Mabul Island is a tiny Island located in the Malaysian part of Borneo, on the East Coast of Sabah. It is best place to base yourself if you want to dive on Sipadan because since 2002 it is not allowed to stay on this unusual island which is one of the most famous diving places in the world and it is located only 15 km away from Mabul.
However Mabul also offers great locations for scuba diving, especially for muck diving and for underwater photography. Its greatest attributes are many rare species that can be found around island like blue-ringed octopus, flamboyant cuttlefish, bobtail squids or mimic octopus. If you don’t have any experience, local diving resorts will help you with trainings and equipment.
When you are not diving you can enjoy yourself on one of many white sandy beaches under the coconut trees. The whole island is very quiet and a great place for those who search for a place to relax on their vacation.
There are only two fishermen villages with no cars or roads, so the best way to explore island is by the foot or by renting the fisherman boats. There are not a lot of things to do besides diving and sunbathing but that is exactly why this place is so charming. You can visit fishermen villages, relax by the pools in hotels or take diving excursion on island or on Sipadan.
As for accommodation, there are few hotels, some houses for rent, water bungalows and diving resorts.
Seaventure used to be oil rig platform that was transformed into a diving resort offering unique place to stay while on island.
Many say that the best diving site is the Seaventure platform we just mentioned. Here it is possible to dive under the platform and to go on night diving. The biodiversity will leave you stunned so make sure you bring your underwater camera.
Another great place for diving is Froggy Lair dive site that is considered to be one of the best spots for taking underwater macro photos. The Liveaboard trip combines exploration of Mabul, Sipadan Island and Kapalai Island.
The only negative thing it is their garbage disposal system. Since they did not resolve this in a satisfying way, prepare yourself for seeing trash occasionally. Also since the villages are a bit overpopulated, beaches in the vicinity are not the cleanest ones so be sure to go on those that belong to resorts or those that are further from the villages.
Also during the daytime there are restricted electricity hours, so make sure you plan charging and using your electrical devices accordingly. Don’t let this few drawbacks make you change your mind, because this small island is a great place for peaceful holiday.