Borneo and diving Sipadan

Travel Forums Asia Borneo and diving Sipadan

Page
  • 1
  • 2
Last Post This thread is marked as being about Malaysian Borneo
1. Posted by Downsey (Budding Member 2 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Hi
Planning to visit Borneo and stay on Mabel Island so we can dive Sipadan island.. Going there in July but the UK Foreign Office state this area should be avoided at all costs due to danger of piracy, kidnapping and hostage taking..
Can anybody advise if this is the case or not.
Many thanks for any advice

2. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 6372 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

>UK Foreign Office state this area should be avoided at all costs due to danger of piracy, kidnapping and hostage taking..

The UK FO doesn't make such things up!!

I assume you know that when the FO issues a 'Do not travel' or 'All but essential travel' notice your travel & travel health insurance is invalidated? Getting travel/travel health insurance cover when the FO has issued such a notice is both difficult and very expensive.

Are you prepared to pay the substantial cost of proper travel health insurance cover or ....worse, imo...happy to take the risk of travelling without insurance and potentially landing yourself and/or your family with the substantial cost of treatment and/or repatriation (alive or dead)?

3. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 2623 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

This isn't like someone saying that you shouldn't go to Cozumel because they heard a tourist had been raped in Mexico City. The Foreign Office has information that isn't available to the public.

Post 4 was removed by a moderator
5. Posted by Downsey (Budding Member 2 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Does anybody know when the last time a kidnapping/hostage taking situation happened around Sipadan island area including Semporna and Mabul Island?
And is the area covered by police or military support

Thanks in advance

6. Posted by sipadan (Budding Member 4 posts) 2w 1 Star this if you like it!

Current situation on the ground since many years are that Sipadan and surrounding islands are very safe. Yes, in 2000 there was a kidnapping on Sipadan island itself... and in 2016 a big security system (esscom) put in place in the area after the last kidnapping of tourists in September 2016. It included nightime curfews, radars on various islands, to detect boats from far away, police, military boat patrols, etc. All boats have to be licensed.
There are so many tourists (1000 daily arrival from China for example) going there every months that each island has it's own military basis or police station next to the resorts.

Travel advisory from USA, UK and Australia on Sabah travel situation are normally based on their assesment at the time of the incident and not based on the current situation on the ground and thus tend to the side of overcaution. These travel advisories take months if not years to be downgraded regardless of actual conditions on the ground.

7. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 6372 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Sipadan:

You are absolutely incorrect about official UK travel advisories. They are *regularly* updated.

More importantly, any UK citizen travelling to places against which the UK government has warned will be unable to get travel health insurance without paying many hundreds or even thousands of pounds.....and may not be able to get cover at all. *All* existing cover is invalidated.

I'm sure you are not so irresponsible as to suggest a person travels without proper health insurance just because a random internet poster suggests official travel advice is wrong.

8. Posted by sipadan (Budding Member 4 posts) 2w 1 Star this if you like it!

Of course you are always advised to get a travel and health insurance and there are many options. The point that main point is that the area is not dangerous and there has not been any security issues since many years and there are many many tourists coming... so many that they have to close Sipadan for 1 month every year so that the marine environment can breath and recover.

[ Edit: Edited on 2 Jun 2024, 21:50 GMT by sipadan ]

9. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 6372 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

The actual point is simply that when the UK government warns its citizens against all (or all but essential) travel to a location *all* ordinary travel health insurance is invalidated.

I note that you are *not* based in the UK and clearly have neither knowledge nor understanding about how official government warnings and insurance cover work.You say there are 'many options' but you are *completely* wrong. Finding insurance cover for UK citizens for such a trip is not only very difficult but it is also *very* expensive. The *only* other option is to travel without insurance cover which, imo, is madness.

[ Edit: Edited on 2 Jun 2024, 22:05 GMT by leics2 ]

10. Posted by sipadan (Budding Member 4 posts) 2w 1 Star this if you like it!

I would suggest you call the big dive centers directly there such as scuba junkies and ask what they suggest in terms of travel and health and diving insurance.
I read on their website that you can get Short Term Insurance in advance or on arrival.
Some international insurances also cover if you pay a premium.
There are also local insurances, ask the dive resorts and they will for sure find you a solution to be fully covered as a reasonable cost.