Mabul is significantly larger than Sipadan but it takes under an hour to walk completely round it. There is a large village where many of the employees and their families live along with a number of local fishermen.
Smart Diving Resort
Situated on the south-east of the island, the Smart Divers resort is nestled in a coconut palm grove and overlooking the ocean and the nearby Sipadan Island. There are 45 duplex chalets of wooden construction with each room having two oversize single beds, a couch, shelves, ceiling fan, fly-screened windows, air-conditioning, a private en-suite offering free-flowing hot and cold fresh water and a front veranda. The common facilities consist of a main building which is an open air pavilion where meals are served, a room set aside for satellite tv which is air conditioned, and a large locked shed for equipment.
Mabul Water Bungalow Resort
Mabul Water Bungalow is a floating diving resort is situated offshore of Mabul Island and overlooking the world renowned Sipadan Island, which is only 15-minutes away by speedboat. There are 14 bungalows built on stilts and linked by a walkway. The wooden construction and contemporary decor combine to produce an exquisitely furnished offer of sheer comfort. Each is fitted with a remote controlled air-conditioner, ceiling fan, en-suite bathroom with shower and toilet, colour TV with satellite channels, mini bar and in-room safety box. Additionally there is a spacious private balcony with panoramic vistas of the sea.
The resort has a large, airy restaurant and souvenirs shop for gifts etc. A business centre provides internet access. A dive centre and spa, with the central office which handles all registrations etc. The resort is wholly owned by Sipadan-Mabul Resort (Sabah) Sdn. Bhd. (SMART).
Scuba Diving from Mabul offers a wide range of opportunities, the complete coastline of two islands, Mabul and Kapalai which is nearby. The combination promises every possible tropical critter you might want to see. View practically any tropical fish and invertebrate marine book and everything in it will be a guide to the life around Mabul. Where the box shows individuals you will see them in ten’s or twenties, frogfish, black and blue the size of soccer balls, pipefish of every type including ghost pipefish, fire gobies in red and purple. Lobsters by the dozen, unbelievable crabs, many shrimps, exotic sea urchins, mandarin fish, the waters around Mabul is nudibranch heaven where you can see a wider range of species than the rest of the world combined.
The island of Sipadan in diving circles is legendary, with hammerhead sharks, uncountable numbers of techni-coloured reef fish and dozens of sea turtles, all swimming peacefully. The island in now a protected site and the number of dives is limited to 120, so a permit is required to dive it. The dive centre can arrange this for you. If you plan to dive the island, which is 15 minutes by speedboat, you will be out for the whole morning. All divers will return to the resort for meals after each dive.
The resort management will arrange which dive sites and the dive schedule, and depending on their discretion and taking account of the number of divers staying. You will be diving off Sipadan once or twice a week.