Sipadan Island or Pulau Sipadan is situated at the East Coast of Malaysia Borneo in Sabah and a popular diving destination in Malaysia. The island is ranked as a top 10 diving destination in the world. Sipadan Island is the most renowned island of Malaysia that is known to offer the best scuba diving spot in all over the globe. So all those people who are interested in recreational activities like snorkeling and scuba diving will be thrilled to come here.
Overview of Sipadan Diving
Adventure lovers from every corner especially come here to experience the pleasure of Sipadan diving as this Island leaves them completely exhilarated. In a nutshell, Sipadan Island is a place highly capable of taking your breath away with its awe-inspiring views. Crystal blue water and white sandy beaches are what describes this miraculous isle. A very famous oceanographer named Jacques Cousteau once claimed Sipadan Island to be a truly astounding piece of art that still remains untouched.
The Perfect Place to Go Scuba Diving
Wouldn’t it be amazing if you get a chance to visit Sipadan Island and go scuba diving in the place which is ranked as amongst the highest in the world? In simple words, it will be a divers dream come true to go scuba diving in Sipadan Island. While scuba diving you will come across endless species of fishes and sea creatures under water and it will be impossible for you to keep track of all the species.
There are some restrictions you have to take care of while you are visiting Sipadan Island, and because of the immense safety precautions that have been taken to preserve the island the maximum number of divers permitted per day are just 120. Since night dives are not permitted, the divers can visit Sipadan Island for scuba diving anytime between 6am to 4pm. You will be properly directed by the dive operators who will help you start and end your dive in the restricted time frame.
You can find a rich reef life underwater with both soft and hard coral that looks extremely beautiful. If you are very lucky you will be able to witness Jackfish or Barracuda “tornadoes” as they keep changing directions. It will be a bad idea to go scuba diving in the monsoon season as the rain wipes away the visibility of the marine life and you will not be able to enjoy. The rates are comparatively high but it is definitely worth the experience as you are scuba diving in one of the best diving spots all over the world.
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Below we will list a few of the top diving spots where you can go scuba diving.
Sipadan Diving Spots
Following are some of the famous Sipadan diving spots, which are recommended to get an ultimate diving experience. Read on to know about them:
This particular Sipadan diving spot is classified under the best 5 diving sites in all over the world, and you will be extremely fortunate to avail a chance to go diving at Barracuda Point. This point got its name from the thousands of barracudas you can find here. The enormous shoal of barracuda projects a tornado like image which is so entertaining and mind blowing that it will make your eyes pop out of your sockets.
Apart from the barracudas you can find masses of turtles as you dive into the sea, along with other species like batfishes, jacks, nudibranchs, parrotfishes, eagle rays and even hammerhead and whitetip sharks.
The Barracuda Point will truly blow your mind as you swim your way across the beautiful and scintillating hard and soft corals amidst the wide species of fishes. Barracuda Point to almost 20 meters down and you must definitely keep a watch for the strong currents as they are quite frequent. Sometimes, it’s a good thing if the current is strong because you will be greeted by some really amazing species as they all gather to hunt for food.
South Point is known for its astonishing wall formed by corals and pelagic. South Point is yet another fantastic diving spot you must head to. If you plan on going scuba diving early morning then South Point is the place you must choose to come across some exquisite manta rays and hammerhead sharks. This particular diving spot has a deep wall dive and at the vertical angle you can find a wall dropping.
Your Sipadan diving journey will end at the reef where you will discover the blue ringed octopus. You can go scuba diving up to 40 meters deep right after sunrise and come across the rare breed of hammerhead sharks and bumphead parrotfishes. You will be amazed to see them emit white clouds of powdered coral sands. It almost looks like a train has passed by. Then, you will only see them stop by to take off a bite off the coral long before they head off further into the sea.
The Turtle Cavern is one of the most incredible Sipadan diving spots because of its naturally geographic formations. Here, you will be astonished to see skeletons of turtles, which is why it is named Turtle Cavern. Compared to the other spots, the Turtle Cavern is not very deep, its entrance stretching up to 18-23 meters only. Upon your entrance you will see the cave descending into a bell shaped tunnel which will lead you to the lower chamber.
The left side of the Turtle Cavern will take you to the front of the tunnel. Since the cavern is connected with the Turtle Tomb, you will come across a hoard of turtle skeletons so be prepared to get creeped out. There is a reason you will find so many skeletons; the immense number of turtles that enter the cave are sometimes incapable of finding their way out of the cave, hence they simply starve to death. In order to go diving here, you must have some previous experience of scuba diving and carry the proper equipment.
If you are more interested in observing the spectacular corals rather than the pelagic creatures, then Mid-Reef is the best Sipadan diving place you want to go. It is undoubtedly one of the most magnificent and intriguing diving sites of Sipadan Island as it emphasizes more on the coral life. Although not in Pulau Sipadan, the Mid-Reef is situated at the east of the island in Kapalai, and you can easily catch a boat from the jetty and reach in 10 minutes.
The diving depth is approximately 15-20 meters deep, and the scene is predominated by some vibrant Moorish idols, sea fans and anemone fishes. Also do keep a watch out for the green turtles because they are a really pleasant sight. You can even find a whole school of unicornfish, redtooth triggerfish and bannerfish as they race towards the edge of the wall. Like the Barracuda Point, you can also become a victim of some very strong currents at the Mid-Reef which is quite capable of shoving you upwards.
Tips for Scuba Diving in Sipadan Island
Take note that Sipadan Island diving requires certain permits so do not go diving on behalf of a diving school that operates without a permit. Sipadan Island is quite protected and as a result all the resorts and restaurants have been closed to protect the island and reef life from getting harmed. Even the number of divers per day is restricted to just 120 people per day, so all the diving centers are assigned with limited tickets on daily basis.
The larger and more renowned diving centers are assigned greater number of tickets, as more people are willing to choose them. Scuba diving is not every one’s cup of cake so you can consider snorkeling in Sipadan Island as well. If you going diving in Sipadan Island, then you must take note of several things.
Firstly, you should make arrangements for your personal health and diving insurance way before you reach Sipadan Island. When the instructions are being given, you must note each and everything down carefully in order to have a safe diving experience.
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As long as you are diving within the confined premises it will be unlikely for you to suffer any sort of injury, so if you wish to cross the boundaries you may do so at your own risk. Moreover, your health is your responsibility and not the island’s, so if you opt for scuba diving in Pulau Sipadan, make sure you are not tired, ill, dehydrated or under the effect of alcohol. If you have any query regarding your health or fitness then feel free to discuss it with the diving center staff before heading for the dive. All the professional divers will be given proper training and the boats and equipment will be thoroughly serviced and inspected.
Scuba diving is available all through the year although the most appropriate time to experience the breathtaking underwater world is during the dry season when the visibility stretches up to 50m. With so much to do in such a tiny little island, your trip is bound to be an exciting one. Your visit to this Island will be a complete waste if you do not experience Sipadan diving.
There are plenty of other islands as well in Malaysia suitable for scuba diving. We have listed below guides of some of the popular islands of Malaysia, offering diving to the tourists.