At 21 acres, Mabul is the small neighboring island of Sipadan at just 15 minutes away by speedboat. Away from the thick dense greenery of Sipadan, Mabul sways in the breeze with tall coconut and palm trees that greets guest upon arrival. This oval shaped island is covered in palm trees, and soft white sand, overlooking the turquoise waters of the Celebes Sea. Offering a variety of accommodations from water bungalows, island resorts to affordable guesthouse, visitors will also be able to take in the Bajau culture as there is still a lively Bajau fishing village on the island. From a history of over fishing using cyanide and dynamites by the locals, Mabul has come forth lucky as being among the world’s best sites for MUCK diving; diving in muddy or “mucky” environments with low visibility.
Offering approximately 2 square kilometers of reef with over 10 dive sites, it is in these waters that resides a hefty number of unusual and exotic macro marine life. The mucky waters on Mabul are rich with many species of small marine life and rare ecological species, challenging divers to search for cunning critters camouflaged in its surroundings. From Flamboyant cuttlefish, multicoloured nudibranches, blue-ringed octopus, moray eels to the rare pygmy seahorse. The still mucky waters rich with these macro lives make it prime real-estate for underwater photographers. Offering an entirely different type of underwater adventure and soft sandy beaches, Mabul gratifies above and below its seabed.
At just 15 minutes away from Sipadan, Mabul has turned into the main island for accommodations. There are 2 types of accommodations on this island, resorts and homestays all depending on your budget. There is a variety of village homestays such Uncle Chang’s Backpacker Lodge, Spehere Divers, Big John Scuba, and Billabong for budget divers. These are idle for budget travelers as their price ranges between RM80 – RM 150. Living in the intimate and warm environment of Homestays is a great way of discovering the culture on the island, while getting to know other guest. Resorts may cost more, but for good reason. Built on wooden stilts over the waterbed, or a chalet within the thick tropical greenery, these resorts are prime destinations for not only divers but honeymooners worldwide. Resorts such as the Sipadan Water Village Resort, Borneo Divers Mabul Resort, Mabul Water Bungalow (SMART), and Sea Ventures to name a few.