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Pulau Sipadan (Island)

Acknowledged as one of the best diving and unique spots in Southeast Asia, Pulau Sipadan is located off the small coastal town of Semporna on Sabah's eastern coast. Just 15 feet from the beach, the water turns indigo blue as the sea drops abruptly to 2,850ft deep! It is rather awe-inspiring. Myriad of colorful tropical fish swim in the warm water near the surface whereas huge groupers nose about. Moreover, the water gets so dark that one would not really know what lurks below. This famous feature won Sipadan island a "Best Beach Dive in the World" award in 1993.

The sea is overflowing with marine life. The main attraction for divers is the rich and unique variety of corals both soft and hard. Reef fish of every shape and hue can be found in these waters. Colorful butterfly fishes, angel fishes, damsel fishes of electric blue and bright orange colors inhabit the coral reefs, thus adding to the splendor of the underwater havens.

Between April and September, the Green and Hawksbill turtles will come ashore in droves to nest in the soft golden sands of Sipadan. When you dive during this time, you are bound to encounter these harmless denizens of the deep.

A beautiful white-sand beach fringes Sipadan but the real beauty of this island is in its waters. The season for diving is from mid-February to mid-December. Visibility ranges from 60 feet to over 200 feet. Several dive spots have even been identified and given exotic names after the variety of corals and marine life that are unique to these spots. There is the "Hanging Gardens", the "Barracuda Point", and the exciting "Turtle Cavern".

Professional diving companies operate on the island, complete with water, electricity, food, drinks, and comfortable accommodation for an unforgettable experience. To get there, one can take the 45-minute boat ride from Semporna.

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