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All reviewsscuba junkiedive sitesmabul beach resortturtle hatcherywell oiled machinefishmarine lifefun divesbuffet stylebig thanksgreen turtlesdeluxe roomstayed longergreat divelocal communitythese guysbeach clean ups
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Reviewed 23 September 2017


I was not expecting much from the accommodation/ food, after all this was to be a scuba diving holiday, not a luxury holiday, however, both the accommodation and food were lovely. We paid for the air conditioning and I would recommend others to do the same as there was a difference in setting, more generally. The huts have hammocks and seats to chill on the porch. The cabins are close to the jetty and beach, they are also close to the restaurant and bar. The food was really great and the bar was a really nice place to chill.

I did my PADI course there and would recommend it to anyone. I had an instructor called Linda, I trusted her from the get go. She sped through the course as she understood that our overall goal was to get out into the water. I was luckily only with one other guy, who caught on fast and we were out on an open water dive the day after I arrived. Because the course is done by the jetty and not in a pool, you immediately see the types of exotic fish will be exposed to throughout your time there and that served as a great motivator!

After I completed the course I did another ten dives, including in Sipadan, which was beyond amazing. We were very fortunate and got to a hammerhead shark. The guides are all so attentive and knowledgeable that you feel perfectly at ease and completely safe with them all.

I would highly recommend ScubaJunkie, they are a professional outfit and completely on top of everything, I barely had to think of anything.

  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Alexandrafoley1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 September 2017

Short recap: Sipadan is not a hype, it is absolutely stunning! Need to be a bit more lucky at Mabul / Kapalai but pretty okay. As a solo traveler I loved the resort, very easy to make contact with other people since there are loads ;)... Actually liked the village surrounding the island... Ow and bring Marlboro if you smoke them, didn't find any on the island...

To start with a bit of context: I did 65 dives at multiple locations in Asia and the Caribbean before I came here. Never dove with SJ before. I booked the Sipadan / Sangalaki combi pack and stayed on Mabul for 4 nights.

Trip: I came from Scuba Junkie Sangalaki and therefor was forced to stay a night in Semporna. If you have the chance to avoid this make sure you do so.... Disgusting town, it smells, hard to find a beer, overcrowded. Just no. Trip to Mabul by boat was very good organised.

Resort: I came from SJ Sangalaki which is really remote and relaxing so I was a bit shocked when I first arrived. SJ Mabul is like the complete opposite. Very crowded, big resort, loads of divers and loads of staff. After I got used to it I really liked it though... They run a very, very well organised operation. From the checkin to the food to the dinner, everything is just spot on. Impressive. Food was also really good, and more than enough.

Diving: You have to be a bit lucky with the equipment. Some is brand new but others are really (too) old. Once you find a good set, let the equipment guys assign it too you. The diving at Mabul and Kapalai is quite good actually. The diving at Sipadan is honestly world class and the best I ever had... Conditions can be challenging but all worth it.
What they do extremely well is planning the groups based on experience. At all my dives (in a group of max 4 +1) we came to the 70 bar point only minutes away from each other. Really good!

Dive guides: For me the only downside. Sipadan guides were really good and experienced. Some of the locals I dove with at the other islands were just not good and safe. Diving into NDL of < 5 minutes, constantly being the cool guy to other dive guides, banging melodiess on there tanks to other dive guides, that kind of things... Mainly just annoyed me but diving into NDL of <5 min I consider to be dangerous as well... Bring your own Computer.

Conclusion: I'll probably be back because of Sipadan! If you have the time it is worth doing a small tour while at the island and visit the other dive shops. Apparently they have some spare Sipadan permits from time to time...

  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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3  Thank Bob R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 September 2017 via mobile

After having a great time with SJ KK, we decided to head for SJ Mabul this time arround. Ali Hochstteter has been instrumental in coordinating our land transport from Tawau Airport, lodging at MBR, our sons AOW, our daughters fun dives and snorkeling trip for me and my wife. Phil has been great in receiving us at Semporna office and the team at MBR are awesome. It was a wonderful 6D5N for all of us...
We would like to thanks DM Azmil for our sons AOW... he has been meticulous with his training and guidance...safety first .... much appreciated.
DM Peter, Azhim, Farith, Rachel, Nas thanks for making sure we had a great time during the dives /snorkeling around Mabul and Kapalai. Not forgetting all the boat captains for our safe journey everyday.....
We also observed the released of the sea turtle babies into the ocean on our last nite there.... great conservation effort by SJ....

Looking forward to making more memorable experience with Scuba Junkie ... :-)

Stayed: September 2017, travelled with family
Thank SuhaimiM45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 September 2017

They have 7 Sipadan permits, have bunk rooms if you do not wish to pay single supplement for rooms. Diving was professional. You can walk around the island for souvenirs. One of the nights we have turtle hatchlings release programme, which was totally cool. Dive instructors are professional and friendly.

Bunk room has no aircond, so we normally open the doors and windows while sleeping. 3 washrooms inside a dorm of 8, adequate. Food was ok. If you prefer a lower bunk, do let them know early. If you prefer to dive Sipadan, do indicate in the booking as permit is limited. The nearby oil-rig turned dive centre opposite has 11 permits, so can afford to let more people go on the trips, but you are being confined to the oil rig itself.

  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled solo
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Jollyshandy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2017 via mobile

If you are a diver, don't look further. This resort is made for diving: very close to their jetty, rooms are comfortable. We did book VIP room (worth it). No Wifi in the room, but full 4G when buying local SIM card.

Diving staff is very friendly. There is only one downside: food is waaay to boring and limited (ok, I agree, you won't come here for food, but chicken every single day twice?). When I try to take vegeterian food, I got the warning from the staff that it is only for vegeterians and I have already chicken. Like really??

But in general, we have been satisfied and may come back.

Stayed: August 2017, travelled with friends
2  Thank Mirooke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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