What to See in Sipadan (Malaysia)

By | July 23, 2022

According to agooddir, Sipadan Island is located off the southeastern coast of the state of Sabah, which occupies the northeastern part of the island of Borneo, 35 km from the coastal city of Simporna. Sipadan is known as the best place in Malaysia for diving. The area of the island is 12 hectares. It is the top of an extinct underwater volcano overgrown with tropical forests. Sipadan Island and its waters are part of the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, most of whose territory is located off the northwestern coast of the state near the city of Kota Kinabalu. In 2004, all dive resorts were withdrawn from the island. Today, in order to dive here, in addition to other fees, you must pay for each visit to the national park. Divers live on the islands of Mabul and Kapalai closest to Sipadan. Only 120 people are allowed to dive off the island of Sipadan daily, and there are times when tourists registered at local dive resorts do not get permission on some days.

A warm current flows along the coast of the island, which attracts a wide variety of marine life. Sipadan often compared with the Galapagos Islands: there are over 70 species of coral and more than 200 species of fish (caesio, barracuda, swallowfish, sweetlips, trevally, red mullet, cone-headed parrotfish), a variety of sharks, crabs, lobsters and many turtles, in including the green turtle and hawksbill turtle. Local dive sites abound with underwater walls and rocks overgrown with corals and sponges. Diving in Sipadan is possible from April to December, but the best conditions are observed in July-August. At this time, the water temperature is +30 degrees, and underwater visibility can reach 40 m. Diving depths vary from 5 to 50 m. there are 12 dive sites. Dive sites are located close to the shore. Dives are made either from the shore or from boats.

The most popular dive sites:


Barracuda point

Depths from 5 to 40m. Visibility 20-30 m. You can see barrel sponges, black coral trees, soft corals, surgeon fish, tuna, butterfly fish, sea bass, eels, triggerfish, sea angels, blennies, shrimps, flocks of barracudas (especially in the morning hours).), manta rays, turtles, whitetip sharks, hammerhead sharks, gray reef sharks and leopard sharks.

Coral gardens Depth

14-22 m, visibility 20-30 m. Great place for underwater photography. Here you can see all the diversity of the underwater world of the island. Sipadan. At depths of 5 to 10 m you will see dozens of green turtles.

Whitetip Avenue

Depths 16-40 m, visibility 20-30 m. You can see a lot of whitetip sharks, as well as groupers, angel fish, parrot fish, butterfly fish.

Central reef (Midreef)

Depths 10-50 m, visibility 10-25 m. Drift diving along the wall. Pretty strong currents. Dozens of green turtles and many tropical fish.

Turtle Patch

Depth 5-12 m, visibility 10-20 m. Giant turtles live. It is best to dive in the morning hours.

southern cape

Depths are 20-40 m, visibility is 20-30 m. The reef has a gentle slope. Napoleon wrasses, barracudas, groupers, groupers and tropical fish, manta rays live, at depth – whitetip sharks, leopard sharks, hammerhead sharks. The dive site is only suitable for trained divers.

Staghorn Crest

Depth 20-40 m, visibility 20-30 m. Abundance of branched corals with crowns up to 2 m wide.


Hanging Gardens

Depths 5-40 m, visibility 20-30 m. You can see gardens of soft corals, butterfly fish, angelfish, sweet lips, groupers, shrimps, lobsters.


Turtle Cavern

Depth 14-22 m, visibility may be zero. The entrance to the cave is located at a depth of 18 m. It consists of a labyrinth of tunnels with many remains of turtles lost here. Dives are only available when accompanied by local dive masters.

Wall (The Drop Off)

Depth 5-40 m, visibility 15-30 m. The wall is overgrown with many corals and sponges. Interesting night dives.

Diving is also possible on the nearby islands of Mabul and Kapalai to Sipadan. Mabul offers mainly mak-diving (diving in muddy water), suitable for macro photography.

Sipadan (Malaysia)