Previous Next 1 2 3 4 5
Islands of Malaysia

Islands of Malaysia

There are hundreds of beautiful islands within Malaysia, most of them can be visited during your travels but not all offer a place to stay overnight. The islands of Malaysia are divided in the islands at the western peninsula, the eastern peninsula and the islands around Borneo. All are equally stunning, though there enough differences between each island. Most popular islands are Langkawi, Penang, Perhentian, Redang and Tioman. Around Borneo you have Lankayan, Selingan, Mataking and of course Sipadan.

Mount Kinabalu Summit Trail

A 4095 meter tall mountain

Mount Kinabalu is the tallest mountain in Malaysia and the 20th tallest in the World. Mainly because of the biological diversity the mountain is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Climbing the mountain is not an easy feat for the untrained; though it will absolutely be one of the best experiences ever. Watching the sun rise in the early morning will definitely make you forget all the hardships you had to endure during the hike up.

Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park

Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park

TAR Marine Park is the perfect place to enjoy scuba diving, snorkeling and light jungle treks. The marine park is made up of five small islands: Gaya, Manukan, Sapi, Sulug and Mamutik. The best beaches and probably also the best corals can be found around Gaya island; the biggest of the five islands. The marine park is only a 20 minute boat trip away from the city of Kota Kinabalu.

Mulu National Park

Mulu National Park

Mulu National Park is the biggest national park in Sarawak. The park is best known for the amazing caves. The Sarawak Chamber is the world's biggest cave chamber. It is said that 40 Boeing 747 aircraft's fit in the cave. Clearwater Cave is one of the top ten longest caves in the world with a length of over 189km. The caves aren't the only highlights at Mulu NP. The amazing pinnacles at Mount Api are absolutely stunning to witness. A visit to Mulu NP will bring your holiday in Malaysia to new heights!

Kinabatangan river cruise

Kinabatangan river cruise

One of the most popular destinations in Sabah is the Kinabatangan River. This river has a length of 560 kilometers and stretches through half of Eastern Sabah. Alongside the riverbanks there is an abundance of wildlife. During a river cruise you will have a chance to spot the rare orangutan, the pygmy elephant, proboscis monkeys and saltwater crocodiles. During night cruises you might spot the leopard cat, numerous sleeping birds, wild boards, snakes and many crocodiles.

Mabul Island

Mabul Island is a popular place to stay for travelers that plan to dive at one of the worlds' best dive spots; Sipadan Island. Before the resorts at Sipadan Island were closed due to conservation efforts, Mabul was not visited much. Nowadays it is probably the most popular island to stay overnight because of its close proximity to Sipadan. The island is also quite popular because of the affordable accommodation on and nearby the island. Resorts at other islands in the Celebes Sea, like Kapalai and Mataking only offer very luxurious overnight stays. There are two small villages on the island, where around 2000 local Sea Gypsies (Bajau Laut) live. The local villagers rely on both fishery and tourism. There are no roads on the island; all transport is done by boat. Because Mabul Island is inhabited, the island is less pretty than nearby islands like Kapalai and Mataking. However if you venture out to the more secluded areas, you will find some truly fantastic beaches.

On this page:

 

Diving at Mabul Island

Map dive spots Mabul

Though many visit the island to catch a glimpse of its neighbor Sipadan, Mabul Island is widely recognized as one of the best muck diving spots in the world (it is a macro diving paradise). Those who have visited the islands in this area would say: 'Sipadan for the big formations, pelagic species and turtles, Mabul for the most interesting small marine life like nudibranch, gobies, cuttlefish, frogfish and scorpion fish'. There are a few dive schools on the island, all of them offering dive trips around Mabul, nearby Kapalai and of course at Sipadan.

Mabul Island  

Accommodation at Mabul Island

Contrary to the other islands in this region, Mabul Island offers several places to stay. There are resorts for every type of traveler; ranging from basic accommodation to luxurious water bungalows and private water villas. People that like some luxury during their stay should visit either Sipadan Water Village Resort (at Mabul Island) or Mabul Water Bungalows. Cheaper places to stay are Sipadan Mabul Resort, Mabul Beach Resort, Mabul Dive Lodge and Borneo Divers Mabul Dive Resort. Noteworthy is the former oil rig at the open sea that was converted into a resort; Seaventures Dive Resort. There also are a few backpacker lodges, with affordable rooms. Downside is that apparently those resorts get less daily permits to dive at Sipadan, compared to the more luxurious resorts at Mabul.

 

How to get to Mabul Island

To get to Mabul Island you first need to take a flight to the coastal city of Tawau. There are daily flights operated by Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia from Kuala Lumpur (and Kota Kinabalu) to Tawau. From Tawau Airport you can either get a taxi (around RM100+) or a bus/minivan to the village of Semporna, a 1,5 hour trip through endless palm oil plantations. At Semporna harbor boats to the neighboring tropical islands depart. The speedboat ride to Mabul takes about 30 minutes. If you make reservations at one of the resorts at the island, then often your package includes an airport pickup, the trip from Tawau Airport to Mabul (via Semporna, including the boat ride).

 

Map of Mabul Island

Below you can see the exact location of Mabul Island on the interactive map (in the middle).

Share
  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit