By Vishnu Krishnan
Sipadan is the crown jewel of Malaysian islands and is one of the best diving spots in the world. The tiny island off the coast of the Bornean state of Sabah is paradise, filled with spectacular marine formations, flora and fauna. Here’s a list of some the best dive sports on the island.
- The clear blue and unpolluted waters of Sipadan makes for great visibility when diving. One of the best dive spots is Barracuda Point, which is a 10 meter plunge into massive shoals of swirling barracuda and chevron.
- If you’re into underwater photography, Coral Garden is home to countless green turtles, humphead wrasse, triggerfish and many other wonderful large marine animals. To get up close and personal with these reef dwellers, be ready to be approached by the ever curious butterflyfish and humpback unicornfish.
Hanging Gardens is a majestic dive site littered with yellow, pink and lavender coloured coral that’s famous for moray eel sightings and imbricate turtles. Don’t be startled if you see a shark bashing the life out of something with its long tail fin – That’s one of the rare thresher sharks you can see
- Whitetip Avenue is aptly named for its abundance of whitetip reef sharks. These guys are really gentle, so swimming close to them is safe and an amazing experience. Sometimes, if the tides are right, you might suddenly find yourself in a plethora of bigeye silver travellies and multihued, giant humphead parrotfish.
- The Turtle Cavern is a beautiful labyrinthine cave system eighteen meters deep. Here, there are a number of green and hawksbill turtles that are simply glorious to see. Within the caves, you will find hundreds of turtle skeletons, hence earning it the famous moniker; Turtle Mausoleum.
- South Point is ideal for spotting the majestic hammerhead shark. You would have to dive a little deeper than usual as these beauties tend to dwell around 40 metres below sea level, so this is usually reserved for more experienced divers. If you are lucky, the hammerheads will form a huge encircling school and this is one of the most amazing sights of Sipadan.
- Last but not least is Staghorn Crest; home to the gentle giants; manta rays. These behemoths leave many divers awestruck. Imagine a giant underwater plane gliding past you gracefully.
For more information, go to official website: http://www.sipadan.com/