Published: Feb 27, 2019

Activities in Sipadan

Beautiful coral formations in the underwater paradise of Sipadan Island

Sabah is teeming with natural riches and stunning sea views. It is blessed with lush forest, beautiful ocean view and unparalleled oceanic biodiversity and ecosystem. Among the many other islands sprawled across the Celebes Sea of Sabah, Sipadan Island stands out as a top destination for divers and beachgoers alike. Being the only oceanic island in Malaysia at 600 m above the seabed, this one-of-a-kind island is formed by living corals growing on top of an extinct volcano cone that has developed over thousands of years.

Hawksbill turtle swimming around in the waters of Sipadan.

It is a volcanic island that makes for a fertile ground for ocean fauna and flora to go. Indeed, you will see that Sipadan Island is unmatched when it comes to the sheer amount and diversity of its marine inhabitants. In fact, the island is prime ground for green and hawksbill turtles to nest and lay their eggs. Occasionally, you might just come across the rare nests of these turtles as you stroll around the island. Feel free to take a picture and pose beside it but please do not go any further than that and tamper with the eggs.

There are also tour packages for both Mabul and Sipadan Island visits ranging from 3 days/2 nights to 5 days/ 4 nights that are up for grabs. Visiting the two picturesque island will give you a more thorough underwater experience of the Celebes Sea and allows for more photo opportunity that you can take for the memory. Do not miss out on the chance and check out the available offers for your own preference.

Now you might be asking yourself what is there to do in Sipadan Island. Here, we will be listing out the various activities you can consider and partake during your time in Sipadan Island:

A paradise for all diving enthusiast!

  1.       Dive, dive, dive

A trip to Sipadan Island will not be complete without a diving experience of your own. While some of the diving spots may require a permit to be accessible, you can still opt for a basic diving class and enjoy the diving journey all the same. Behold a whole new world found under the surface as you swim around with manta rays and scalloped hammerhead shark for that extra kick in your journey. Sipadan Island also offers its own Honeymoon Package and nothing says adventurous than diving with your spouse as you both marvel at the beauty of the ocean together. How often can you reminisce your honeymoon being submerged in the beautiful water of Borneo? This is the perfect chance for that once in a lifetime experience you crave with your significant other.

Right underneath the column of the island also lies an underwater limestone cave with a labyrinth of tunnels and chambers containing the skeletal remains of turtles. This limestone cave, aptly named turtle tomb, makes for a good photo memory and an exploration challenge. Have fun and keep your eyes peeled for the turtle comb laying around the peripheral of your sight as you swim around the vast seabed and marvel at the beautiful rock formations on the ocean floor.

Snorkelling in the clear waters of Mabul and Sipadan!

  1.       Explore the surface of the sea with some light snorkelling

Of course, if you feel like taking on a more relaxing approach, you can opt for a snorkel instead. The surface of the sea is teeming with marine life and you will be able to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the ocean bed without having to be completely submerged. As a bonus, you will get to enjoy the contrast between the cool water and the warm sunlight shining at your backside and unwind yourself with a relaxing drift on the surface.

Parrot Fish are in abundance in the waters of Sipadan.

Of course, there is similarly a collection of different fish species found around the surface. Bumphead parrotfish and big-eye trevally roams the surface in schools in search of food and travelling together as a family. Wave at them and see how they are drawn to curiosity by your waving hand. Do not forget to also take lots of pictures with your waterproof camera to commemorate the memory and experience.

Sibuan Island is a famous spot for island hopping in the region for its beauty and unspoiled nature.

  1.       Island hopping – only in Southeast Asia

You do not necessarily have to be stuck in one place during your entire stay in Sipadan Island. Take the time and fit your schedule to include some island hopping along the way. The Celebes Sea is full of many other beautiful islands waiting for you to explore its hidden wonders and secrets. Bum-Bum Island is home to 20,000 to 30,000 local residents who live and survive with the sea. Learn more about their culture and day to day engagements as you stop by Bum Bum Island along the way.

Bajau Laut living on stilt houses over the waters.

There is also the Sibuan Island, home to approximately 3,000 Bajau Laut (sea gipsies) who have always based their culture and lifestyle around the ocean and its rich resources. Get yourself to appreciate the ocean more as you experience how they centre their lifestyle around the great blue ocean and how they have managed to survive over the years relying on nothing but the ocean’s abundance.

Sunset over the beach of Mabul Island. 

  1.       Enjoy the view of the sea by the beach

Being out in the open sea offers a whole different perspective on living and panoramic scenery. Enjoy the amazing scenery from both Sipadan and Mabul Island as you greet the morning and be in awe with the night. The starry sky fills the dark evening blanket with a view unlike any other as the gentle sound of the ocean slowly rocks you to sleep.

If you are with your spouse on holiday or honeymoon, this can also offer the perfect romantic opportunity for you to enjoy the night together and renew your vows to each other. It is a marvellous experience – one that you definitely would not like to miss.

There is a myriad of activities to be done on Sipadan Island and its surroundings. Keep your itinerary and schedule open for these few extra memories and find out more about the beauty of this Bornean island jewel.

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