Can anyone suggest a good spot to learn to dive in/near Sabah, Malaysia? Also how much is it likely to cost to do the PADI course?
I here amazing things about Sipidan Island, however am not sure if this is suitable for begginner or not?
My sister dived Sipidan but that was a few years ago.
I'll try and get some info from her but hopefully a TP member has done it more recently.
The best place is http://www.scuba-junkie.com/ the instructors are great craic and the diving is absolutly spectacular. They were extending when we were there a few years ago so i think you can stay there. Do not miss diving in sipadan under any circumstances - it is out of this world. It was the best thing i have ever done!
From what I know, you are not allowed to stay in Sipadan island but only on neighbouring islands. Yes, it is world-renowned for diving. Better options for beginners I would say are the east coast islands in Peninsular Malaysia like Kapas/Tenggol/Perhentian Islands.
Agree about Sipadan and scuba-junkie dive center. Scuba-junkie is a budget option in comparison with Kapalai or Sipadan Water Village accommodation.
Good prices, friendly and experienced staff. You can contact via e-mail.
dont listen to travel agents when they tell you that there are only three types of accommodation on Mabil (where you stay to dive on Sipidan) - they just want to send you to the most expensive "resort" style diving villiages. If you want to dop it on a budget you can. We stayed onthe other side of the island with the villiagers in a long house run by the most amazing woman. We were invited to join in a local wedding and had the most beautifuyl beaches to relax on. Scuba junkies picked us up from the pier at the end of our long house everymorning and provide us with a packed lunch for our days diving.
Mabul id separated along the middle by a wire fence and it is very much tourists and resorts one side and normal village life the other - quite upsetting really. The people and children were wonderful and teh diving out of this world. We [aid a fraction of the price the resorts cost and I believe we came out with teh best experience!