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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.

Sibuan Island

Sibuan Island is said to be one of the most beautiful islands in the Celebes Sea. It is part of the Tun Sakaran Marine Park (also known as Semporna Islands Park), which contains the following islands besides Sibuan; Bodgaya, Boheydulang, Tetagan, Sebangkat, Selakan, Maiga and Mantabuan. There are no resorts on the islands, and also no public facilities. A few sea gypsies live on the island; unfortunately clearly noticeable by the rubble they often leave behind on the island. Fortunately diving schools in the area organize occasional reef and beach cleanup sessions. Don't forget to bring enough sunscreen, water and snacks with you when you visit the island. A visit to Sibuan Island is usually part of a day trip from one of the other islands (like Mataking), or part of a day trip from Semporna (at Sabah's southeast coast). Sibuan is especially great for swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling and sun bathing.

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Diving at Sibuan Island

Map dive spots Sibuan

Just like Mabul to the south of Semporna, Sibuan is seen as one of the best muck diving (macro divers paradise) spots in Malaysia. Here you can enjoy encounters with many amazing underwater creatures; like pygmy seahorses, nudibranches, mandarin fish, crocodile fish, lion fish, scorpion fish and frog fish. There are a few nice dive sites around Sibuan Island, the most popular are; Left Shoulder, Mandarin Point, Mandarin Bay, Froggy's and the Drop-Off. Nearby Sibuan you can find Mantabuan Island; with a couple of fabulous dive sites. If you have the chance, definitely go dive at these sites. Though most of the dive sites around Sibuan are good for all types of divers, some other sites are a bit more challenging because of the currents. Especially during monsoon (Dec/Jan) visibility is bad and the currents are strong.

Sibuan Island  

Accommodation at Sibuan Island

There is no accommodation available at Sibuan Island (and at the neighboring islands within the Tun Sakaran Marine Park). Nearest island where you can find a resort is Pom Pom Island and Mataking Island. Budget travelers usually stay at affordable accommodation at Semporna, and book a day tour from this coastal village to Sibuan Island.

 

How to get to Sibuan Island

To get to Sibuan 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 Sibuan takes about 40 minutes.

 

Map of Sibuan Island

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

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