Most people go to Mabul to dive Sipadan, that great pelagic sea mount made famous by Jacques Cousteau, home to the turtle tomb, thousands of live turtles and millions of schooling pelagics. The accommodation at Smart Diver Resort on Mabul is slightly more upmarket that offers private en-suites, fresh (not brackish) showers and loads of hot water.

Just a stone’s throw from Sipadan is a destination which offers practically every wild, weird, exotic, and seldom-seen tiny marine animal found in the Indo-Pacific.

If you’re diving Sipadan from Mabul (only 15 minutes away by boat), then you’re out for the whole day. This isn’t a problem because the boats are huge with lots of room, full awnings and even shelves overhead for dry gear. Between dives, have your surface interval sitting on the famous Sipadan wharf, or perhaps, walking along the beach. Lunch will be served at the site. After the second dive, you’re back on Mabul in time for a hot shower. The third dive will be carried out in the afternoon at Mabul or Kapalai Island. After dive you will have a relaxing afternoon for a cup of tea or coffee at the resort which is always accompanied by a scrumptious Asian pastry of some sort.

«photo2 Giant crocodile fish, sometimes almost a metre long, lie so quietly on the silty bottom that you’re inclined to pass them right by.