Last Updated on : Sunday, 13 November, 2016 09:13:59 PM


There are six diver's lodge on Mabul Island

Mabul Paradise Lodge
馬布島天堂度假村

BillabongScuba

BIG JOHN Scuba

Uncle Chang's  Lodge
 
Spheredivers Scuba

 


Mabul Backpackers (SipadanBorneo.com)
 

ScubaJeff Homestay, Arung Hayat Homestay, Billabong ScubaArung Hayat Homestay and Billabong ScubaBillabong Scuba

Billabong Scuba
 Managed by B.S.D.S Sea&Sport


“Greatest Scenery in Mabul”
5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 1 week ago


My room is very nice and clean. The view is facing the island. I did my 9 dives there. From Mabul, Kapalai and Sipadan. The people there is very friendly. I love the fact that when I woke up every morning, the view from my window is a beautiful island and the weather is so calming.

Stayed February 2016, travelled with friends

 

“150 Bar Dive Shop”
2 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 weeks ago
We are stay 3 night New Chalet Room, Average accommodation.
We do 4 dive days at Sipadan and Mabul Islands , There was 1/3 Tanks only 150 Bars every day! It was so unbelievable!
i will never recommend my friend go to this dive shop! If you planning to go? Good Lucky to you!

Stayed October 2016, travelled with friends

 

“Average accommodation ”
3 of 5 bubblesReviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile
We stayed here 2 nights while diving with scuba junkie in basic room (approx 150/night). Basic room is, well, very basic. Not enough air flow and fan won't much help, very bad beds - my back hurts still after few days and sheets looked like very old... Didn't trust if they were clean or not. Food corresponded with the budget style of the accommodation... You'll survive it, but you won't anyhow much enjoy it. Cannot comment on the diving, but overall - if you can - book with scuba junkie instead. Price won't be much different, but the experience from different universe.

Stayed October 2016, travelled as a couple

 

“Dive gear needs maintenance”
2 of 5 bubblesReviewed 4 weeks ago
There's no doubt that diving Sipidan is an absolute highlight, but the gear is terrible.
I spent most of my dives using the back-up regulator.
DM's were great, but with the bad gear you can never truly be comfortable underwater.
Accommodation was very basic, with shower working intermittently.

Stayed June 2016, travelled solo

 

“Great time in the right place”
5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 24 September 2016 via mobile
I went for a 3D:3N package some days ago, and i have to admit i booked blind. I was terrified about some reviews i saw before going there, but the experience was finally much better than expected.
The accommodation was simple but comfy. Not too much time to spend there though, but we had power, hot water and a/c in the room, plus shared fridges and a cantine with coffee 24h. The cooks can also help with anything u bring from the town.
The staff is professional and easy going, it has been a real pleasure to dive with them and to share some drinks at the cantine overnight. They are doing a great job training new divers and specially educating the visitors to keep the place safe.
Last of all, the diving spots, sipadan and the islands around are a paradise, but they are feeling the effect of tourism and over exploiting.
I hope this helps, I believe that this place and this staff are the right choice for enjoying a diving trip to sipadan.
Regards!!


Stayed September 2016, travelled as a couple

 

“Best affordable accommodation on Mabul”
4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 23 September 2016
We stayed in a sea view chalet in september (#3) on a 3D/2N package.
The chalet are definitely the best (by a mile). Superb view on the ocean. The interior in pretty simple but more than enough for the stay and they have A/C.
The Divemasters are professional and insist about the necessity to dive without touching anything and are pretty respectful of wildlife underwater.
3 things to work on: the channel is dirty, it could be cleaned up easily by management , the food is not that good - not a large choice, no fruits etc, only deep fried food - and the equipment is rather old.

A part from that it's very good value and honestly when you arrive by boat you can see all the other resorts and you are really really happy to stay at Billabong. Except the high end resort this one is the one!

With a little help it cold be 5* easily.

Stayed September 2016, travelled as a couple

 

“Excellent value for money ”
4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 5 August 2016 via mobile
Ok , the diving equipment is not perfect, they are not the most disciplined crew but cmon, the ambiance here is super cool, the location is great, the kitchen is awesome. After a few days here, the staff will make you will feel like home. I loved Billabong.

Stayed July 2016, travelled solo

 

“Only with own equipment!!!! Great diving, unprofessionnal/unsafe diveshop.”
2 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 August 2016 via mobile
Only dive here with your own equipment. Shop equipment is not safe. We had a regulator failure at 30 m, had to do emergency ascent. DM wanted to keep diving and was signalizing to come back down! They dry the equiment in the burning sun on the floor.... DM was chassing a lepard shark away from the group so he could make a video of it... DM was going way to fast not taking care of customers. Great dive sites but local staff needs to realize they guide tourists and stop the cowboy show... We are DMs ourself, only dive here if you are very advanced and bring your computer and own regulator.
Accomodation basic, but not life threatening ^^

Stayed June 2016, travelled as a couple

 

“Paradise with great snorkelling and diving!”
5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 15 July 2016 via mobile
Myself and my partner stayed here for three days and did diving and snorkeling. We had a fantastic time. The staff were amazing, so friendly and helpful. The diving and snorkeling was incredible, turtles, mini sharks and so many schools of fish. Our day in Sipidan was unforgettable. The accommodation is basic on the inside but because it's paradise on the outside, you won't care! And the never ending food was delicious. We would highly recommend Billabong Scuba especially for those on a budget.

Stayed July 2016, travelled as a couple

 

To fully review I will split into the accommodation, food and transfers and then the diving.

Organised the trip late and via email, responses were clear and accurate. Arrived at the shop, paid in full (not required for booking) and jumped on the boat. Had a double room with fan and en suite. Everything was ok but old, rusting or broken. The toilet cystem was hanging off the wall, the toilet leaked when flushing, the water is only sea water (no point showering after a dive), the floor coming up and the bedding all stained with bleach marks. (We had no food in our room but others forgot odd crackers and chewing gum and found rats in their bags). The restaurant is buffet style and has typical rice and noodle with accompaniment. The food was ok but often cold. Says dinner is at 19.30 but it was always out early and not stored in heating trays or anything. There is no where to relax so after diving you can sit in your room or on a hard chair. Drinking water available all day but nonwhere to buy other cold drinks. You really can see lots of turtles and rays from the dinning room. We had one of the older style rooms, although our friends claimed theres was no better.

The diving.
Sipidan was amazing, incredible and will not let you down. Diving Mabul had some really good dives and some boring dives, we don't enjoy muck diving. The organisation of dives and boats was lacking, the instructors seemed to wait to see who turned up before making plans. We always had to ask when are we diving next and where are we going. Timings were never kept too. We had a number of problems in the dives; we informed the guide we were low on air but they continued the dive when the previous instruction was lowest bar we start the 3@5 safety stop - on the next dive brief they made sarcastic comments about use of air. On another dive we got separated from the group because the instructor worked against the instruction they gave on the boat. I was under the impression that everyone had to be advanced to dive Sipidan so stupidly presumed everyone would be; we had three dives with 16 Chinese newly qualified divers which was extremely stressful and at points dangerous. We had 18 divers with only 2 instructors and we were diving a wreck; it was chaotic! Everyone finning each other, kicking up silt and people bobbing up to the surface claiming a broken BCD, two divers played with their hoses so much that the instructor disconnected their hoses and the whole group got completely split. That evening we suggested that in future they clearly split the group to make smaller groups or take an extra instructor. Thankfully they listened and clearly split the group allowing a lot more pleasurable dive. The equipment, although all Mares was worn and old through consistent use. We were allocated our gear for the duration so it's getting used up to three times everyday. We had to try 3 different reg sets before we found two working. No one understood why I complained that my gauge wasn't working! Although the instructors were good at pointing out life and fauna most of them lacked any interest in their job and that was clearly felt.

In summary; the accommodation is fine for a few nights at a good price when your diving all day.
I would definitely not recommend learning to dive here. I wouldn't recommend you dive here unless you are confident in checking your equipment, have a reliable buddy and are confident in your own capabilities.

Stayed June 2016, travelled as a couple

 

“Incredible diving experience in Sipadan ”
4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 11 April 2016 via mobile
Lots of improvement over the past 3 years after my last visit in 2013. Even i dont stay at Billabong Scuba during my first visit the new section of rooms and cafeteria stretch to the sea with new looking quite impressived. The diveshop improved and Divemasters was so kind and very helpful underwater. This was my first experienced diving at Sipadan and it was amazing. I never had so much joys since i dive not long time ago. The billabong charge me over rm500 for 3 dives in Sipadan and it totally worth of money. The food was good and the room was decent only the freshwater was inadequate but for the price that im paid im really satisfied.

 

“The Best Place for Low Budget!👍”
5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 26 March 2016 via mobile
Ive been at here on 15th-17th March for MYR300++ (include transport from Semporna + room + meals) .
Snorkeling just for MYR53 3x (Mabul-Kapalai-Mabul)
The place was very nice, beautiful scenery, good food, nice people etc. AWESOME lah!
*perfect place/location to see sunset
**You can found many turtle at this chalet around 8 pm ^ . AMAZING THO!

 

“The Best Place for Low Budget!👍”
5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 26 March 2016 via mobile
Ive been at here on 15th-17th March for MYR300++ (include transport from Semporna + room + meals) . Snorkeling just for MYR53 3x (Mabul-Kapalai-Mabul) The place was very nice, beautiful scenery, good food, nice people etc. AWESOME lah! 😉 *perfect place/location to see sunset🌅 **You can found many turtle at this chalet around 8 pm ^ . AMAZING THO!😍

 

“Open Water Diving Course”
4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 10 March 2016 via mobile
Got my diving licenses here from Dive Master Ramzee. Friendly staff, good food, good location. Worth for money. I've paid RM1212 per person for 3Days 2Night included boat transfer return, breakfast lunch dinner, unlimited drinks coffee, room, open water course diving. I've stayed Long House Roombecause Chalet Sea View was fully booked.

 

“They have Sipadan permits”
4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 18 February 2016
At very short notice i booked 7 days with Billabong via email and secured a private room with air con, 6 dives on Mabul Island and 6 dives (2days) at Sipadan which is exactly what i asked for.

The price was competitive, the resort itself was mostly new and still developing.

THE GOOD STUFF:-
1- Good quality guides who know where the interesting stuff is.
2- Competitive price.
3- Reasonable/nice food included.
4- Watching the sun go down each evening from the jetty restaurant.
5- The spectacular amount of life drifting past the restaurant in the night, everything from turtles (loads of them) Sea snakes, devil rays.
6- The local sea gypsy kids catching fish from the jetty during the day/local life.
7- Better accommodation than i was expecting for a price.
8- Staff at the Semporna office were very helpful.


NOT SO GOOD STUFF
1- Equipment is dated and needs updating (buddy had a blown inflation hose), my regs leaked water and the kit was just about serviceable.
2- The place has NO chill out area with soft furnishings to relax post dive, the restaurant is nice but formal and dull. It needs music a bar selling soft drinks and it lacks any kind of atmosphere.
3- No WIFI...... Thats not really an issue as its a tiny island but other places offer it.
4- Lacks any identity, no photographs of fish on the walls, no project aware information about conservation. Its purely a business to make money from divers.


Diving was good both in Mabul & Sipadan which was my primary reason to visit but the Billabong resort itself needs to really up its game for a better customer experience post dive. Spent most of my time after diving at an alternative dive resort that sold beers, cold soft drinks, ice-cream and had somewhere comfortable to relax with WIFI.

Stayed February 2016, travelled solo

 

 

“Laid back getaway”
4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 12 February 2016 via mobile
For a budget getaway, Billabong have done well.
There are a ton of mixed reviews for this place. We stayed in a longhouse style, with aircon. The electric runs from 6pm - 6am, which was perfect for us as there are plenty of dives to do during the day, an island to explore and a great dining area at the end of the pontoon to watch a beautiful sunset. The twin beds we had were a little hard and the water in the shower / sink was salty, but you are on an island quite a way from mainland!
There is a simple breakfast, lunch and dinner served with unlimited drinking water (you will need it with the heat).
You get 3 dives a day - we were only snorkelling - so 2 at Mabul and 1 at capalai. Equipment was all provided and the staff taking you out are great at spotting marine wildlife.
Don't go to this resort expecting 5* accommodation but do enjoy your surroundings and the diving...especially the turtles! And for the price I wasn't complaining.

Stayed February 2016, travelled as a couple


INDEX - Islands of Sabah  November 13, 2016 09:13:59 PM

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