Scuba Diving Vacation at Sabah
Borneo has one of the best dive spots in the region as well
as worldwide. Most are concentrated in the Malaysian state of Sabah, such as the
world-famous Sipadan, Mabul and Kapalai
islands near Semporna in the East Coast of Sabah. The other top spots include Layang
Layang, situated some 300km off the West Coast of the state, and Lankayan
Diving and Island Packages:
Scuba diving and/or island packages are usually conducted by diving
companies (or operators), who normally will also run their own resort/lodge at the
island(s). Each company offers their own dive/island packages based on accommodation at
their resort/lodge. These packages can be quite similar but differ in cost based on the
facilities and quality of accommodations provided, as well as how established the operator
is. Non-diver rates will be slightly lower.
Diving at Sipadan/Mabul/Kapalai:
Sipadan has the most dive operators operating there but the number
of visitors on the island is limited based on a quota set by the Malaysian government.
Hence, operators had begun to look for alternatives at nearby islands. Both Mabul and
Kapalai were developed recently. Dive packages offered by operators based on Mabul and
Kapalai will normally include additional dives at Sipadan since Sipadan is the most
popular and world-recognised dive destination. Most dive packages off Sipadan will only
include diving at Sipadan alone.
(Note: Effective January 2005, the government of Sabah has
banned overight stay at Sipadan, but divers can still dive at Sipadan
wth overnight at the other nearby islands)
Diving at Layang Layang:
Layang Layang is a small oceanic atoll 14 sq km in diameter
jutting some 2000m from the Ocean depths, making it a wall diving mecca. The exact
location of Layang Layang is 7.5 degrees north of the equator and 114 degree east of the
meridian, right in the middle of ancient South China Sea, 300km North West off the coast
of Sabah. Besides its amazing dive features, Layang Layang is also renowned as a bird
sanctuary, situated on the other end of the island. Regular flights are operated by a
private airline from Kota Kinabalu Terminal 2 Airport to Layang Layang. Flights will land
at a 1000m runway on the Island.
Diving at Lankayan:
Lankayan is regarded as the new diving frontier in the Sulu
Sea. A jewel-like tiny island in the Sulu Sea and hour and a half boat ride's north of
Sandakan, Lankayan is soon to be declared part of an immense Marine Protected Area. Its
dive sites are all within minutes away from one another and boast unbelievably colorful
macro fauna, fascinating wrecks such as the "Lankayan Wreck", which was an ocean
going fish poaching vessel appropriately demised in the area of its illegal activities.
Scuba Diving Vacation at Sarawak
Sabah, another diving hotspot is located off Miri in Sarawak, which
is about an hour by plane from Kota Kinabalu city (capital of Sabah).
Although not as well known as the dive islands at Sabah, Miri's
underwater world is now gaining much attention from scuba divers ever
since the untouched coral reefs were discovered in recent years (see
article on the Secret Underwater
Gardens off Miri for more info).
information on Diving At Miri, please click here.