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also known as:
Sipadan Island
Priority: Low
Location Type: Destination
Pulau Sipadan lies off the East Coast of Sabah, Borneo. It has some of the best scuba diving in the world, with spectacular coral drop-offs and healthy numbers of turtles, sharks, and other large fish. Sipadan has no accommodation, so dive trips are arranged from the nearby islands of Mabul and Kapalai, or from the town of Semporna on the mainland.


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Wikipedia - Sipadan

Hawksbill Turtle, Pulau Sipadan
Hawksbill Turtle

Sipadan is the only oceanic island in Malaysia, rising 600 metres (2,000 ft) from the seabed. It is located in the Celebes Sea off the east coast of Sabah, East Malaysia (which is on the island of Borneo). It was formed by living corals growing on top of an extinct volcanic cone that took thousands of years to develop. Sipadan is located at the heart of the Indo-Pacific basin, the centre of one of the richest marine habitats in the world. More than 3,000 species of fish and hundreds of coral species have been classified in this ecosystem. Sipadan has been rated by many dive journals as one of the top dive destinations in the world.

Frequently seen in the waters around Sipadan: green and hawksbill turtle (which mate and nest there), enormous schools of barracuda in tornado-like formations as well as large schools of big-eye trevally, and bumphead parrotfish. Pelagic species such as manta rays, eagle rays, scalloped hammerhead sharks and whale sharks also visit Sipidan.

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Wikitravel - Sipadan

Jetty where people go ashore at Sipadan
Jetty where people go ashore at Sipadan

Sipadan Island (Pulau Sipadan in Malay) lies off the east coast of Malaysian Borneo. The island is known above all for some of the best scuba diving anywhere in the world.

Sipadan claims to be the world's best dive site. While this is a big claim, the diving here is certainly world class. Sipadan used to have resorts but to protect the environment these were closed around the year 2002. To dive on Sipadan you have to stay somewhere nearby, such as on Mabul or in Semporna, and take a boat onto the island.

Because Sipadan is now a protected site, only 120 dives are allowed daily (as of 8/26/08). It's best to try to dive as early as possible to beat the crowds and increase your chances of getting on the roster to dive.

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