Saturday, April 10, 2010

Mabul isLand

Just half an hour from the coast of Malaysian Borneo, Mabul is a small, oval shaped island covered in tall palm trees, fringed with soft white sand and surrounded by the turquoise water of the Celebes Sea. You can easily walk around it in half an hour. The pathway around the island cuts through a local Bajau village and gives one an intimate glimpse into a traditional lifestyle that is entirely dependent on the sea.

Most people that set foot here, however, have only one thing in mind and that is scuba diving. Mabul has not only become famous for its proximity to Sipadan, but also has a reputation as one of the best “muck” diving sites there is.

The abundance of large underwater animals and the unique topography in Sipadan offers an adrenalin-filled diving experience, and as there are no accommodation facilities on Sipadan, many divers choose Mabul as their base to explore it. Mabul, however, offers something entirely different, yet equally fascinating. The fairly shallow waters and low visibility, has earned it the muck diving label, but it is the abundance of tiny, exotic creatures that brings divers, armed with macro lens cameras, down here time and time again.

If you are not content with just swimming in the sea, Borneo Divers has a swimming pool with a sunken bar while the Sipadan Mabul Resort has both a swimming pool and Jacuzzi.

A traditional massage is a must if you really want to relax, available at all the resorts (except Seaventures), or you can indulge in a full Spa treatment at the Mabul Water Bungalows.

Those that want to be more active can explore the island on mountain bike or paddle around it in a kayak, both for rent at the Sipadan Mabul Resort. There is also the option of a game of beach volleyball.