What do you know about Sipadan Island? Situated on the East Coast of Malaysia, Borneo in Sabah. Sipadan Island or Pulau Sipadan is yet another astounding Malaysian island you must definitely add to your bucket list. The island is famous for scuba diving and Sipadan Island is among top 10 diving destinations in the world. So all those people who are interested in recreational activities like snorkeling and scuba diving will be thrilled to come here.
Sipadan Island is the most renowned isles of Malaysia that is known to offer the best scuba diving in all over the globe. Adventure lovers from every corner especially come here to experience the pleasure of scuba diving and Sipadan Island leaves them completely exhilarated.
Formerly, the island went by the name of Siparan long before it was named after a local group. These people of Siparan used to visit the island and collect turtle eggs, so they decided to name the island on their own. With time the island started going by the name of Sipadan, and despite of the local Bajaus still calling it Siparan, Sipadan has become the official name.
About Sipadan Island
Sipadan has gone through a rough time in the past where it has constantly struggled with its tourism industry, economic gains and has faced immense difficulty in sustaining the environment. Over the past few decades, people have been coming to this miraculous island to observe the pristine beauty. The risk of its prestigious marine life being harmed increases even more with the greater number of tourists coming from all across the world. As a result, the Malaysian Government has taken some serious measures to preserve and safeguard the delicate marine life by issuing an entry permit to Sipadan Island, although doing so has not been a very easy task.
There is very little information about what life at Sipadan Island was like before the twentieth century. The Western documents in the Dutch government papers were the first place which took note of Sipadan Island’s existence. All that is known about Sipadan is that it was ruled by the Sultanate of Sulu; in the 1800’s the leaders of Dinawan Island were granted permission by the Sultanate of Sulu to gather the turtle eggs in Sipadan for trading purposes. At this period, the thought of conserving the island was far from reality.
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A treat for the Bird Lovers
Not only is the island renowned for its deep sea life, it also sustains some of the most exquisite species of tropical birds likes Kngfishers, Starlings, Sea Eagles, Sunbirds, Wood Pigeons and lots more. Grab a sight of these exotic birds in vibrant colors on Sipadan Island. These birds will be an additional beauty of the island so if you are a bird lover and bird watching is amongst your hobby then you are in for a real treat.
Sipadan Island took its first stand to preserve the wildlife in the year of 1933 when it was officially claimed to be a bird sanctuary. The Government of North Borneo declared Sipadan Island as a sanctuary for birds in the year of 1933, which was later published by the Malaysian Government 30 years later. This island was known to be as an essential stopover for birds like Wood Sandpipers, Sand Plovers and common Sandpipers, who migrated from one place to another. Now that so many steps have been taken in conserving the island, people can come to this spectacular bird sanctuary and enjoy a great deal of bird watching.
Things you can do on Sipadan Island
Altogether, Sipadan Island is a place quite likely of taking your breath away with its awe-inspiring views. Crystal blue water and white sandy beaches are what describes this miraculous isle. This mesmerizing island is ranked as one of the top 10 diving spots by divers all across the world. While diving in Sipadan Island, 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. An alternative for non-divers is snorkeling in Sipadan Island, which is equally as fun as scuba diving. You can go by foot from the Sipadan beach and get to the reef, but to get the further part of the reef you will be required to take a boat.
From the surface you can observe numerous corals and reef fishes and even turtles or sharks if you are extremely lucky. Also, since all the resorts have been shut down at Sipadan Island, visitors are expected to lodge at the resorts at either Mabul Island or Kapalai Island which are not very far away from Sipadan Island.
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The Sipadan Island occupies a small space and rises only 700m from the sea. The island is quite small as compare to the other islands in Malaysia, hardly covering an area of just 12 hectares. With all the resorts and restaurants closed down for safety and preservation purposes the island does not have many recreational activities besides snorkeling and diving. As a visitor, however, you surely must come to Sipadan Island to observe the nature, rich marine life & water sport activities it has to offer.