|Mabul Water Bungalos.|
Mabul Island – once a sleepy fisherman’s village is now the centre for accommodation for both divers and non-divers who are heading out to Sipadan . It has also earned it’s place as a holiday destination of its own, offering the visitor it’s clear waters, fine sandy beaches and unique Macro diving.
|Borneo Divers resort pool.|
Since the Government ban on resorts on Sipadan Island, various dive operators moved to Mabul and started building their accommodation there. Today there are various categories of accommodation to suite every purse whether your looking a “Maldives” style bungalow or just some simple ‘back backer’ dorm . The first Resort on the island was the ‘Sipadan water village’ built entirely over the water and was later followed by various other resorts, some of them on the island and some over the sea. One resort owner took over a nearby sandbank (Kapalai) that gets submerged during high tide and built a very luxurious resort on it, complete with its own manmade island for sunbathing. Another innovative resort owner (Sea Ventures), bought an old oil rig platform and converted it into a resort. Anchored in the deep waters just off Mabul island, it is marketed as the only ‘Rig-resort’ in the world. The latest additions to the list are the ‘home-stays” and ‘back packer’ style of accommodation. Starting out first as typical home-stays with host families, the demand grew and so from a couple of rooms in a local’s house, they were expanded into long-house style buildings with dormitories or individual rooms, common showers and large common rooms for meals and parties. They all come with a dive shop attached to them and provide both diving and snorkelling trips around Mabul, the nearby islands and Sipadan (If they are able to get the permits).
|Private villa at Mabul water bungalow.|
|The spa at Mabul Water Bungalows.|
Text and photos by David de la Harpe