Mabul Island - Mabul Water Bungalow (Smart)


REGION: Tawau / Mabul Island
DURATION: From 2 Days 1 Night
AVAILABILITY: Pre-Book Required
PICK UP POINT: Your Hotel in Tawau City / Tawau Airport
PICK UP TIME: Depends on Which Boat Schedule Selected
DROP OFF POINT: Your Hotel in Tawau City / Tawau Airport
DROP OFF TIME: Depends on Which Boat Schedule Selected
* All timings are estimated and for reference purposes only. Actual timing will be provided prior to your departure.


Mabul Water Bungalow is a 4-Star floating dive-resort wholly owned by Sipadan-Mabul Resort (Sabah) Sdn. Bhd. (SMART), is situated at Mabul Island overlooking the world-known Sipadan Island which is 15-minutes away by speedboat.

These wooden-type bungalows (built up size 17X17ft) has sixteen (16) units (12XDouble Bed & 4XTwin Bedded) entirely built over water with stilts offer sheer comfort. Each bungalow exquisitely furnished with contemporary decor, equipped with remote control air-conditioner, ceiling fan, private bathroom-hot/cold shower and toilet, spacious private balcony offer panoramic vistas of blue sea, colour TV with satellite channels, mini bar, in-room safety box and free wireless internet access.

Facilities includes a large and airy restaurant for dining, a souvenirs shop selling variety of t-shirts, accessories and gifts, a business center, a dive center and an office taking care all the guests registration, billings and a health spa outlet. Free WIFI internet access is available in the room, you may enquire for the password at their front desk.

The standard check in-time is 1400 hours and check out time is 1200 hours.  Early check-in and late check-out is subject to room availability. The resort 150-member staff awaits to make your dive holiday safe, easy and fun.


  • vinyl swimming pool measuring 41-ft X 21 ft with a 6-ft deep end @ Sipadan-Mabul Resort.
  • A 4-6 persons Jacuzzi Whirlpool Spas.
  • A large dining hall/bar area is used for meals, socializing, dancing and staff shows.
  • Coconut drink, juices, carbonated soft drinks, beer and wine can be purchased at the resort bar and jetty bar.
  • A small sundry shop sells a range of T-shirts, films, batteries, toiletries, souvenirs etc.
  • An office takes care of the registration and billing; it is equipped with a Telephone/Fax for communications with the mainland.
  • Free Internet access is also available, you may request the password at their front desk.
  • Technical Diving Center (SMART-Tec) offers various services such as Nitrox Air and TDI Certification Courses.
  • An underwater video center (Treasure Images) provides u/w videography courses and services as well as rental of Digital Camera.
  • The Ka'andaman Spa is where one can relax and heal the body and mind.


  • PADI/NAUI Diving Courses (from Open Water to Divemaster Level)
  • Scuba Skills Refresher Course
  • Discover Scuba Diving
  • Technical Diving Courses
  • Nitrox
  • NAUI/PADI Specialty Courses
  • Snorkelling
  • Diving Trip at nearby island
  • Table Tennis
  • Ocean Kayak
  • Beach Volley Ball

You can take your meals in the large open-air Restaurant which serves excellent western and local cuisine. After dark enjoy a drink with your friends at one of the Bar & lounge.

About Mabul Island
Its proximity to Sipadan Island (about 15 minutes away by boat) was the initial draw card of Mabul, although it soon became apparant that it offerend excellent muck diving which some claim is among the world's best. A small flat island with sandy beaches, Mabul sits on the northwest corner of a 200-hectare reef. on its sandy bottoms, on the coral reefs and around the man-made reefs, Mabul offers an astonishing array of small marine life. Flamboyant cuttlefish, blue-ringed octopus, mimic optopus and bobtail squid are just a few of the cephalopods to be found. Harlequin shrimp, boxer crabs, many types of goby, including spike-fin goby, black sail-fin goby and metallic shrimp can be found on Mabul's reef. Frogfisg, moray eels and snake eels seen along with scorpion fish family, Mabul is a truly magical macro site.

Take a short 45 minutes Malaysia Airlines domestic flight from Kota Kinabalu to Tawau then you will be met and transferred to Semporna Jetty (Harbor) by scheduled land transfer vehicle (appro. 1-hour drive) and finally, you will be transferred to Mabul Resort by speedboat (appro. 40 minutes boat ride).

For more information, refer to "Suggested Flight Information" below, and "Land & Boat Transfer" above.

Information below acts as a guideline & subject to change without prior notice.

Arrival Flight Information

BKI/TWU AK6268 0610 0705 1000 hrs
BKI/TWU AK9272 0730 0820 1000 hrs
BKI/TWU MH2121/FY7745 0740 0825 1000 hrs
BKI/TWU OD1700 0810 0900 1000 hrs
KUL/TWU AK5744 0650 0950 1230 hrs
BKI/TWU MH3093(Via SDK) 0800 0950 1230 hrs
BKI/TWU MH3051 0850 1000 1230 hrs
KUL/TWU MH2660 0730 1020 1230 hrs
BKI/TWU AK6260 0950 1045 1230 hrs
KUL/TWU AK9744 0830 1125 1630 hrs
BKI/TWU AK6266 1225 1320 1630 hrs
BKI/TWU MH2137/FY7747 1300 1345 1630 hrs
KUL/TWU AK5746 1100 1355 1630 hrs

MH- Malaysia Airlines     AK- AirAsia    FY- Firefly    OD- Malindo Air


  • Guests arriving Semporna by overland transfer on own arrangements, please proceed to Seafest Hotel's Lobby.
  • Please be there half an hour before the boat departure.
  • It is advisable to inform the resort of your arrival time in advance as their boats are not stationed at the jetty at all times.
  • If you missed the boat, you will then have to wait for the next scheduled boat.
  • For guests who have arranged for an overnight stay at Semporna, please note that transfer to jetty will be provided for guests who staying nearby to the harbour. Please wait at hotel's lobby half an hour before boat departure time.
  • For guests who staying further than the harbour, please make your own arrangement to Seafest Hotel and you will be picked up at the lobby. Please wait at the hotel's lobby half an hour before boat departure.
  • As the resort is unable to meet the timing of all arriving fligts in Tawau, guests who are arriving in by flight but did not state any of the above prior to arrival will have to stay the night at mainland-Tawau or Semporna. Hotels can be arranged upon request.

Departure Flight Information






TWU/BKI MH3092(Via SDK) 1010 1205 0630 hrs
TWU/KUL AK5745 1015 1300 0630 hrs
TWU/KUL AK6261 1110 1200 0630 hrs
TWU/KUL MH2661 1115 1350 0630 hrs
TWU/KUL AK9745 1150 1435 0630 hrs
TWU/BKI MH3052 1245 1345 0630 hrs
TWU/BKI AK6267 1345 1440 0630 hrs
TWU/KUL AK5747 1420 1725 0630 hrs
TWU/KUL MH2665 1440 1725 0630 hrs
TWU/KUL AK5749 1610 1855 1100 hrs
TWU/JHB AK5597 1650 1920 1100 hrs
TWU/BKI AK6263 1720 1815 1400 hrs
TWU/BKI MH2134/FY7746 1810 1900 1400 hrs
TWU/KUL AK5752 1825 2110 1400 hrs
TWU/KUL AK5741 2050 2335 1400 hrs
TWU/BKI MH3056 2110 2220 1400 hrs
TWU/BKI AK6265 2150 2240 1400 hrs

MH- Malaysia Airlines     AK- AirAsia    FY- Firefly    OD- Malindo Air


  • Guests departing on an early flight before 10:00am must depart the resort 1 day earlier for an overnight stay at mainland - tawau or semporna. Hotels can be arranged upon request. 
  • Guests overnight at Semporna after departed from SMART resort, please note that transfer to airport will be provided for you if you are staying nearby to the harbour.


  • All land & boat transfers are on a sharing basis. Private charters can be arranged upon request.
  • Unscheduled boat transfer to and from the resort can be arranged with additional surcharge(s) but subject to weather conditions.
  • On some occasion, the boat departure time could be delayed due to unforseen circumstances.
  • Whenever necessary, the resort management reserved the right to change the boat schedule at any time. Therefore please always double check with the resort management for your boat & flight information.

Boat Dives

  • There are three (3) boat dives a day, two in the morning and one in the afternoon. It is a combination dive at nearby dive sites making a total of 3 dives per day.
  • Each boat goes out with a boatman and Divemaster. All dive sites and dive schedules will be arranged at the discretion of the resort Management.
  • The dive boats will depart to the dive sites every morning at 8.00 to 9.00 am and return to the Resort after the 3rd dive, around 4.00 p.m.
  • Divers will return to the resort for their meals after every dive. If you are diving at Sipadan Island you will be there the whole day, lunch will be served on site.
  • The number of dive is limited to avoid overcrowding; therefore, visits must be arranged well in advance. Divers on their first visit to Sipadan are briefed before they take the plunge.
  • Additional Day Dives

  • In order to cover the entire dive sites it is recommended at least one week stay at the resort.
  • If you would like to do additional day diving besides the normal 3 boat dives then the diving rate is MYR 106  per dive/per diver. This must be arranged in advance with the dive master. You will be required to sign a separate Liability/Release Form (Waiver).

Unlimited Jetty Dives

  • Besides the three (3) boat dives, unlimited jetty dives may be carried out daily on Mabul’s House Reef.
  • The UNLIMITED JETTY DIVING mentioned below are dives from Mabul’s House Reef and includes night diving (without divemaster and boat).
  • Tanks, weights and weight belt are provided; all other equipment must be brought by the diver or rented.
  • These jetty dives can only start after your morning boat dive, unless you choose not to go on the morning boat dive; then you may dive anytime after 7.00am.
  • Your last jetty dive has to be planned in such a way as to exit the water by 9.00 p.m.
  • For jetty dive, you are required to dive with a buddy and sign out with our personnel on duty. NO DIVEMASTERS WILL ACCOMPANY JETTY DIVES, unless prior arrangements are made.

Buddy System and Depth Limitations

  • As per most Training Agency's teachings, all dives must be with a buddy; no solo diving is allowed.
  • Depth on any dive shall be limited to a maximum of 140 feet (40 meters), of course taking into account any residual nitrogen time already acquired.

Surface Intervals

  • For safety measures, a mandatory minimum 60 minutes surface interval is required before the next consecutive dive, regardless of whether you are diving by a computer or by tables.

Night Diving

  • To Night Dive, divers must show proof of night diving in the form of certification cards or logbooks documenting such dives.
  • If no proof is available, divers who wish to night dive will be required to take an introduction OR certification course in night diving at an additional cost. Night Divers must exit the water by 9.00 p.m. (2100 hrs).
  • Night dive is exceptionally good at Mabul walls where one could easily encounter Lobsters, Crocodile Fish and occasionally large Cuttlefish. The boat leaves for Mabul night dive at around 6.00 - 6.30 p.m. and dinner will be served after the dive.
  • Night dives can be scheduled whenever a diver wants to do one the following evening at extra charge.
  • A diver doing their first night diving will be required to do an introduction to night diving prior to the dive.
  • Rates for night diving with boat on Mabul Island is MYR 286  per dive/per boat from 1-2 Divers and if there are 3 divers and above the rate is MYR 106  per diver/per dive. This will be charged locally.

FLYING AFTER DIVING (Last Day At The Resort)

  • The latest recommendation from DAN, Training Agencies etc., indicates that you should wait a minimum of 12 hours and sometimes up to 24 hours after diving before you fly.
  • However, SMART recognizes that people, agencies, and even computers and tables differ on this. If you choose to dive on the day you leave and fly, you will be required to sign a separate Liability/Release Form (Waiver) to do this.
  • You will only be able to do one morning dive at 8.00am at Mabul Island; however, this is at the discretion of the resort Management. The extra charge for the dive on last day is MYR 106 per person/per dive.
  • Most diving is a combination of wall and drift diving. The resort has eight Bauer Compressors, 400 units Aluminum 3000 psi/80 cubic foot tanks with American style 'K' valves and 70 units with DIN valve. 35 sets of diving equipment for rental. It is advisable to bring own adaptor/converter (220/110v) for charging strobes, camera and lights.

SIPADAN is the small island where you can dive and snorkel. It is a 15-30 minutes boat ride south of Mabul. Sipadan is the tip of a mountain with steep underwater walls all around it. These walls drop to 300m on the Mabul side of the island and 600m on south side.

Diving on Sipadan is all drift diving, divers drop in and cruise with the current along the walls. This combination of deep walls and ocean currents provides the ideal environment for pelagic such as sharks and large schools of jacks and barracuda.

Divers and snorkelers are to refrain from touching, teasing and restraining turtles under water because turtles are air breathers and can be drowned if panicked or cornered. Anyone riding or restraining turtles will sit out the next dive.

Note: The time restricted by the Government for Diving at Sipadan Island is from 6am to 6pm.

MABUL in contrast to Sipadan is a continuation of the Borneo landmass rather than the top of an underwater mountain. Because of this, Mabul has more gradually sloping walls around it that bottom out at about 30m. The attractions on Mabul are of the smaller variety such as lobster, crocodile fish, moray and garden eels. This makes it an ideal location for macro-photo opportunities.

If you walk around the east of the island at night, be sure to take a flashlight and watch for sea snakes on the beach or amongst the palm trees.

KAPALAI lies to the east of Mabul about 10 minutes away. It used to be a vegetated island much like Mabul but erosion has turned it into a small sandbar that just breaks the surface of the water. This is an area that we are exploring for new dive sites. Like Mabul it is an excellent location for macro-photography and is specially abundant in the rare finds of diving such as mandarin fish, stonefish, leaf fish, pipefish, lionfish, frogfish, cuttlefish, eels, and more.


SMART reserves final discretion on who may or may not do any type of diving they offer, based on diver's shown abilities, experience, etc. If a diver is or becomes physically incapacitated by injuries, illness, intoxication, 'hangovers', etc., SMART reserves the right to stop this person from diving.

SMART constantly reminds all the valued guests that the future of the reef is in their hands, they are told not to touch, lift, remove or damage any of the flora and fauna of the reef.

All the Dive masters and instructors are well versed on protection of the underwater ocean environment and have at all time been advertising all Resort guest divers on the underwater rules during their briefings and that is the standard practice. These restrictions are also stated in the contract agreement signed by all guests.

The resort do take it very seriously on the diving and underwater rules. If warranted, for consistent bad bahaviors underwater, the resort reserve the right to ban the divers from diving.


    • All guests will be required to sign a Liability/Release Form (Waiver) before or upon arrival and abide by all diving and safety rules of the resort.
    • The resort operates diving all year round but the weather conditions are unpredictable these days for scuba diving even for the best season.
    • All divers will be required to show proof of diver training from an internationally recognized Diver Training Agency upon arrival or they will not be allowed to dive without taking a dive course. 
    • SMART also reserves the right to require a Scuba Skills Refresher Course for any diver who cannot provide proof of diving in the last 12 months and/or exhibits uncertainty in their skills. Logbooks are highly recommended.
    • The first dive at the Dive Resort on the day of arrival will be an orientation dive with a Divemaster.  This is required of all divers.  Please take note that there is NO Underwater Camera or Video allowed during the orientation dive.  Other jetty dives can be done on the first day under our UNLIMITED JETTY DIVES program.  First day diving is depends on your arrival time to the resort.
  • Tipping is like giving a hug. Although it’s never expected, it’s always very much appreciated.
  • For guests extending or upgrading their stay while at the resort will be charged on site.
  • No diving on arrival and departure day even no flying.
  • All reservation MUST provide the following information: Name as per passport, Passport Number, Nationality, Gender & Flight details
  • Boat journey to the Island may not be suitable for individuals who have any of the following conditions but not limited to: heart or lung conditions, recent surgery, back or spinal surgery, back problems/injury/fracture, arthritis, osteoporosis or other similar spinal/pelvic diseases. Pregnant women are also not recommended as the boat ride may be bumpy depending on the sea condition. If you are having similar issues as above, kindly consult your physician before you enrol in this activity.
  • No refund will be made for any part of the Sipadan or Mabul Island diving trip, shorten stay, transfers, side tours, hotels, meals, diving permit etc. not utilized by the guest once the trip has departed from their place of origin.
  • After commencement of service, no refund, in part or full, will be given for services included in the package which have not been utilized or due to bad weather
  • Weather conditions: We cannot predict the weather conditions these days for scuba diving even for the best season