Mabul Island is located in the blue waters of the Celebes Sea and is only accessible through a 45-minute boat ride from the mainland. This island can only be explored by foot as there are no cars or roads. It is a nice location for underwater photography and a paradise for adventurous divers.
When you arrive at this island, you are stepping into a lush tropical Malaysian paradise that is largely untouched. Mabul Island is near a stunning reef, so the tour always highlights the local sea life. Also, this gem is the gateway to some of the finest scuba diving and snorkeling in the world. Because of this, sightseeing on this island will involve a lot of time spent surrounded by water. Whether you want to get up close and personal with gobis and cuttlefish or you want to float above the reef to observe the world below, the primary draw for tourism is the warm sea.
Additionally, Sapidan Island is located very close to Mabul Island which is home to some extraordinary marine ecosystems in the world. Because of this island’s small size, many tourists prefer to stay on Mabul Island and when they are ready to dive they take a boat ride to Sapidan.
Bajau Laut is a village in Mabul Island. The residents of this area are called ‘Sea Gypsies’ because of their seafaring lifestyle. They rarely set their foot on land as they prefer living above the sea. Today, Bajau Laut is a famous tourist destination for divers and tourists from different parts of the world.
If you are coming to this island in April, be sure to check out the annual Regatta Lepa Festival. This water festival showcases the traditions and customs of the people of Bajau Laut. The celebrations span over 3 days and many from all over Sabah come to participate in the Regatta Lepa Festival. Some marine sports activities you can look out for are the duck catching competition, small dugout boat race, and the tug of war. The Regatta Lepa is regarded as a national festival and is one you wouldn’t want to miss if you are coming to Sabah in April.
You can also spend some time on dry land by relaxing in one of the many resorts in Mabul Island or stay on one of the converted drilling platforms offshore. You can also play beach volleyball, go mountain biking, or simply relax among the tropical plants that dot the island.