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DavidG

Sipadan-Kalapai diver resort vs Sipadan Water Village

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Hi everyone

I'm planing a trip to Malaysia in August for about 2 weeks and I need some advice

What of the two resorts has better house reef? what hotel gets more permits for the dive trips to Sipadan?

Thanks for all your help

David

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Hi everyone

I'm planing a trip to Malaysia in August for about 2 weeks and I need some advice

What of the two resorts has better house reef? what hotel gets more permits for the dive trips to Sipadan?

Thanks for all your help

David

 

 

I'd say that Kapalai has a better house reef, although there are a lot of cool photo opps and things to see at the SWV house reef too. In my unscientific experience, you can get more days at Sipadan with SWV because they have a higher permit to person ratio, and also allow non-divers to stay there (they have the option to go to Sipadan but IME tended to be much less enthusiastic about the 5:15am departure than divers). I was at SWV in Nov-Dec last year and dived Sipadan 3 of 5 days (and was offered a 4th day but declined to wait for lost luggage to arrive at the resort). Kapalai is also kinda like a liveaboard - there is no access to land. SWV is on Mabul, and while there isn't a whole lot to do, we found the walk through the village to be a humbling and moving reminder of how lucky we are, and how little it takes to be happy. (Check out Tony Wu's video on Mabul and you'll see what I mean.)

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We stayed at Kapalai for a week last year, house reef is fantastic, spent every afternoon/evening shooting on it.

If you get the chance make sure to dive the turtle graveyard, its apparently "off limits" but we managed to get a dive into the inner cave.

Rating the graveyard in my top 10 dives ever.

 

A selection of shots from our trip

http://www.uwphotog.com/p691687760/hefa24b0#hefa24b0

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We stayed a SWV. Got to dive Sipadan 5 out of 6 days. We could have dove all 6 days at Sipadan, but elected to pass one day and do muck instead. The SWV house reefs, Paradise One and Two are excellent. Mostly everybody does the close reef, Paradise One. But swim a little further and explore Paradise Two, it is well worth it. Also do the Seaventure dive across from SWV.

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I was at Kapalai for a week in October and we dived 3 days (10 dives) at Sipadan, 4 dives at Mabul (2 on the house reefs), 2 dives off Siamil, one dive at Kapalai that wasn't in the house reef and then one afternoon dive (just after we arrived) and 4 night dives on the house reef. (Sipadan Water Village is on Mabul Island.)

 

I think the house reef at Kapalai was slightly better - I only saw two flamboyant cuttlefish on the whole trip and both were at Kapalai and one of the house reef there, but there is certainly nothing wrong with the house reefs off Mabul.

 

No matter where you stay, they have boats and will take you just about anywhere. You can see my photos from the trip in my dive log in my signature.

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I was at Kapalai for a week in October and we dived 3 days (10 dives) at Sipadan, 4 dives at Mabul (2 on the house reefs), 2 dives off Siamil, one dive at Kapalai that wasn't in the house reef and then one afternoon dive (just after we arrived) and 4 night dives on the house reef. (Sipadan Water Village is on Mabul Island.)

 

I think the house reef at Kapalai was slightly better - I only saw two flamboyant cuttlefish on the whole trip and both were at Kapalai and one of the house reef there, but there is certainly nothing wrong with the house reefs off Mabul.

 

No matter where you stay, they have boats and will take you just about anywhere. You can see my photos from the trip in my dive log in my signature.

 

I have done Paradise 1 and 2 over SWV and BD side having stayed at both. I couldnt believe the amount of macro madness on our dive at the BD side. I have a friend who even spotted a blue ring there once. Theres mandarin fish as well.

Edited by gee13

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I stayed at SWV in December 2008 and really enjoyed the experience. I found Paradise 2 to be an excellent macro experience....dove it probably 10 or so times and never got tired of it.

I have not stayed at or dove the house reef at Kapalai.

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I am a great fan of Paradise 2 which is the house reef of Borneo Divers.

Been diving 3 times in Mabul/Sipadan in the year 2010, and while I found Kapalai/Mandarin Valley very good the first time, I was very disappointed on the third stay, looked as they had moved parts of the artificial reef. On the other hand Paradise 2 was steadily good to outstanding (especially at night).

Didn't find Paradise 1 to be so exciting, too sandy for me.

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