Drinkin Yani

Sipadan Travel Blog

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I had heard that Borneo had good diving but if you believe what the guidebooks tell you, every single coastal Asian town is one of the best places to dive in the world.  Sipadan is unlike in that it is unanimous from everyone who has gone there that it is truly one of the world's most amazing places under the sea.  Possibly not since Machu Picchu has a place been so hyped and still managed to exceed my expectations.  If you have any interest in sea life at all this is an absolute must stop.

Sipadan is a world heritage site so no one is allowed to actually stay on the island.  Most of the dive shops have accommodation set up on the tiny island of Mabul which is only about 45 minutes away.

  I found Mabul to be worth the visit in it's own right.  The better part of the island is lined with houses on stilts.  The streets are filled with children running and laughing and playing inventive games with bottle caps and flip flops.  Not since the favellas in Rio De Janeiro have I seen people so enthusiastic to have their photos taken.

The diving on Sipadan is truly world class.  We did six dives over four days.  We saw over 70 giant turtles, dozens of reef sharks, schools of barracuda so thick you could not see through it, schools of giant travely, and hundreds of other interesting species I could not name.  If I did it again I would consider just going snorkeling because the snorkelers saw just as much as we did in the shallows at a fraction of the price.

We spent four days on Mabul with a day off between each day of diving.  This gave us an opportunity to have some boozing nights.  Yani, the Israeli card game that Matt taught us at uncle Tan's was the game of choice.  Being the number one and two losers, Ian and I started our own drinking version.  The rules got progressively more perverse as the losers from the main game came to join ours.  I think we made history in Mabul. drinking Yani is the greatest game ever invented.

Travbuddies: Ian (UK), Charlie & Ruth (NZ), Toby & Leky (UK)

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photo by: Deats