Island. (about 30 minutes). Under normal circumstances, you will have checked in by about 11.00 hrs. You will then be taken on an "Orientation dive". After lunch, you will go on your first boat dive at one of the Mabul dive spots.

Day 2

After breakfast, head off to Sipadan, where you will have 2 boat dives during the morning before returning to Mabul for lunch. In the afternoon, you can have a boat dive and a self dive at Paradise Point on Mabul.

Day 3

Spend the morning doing two boat dives on Mabul. After lunch, head over to Sipadan to do a boat dive and a beach dive at the drop off point. Return to Mabul in the early evening.

Day 4

Depart Mabul by boat at 06.30 hrs for Semporna, then proceed to Tawau by bus. You will then transfer to your flight to Kota Kinabalu, or perhaps some other part of Eastern Sabah.

SIPADAN EVERY DAY DIVING PACKAGE

Mabul Sipadan Water Village offers a special package for divers which will permit daily diving at Sipadan upon payment of a surcharge of just $230. This package includes the Sipadan levy, and also a full set diving equipment (excluding dive computer). On confirmation, it will be necessary to pay in full to secure the package. The package is based on first come first served basis. Payment is not refundable, but can be transferred to another person with notice of at least one week.

Night dives are also possible at Mabul, but subject to weather conditions.

Chalets over the water at Mabul Sipadan Water Village
Chalets over the water at Mabul Sipadan Water Village


Rates for Mabul include:

return transfer from Tawau airport to Mabul Island by bus and boat,

3 meals per day and accommodation,

3 boat dives per day and unlimited shore dives on the Mabul house reef. (No diving is permitted within 24 hrs of departure flight)

Weights, weight belts and tanks, as well as coffee tea and snacks are also included for the length of the stay.

Nitrox is available at a charge of MYR 35 per tank.

Non-Diver/Snorkelling

The non-diver/snorkelling package includes one boat trip per day to Kapalai, with snorkelling equipment, as well as unlimited snorkelling on the Mabul Sipadan Water Village house reef (snorkelling equipment not included).

Deluxe Cottages

DurationDiver/Non Diver1 Person2 People3 People
3 days/2 nightsDiver$2,420 $2,015 $2,015
 Non Diver$1,450 $1,550 $1,550
4 days/3 nightsDiver$3,265 $2,655 $2,655
 Non Diver$2,560 $1,955 $1,955
5 days/4 nightsDiver$4,105 $3,295 $3,295
 Non Diver$3,170 $2,360 $2,360
Extra nightsDiver$840 $635 $635
 Non Diver$605 $405 $405
Prices per person in Australian Dollars and valid 01 April 2016 to 31 March 2017 (E.O.E.)

Standard Cottages

DurationDiver/Non Diver1 Person2 People3 People
3 days/2 nightsDiver$2,330$1,955 $1,955
 Non Diver$1,860 $1,485 $1,485
4 days/3 nightsDiver$3,125 $2,560 $2,560
 Non Diver$2,350 $1,860 $1,860
5 days/4 nightsDiver$3,920 $3,170 $3,170
 Non Diver$2,980 $2,235 $2,235
Extra nightsDiver$795 $605 $605
 Non Diver$570 $380 $380
Rates for Grand Deluxe (most
expensive), and Junior Cottages
(least expensive) available on request
Prices per person in Australian Dollars and valid 01 April 2016 to 31 March 2017 (E.O.E.)

The Sabah Government has introduced a fee on all people using the jetty in Semporna. The jetty fee is currently set at $A4 per person for each use of the jetty ie $A8 for the return trip. All dive operators must use the Government run jetty.

Air conditioning is available in selected Standard and Deluxe cottages at a surcharge of $15 per person per night.

A 10% peak season surcharge applies 27 April to 05 May, 01 to 31 August and 23 December, 2016 to 03 January, 2017.

A charge of MYR 80 will be levied for beer or spirits which are brought into the resort - even if consumed in your room.
Photographs courtesy of Mabul Sipadan Water Village and Phil Youdale

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