Sipidan Island – Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia

Epic Diving That Rates Among the Best

I have seen other places like Sipidan – forty-five years ago – but now, no more. Now we have found again an untouched piece of art,” said Jacques Cousteau, thereby placing this speck of an island on every diver’s dream list.

The tiny limestone island off the coast of Borneo offers little of interest, but walk 15 feet out from the shore’s soft white sandy beach, stick your head in the water, and be prepared for the treat of a lifetime. Incredibly clear and calm waters enable even beginning snorkelers to experience the won­ders of this underwater kingdom. Scuba divers will find unparalleled wall diving, with a drop-off that falls 2,800 feet into a deep blue abyss, plus other, equally awesome dive experiences, all less than a five-minute boat ride away.

Sipidan’s turtle population, one of the world’s greatest concentrations, is indicative of the outstanding marine life that held Cousteau in thrall. Until 1989, the only accommo­dations were in tents, but the rustic Sipidan Island Dive Lodge now offers a few dozen thatched-roof beachfront bungalows. This spot won’t stay unhurried and unspoiled for long.

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