The Hidden facts behind Sipadan Island and Kapalai Island

Sipadan Island

Sipadan Island got its name from the word “Siparan”, which refers to a dead body of Paran (Si Paran – “Si” in this context is an old prefix in front of people’s name) whom had been found on the beach of the island. Sipadan is an island situated at east coast of Sabah and can be reached by boat from Semporna. It is located at the heart of Indo-Pacific basin, the centre of one of the richest marine habitats in the world, with more than 3,000 species of fish and hundreds of coral species have been classified, thus making it one of the top destinations for diving in the world.

To protect the environment, the resorts around the island had been closed. Divers can stay at nearby island eg. at Mabul Island, Kapalai Island or in Semporna. As it is a protected site, only 120 divers are allowed daily, but that does not stop them from exploring the amazing view of the underwater world at Sipadan.

Aerial view of Sipadan Island

Aerial view of Sipadan Island

Image credit to DivingInSipadan.com

Another famous attraction in Sipadan is the unusually large number of green and hawksbill turtles coming to mate and nest at the island. Divers can see the turtles swimming without fail. Residential schooling barracuda and big-eye trevally, which often gather in their thousands, create spectacular tornado-like formations, one of the highlights on every diver’s wish list.

School of barracuda in tornado-like formation

School of barracuda in tornado-like formation

Image credit to DivingInSipadan.com

There is also the possibility of seeing pelagic species such as eagle rays, mantas, hammerhead sharks and whale sharks.

Turtle at Sipadan Island

Turtle at Sipadan Island

Image credit to TripAdvisor.com

 

A turtle tomb lies underneath the column of the island, giving a mysterious aura to the underwater limestone cave system. Green turtle’s skeletons can be found scattering in the cave. Without proper training, equipment and guide, divers would have been lost inside the cave, or worst, losing their lives. Legends said that this turtle cemetery is the last refuge of turtles which come to die when it is their time.

Kapalai Island

Kapalai is a truly unique island. Why is it unique? Well, it is because it is not quite an island as there is only a little almost non-existent land can be seen above the water level. Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort situated at the top part of Ligatan Reefs, and it takes 15 minutes boat ride to Pulau Sipadan. After the erosion occurred at Kapalai Island, the only remain left is a small crescent-shaped sand visible at low tide.

Sunset view at Sipadan-Kapalai Resort

Sunset view at Sipadan-Kapalai Resort

Image credit to TripAdvisor.com

 

The resort is styled like a traditional water village. It offers comfort and relaxation to the visitors. From their chalets, which were made from wood and thatch, they can look down from their verandas and view the turtle or lion fish swimming in the clear blue water. Plus, visitors can swim in the water by climbing down the wooden stairs from the bridge as there are no beaches there.

Water Bungalow at Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort

Water Bungalow at Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort

Image credit to TripAdvisor.com

Like Mabul, this island offers some of the world’s best muck diving. The divers get to see some rare creatures such as blue-ringed octopus, flamboyant cuttlefish, sea moths and mandarin fish. Other underwater creatures like ribbon eels, harlequin ghost pipe fish, giant frogfish and crab-eye gobies are regularly seen at the reefs or at the sea bed.

Flamboyant Cuttlefish, one of the underwater creatures at Kapalai Island

Flamboyant Cuttlefish, one of the underwater creatures at Kapalai Island

Image credit to Wikipedia.org

 

You do not have to go to the deep sea to experience the underwater adventure. There are plenty to do at the resort jetty. Diving at the jetty offers you a spectacular view of the creatures including pink-eye gobies, ammonium shrimps, mantis shrimps, crocodile fish, lion fish and leaf scorpion fish. These creatures were spotted regularly by the divers that you can even see them without having to look for them.

The above information are little known facts about Sipadan island and Kapalai island. Come check out these island during your holidays. You wouldn’t want to miss these beautiful God’s creation right here in Malaysia.

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