We love the sea. We love stalking fishes, kayaking, falling asleep on the sandy beach and recently, surfing. Our first trip together was in Perhentian. We decided to stay only on the small island of Perhentian due to it’s long beach. Unfortunately at that time, I did not bring my DSLR and ended up only taking one photo on my iPhone. Few weeks later, we visited Mabul & Sipadan Island.
Again, I only had my iPhone with me and instantly regretted the moment I saw how incredibly beautiful this island is. The journey was long and awfully scary for me. We flew into Tawau and took 1 hour and 30 minutes cab to Semporna with the driver driving on the wrong side of the road during sharp curves, overtaking recklessly and of course speeding. We sorted our accommodation with Mabul Backpackers upon arrival at Semporna and my heart was already pumping with excitement imagining; “if Semporna already look so dang pretty, then what about Mabul?!” We were then transferred by a speed boat which took 45 minutes to reach Mabul Island.
Ruby’s vision of a perfect beach vacation:
1. turquoise water – check
2. extremely clear water – check
3. wide view of the ocean – check
4. less tourist – check
5. sunny weather – check
6. amazing sunset – check
7. check check check check check!!!!!!
I could sit whole day on the deck just looking far out or just by the deck to see if any turtles, sting ray, big fishes swimming close by (and they did:)) We snorkeled around Mabul and Kapalai Resort for the first few days. I could not wait to see Sipadan. I been hearing gazillion raves about how magical it is to dive in Sipadan. We were not sure if it makes any sense for snorkelers to go to Sipadan since it was popularly known as diving heaven but we were told that snorkelers would be able to enjoy it too.
When the day came, unfortunately the weather was not on our side. It was a grey and raining. When I jumped down from the boat and had the first underwater peek of Sipadan, I was blown away. I asked Artur to get into the water instantly and seeing him took a peek and then looked at me, it was a beautiful moment and emotion we both shared and will never forget. I have never seen such rich, vibrant, unspoilt marine life. I badly wished I owned an underwater camera. We swam with hundreds of barracuda fishes, just tornado-ing around us. Google image “sipadan barracuda point” and I promise you your jaws will drop wide open!
We literally witnessed two turtles dancing and kissed. No, we are not bullshitting. We saw a group of bumphead parrot fishes and they were about 130cm long weighing up to 46kg! Just by snorkeling we were already amazed so think how jealous we were with the divers. It was difficult for us to say goodbye to Sipadan. We made a promise to return and this time with an underwater camera. For first timers, I warn you, once you dive/snorkel in Sipadan, your trips to other islands in the world after may disappoint you. We have snorkeled in many places, Philippines, Hawaii, Indonesia, Malaysia, and at the end of the day, our favorite and most memorable snorkeling place is still Sipadan.