three nights at the longhouse

Mabul Travel Blog

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On the way back from Sipadan, we got dropped off on Mabul island to stay at the longhouse of a local family. The longhouse is a basic but comfy place and is RM50 per person including all meals. The outdoor area overlooks the water and we were immediately captured by the peace and laid back feel of the place. Finding a spot on the long bench tables on the back veranda, we got a cold beer from John, the owner, and relaxed to watch the sun set and chat with other guests. Here we stayed for 3 nights and enjoyed the yum food prepared by the family, fresh fish every day! Trying to keep the cats away from our fish was a bit of a challenge.

The days here were spent having a leisurely brekkie then a walk over the other side of the island to have a snorkel about.

Just bliss. Back for lunch at the longhouse and a quick nap, then back out for some more swimming and snorkelling. Half of the isalnd is resorts and the other half is a village. The rubbish that is created by the villagers  every day is very apparant when we took a walk along the section of beach in fron of the village. There was rubbish everywhere, a real shame when the water around here is just so crystal clear and beautiful. There was also a lot of human evidence on this part of the beach, lets just say we called it Pooh Beach. Nice. The village away from the beach and near the longhouse is lovely though, and all the locals say hello and smile, the kids also like to have their picture taken.

There were often kids hanging around the steps that lead into the water from the longhouse and they liked to use this as a jumping platform.

They also love to have their pictures taken of this and all shout for your photographic attention!

One night, we went for a night swim with a guy who had an underwater torch. We had had a few beers by this point so the fear factor was softened slightly! It was so cool to swim about in the dark with just the patch in front of us lit up, dark water all around! Was brilliant and scary at the same time. We didn't see much as the area in front of the longhouse has very little coral due to dynamite fishing in the past but we did see a sea horse which was incredible and we also saw a lion fish drifting about. A few other fish but not much else. Was worth it for the sea horse though.

This place is a great spot to chill out for a few days. We met some new friends here and had a great time with them here and also back in Semporna. There are plenty of other accommodation options on the island if in need of a bit more luxury.  

Ugo81 says:
Hi your post is very helpfull for me since I am planning a trip to sipadan and I am looking for a cheap place where to stay in Mabul you suggest to book in advance or to find someplace as I arrive in Semporna?? which are the rates? thanks a lots Ugo
Posted on: Jul 25, 2009
photo by: Mezmerized