Sipadan Island, a marine paradise, is renowned among divers for its rich underwater biodiversity, pristine reefs, and sudden drop offs into the deep blue. Regularly ranked as one of the top ten diving destinations in the world Sipadan can be found in the Celebes Sea just off of Borneo Malaysia. The wonders of Sipadan are easily accessed from the town Semporna, which is just 35 kilometers north of the island or about an hour’s boat ride away...
Swim through the swirling schools of blackfin barracuda, past the sleeping turtles, under the colourful coral overhangs and you will eventually come upon the schools of scalloped hammerhead sharks off the coast of Layang Layang. Far from civilization, Layang Layang, also known as Swallows Reef, is 343 kilometres northwest of Kota Kinabalu on the Sabah coast. Fortunately there are charter flights that can whisk you off to this large atoll in the South China Sea relatively quickly. A ring of 13 reefs, Layang Layang covers 16 square kilometres and offers some of the best diving in the world.
The beautiful Mataking Islands are located just 40 kilometers east of Semporna – translating into an easy 40-minute boat ride from Borneo, Malaysia. The two islands, Mataking Besar and Mataking Kesil, lie on the edge of the continental shelf surrounded by healthy fringing reefs – which means divers have plenty to see from large pelagic species to unique macro fauna. Divers may find it hard to tear themselves away to visit the world famous Sipadan Island just 60 kilometers off.
Maratua Island is a large island with a lagoon. The island circles part of the lagoon, the rest is fringing reef filled with a wealth of marine life. The lagoon fills and drains through a single channel creating very strong tidal flows. The reef is covered with soft and stony coral, but the channel is the main attraction.
Part of the Marine Heritage Park, Sangalaki Island is one of the richest diving grounds in Indonesia, which is saying quite a lot! The uninhabited island is surrounded by a wide lagoon and shallow reefs extending well out to sea. The currents vary from gentle to moderately strong, there are no walls, and little drift, just an abundance of rare and exotic marine life, including giant turtles, and the famous schools of Manta rays, or devil-fish.
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