Activity Manage Trip Sign Up/Sign In

Mabul Island, Borneo (East Malaysia)

Mabul Island: A Paradise for Divers and Nature Enthusiasts

Mabul Island a hidden treasure waiting to be explored, located in the Celebes Sea just off the southeastern coast of Sabah, Malaysia. Perched by a gently sloping reef, the small, oval-shaped, sun-kissed playground is a gateway to lots of diving and snorkeling adventures. With its pristine coral reefs, crystal-clear waters, and abundant marine life, this tropical haven is a dream destination for divers and nature enthusiasts. Let’s follow us to the journey of the hidden gem of Sabah.

Getting to Mabul Island

Mabul Island is accessible via Tawau, a major city in Sabah. You can fly to Tawau Airport (TWU) from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) or Kota Kinabalu International Airport (BKI) or other major Malaysian airports that offer route to Tawau Airport. Major airlines such as Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, and Malindo Air operate regular flights to Tawau, making it convenient for travelers from around the world to reach this paradise.
Flight journey: 3 hours
Airlines: Airasia & Malaysia Airlines.
Flight journey: 1 hour


Transfer to Mabul

Upon reaching Tawau Airport, we will arrange your private transfer direct to Mabul Island. The journey from Tawau to Semporna takes approximately 1 hour 30 minute by road. Once in Semporna, it will take a 40-minute boat ride to Mabul Island. Left the worries behind as we will transport you smoothly to Mabul Island. Your journey to the island will be an unforgettable experience, as the route offers a scenic journey to your island paradise.

Mabul Island Accommodation

Mabul Island offers a range of accommodation options, from budget-friendly homestays to luxurious overwater bungalows. Here are a some popular choices; Sipadan Water Village, Mabul Water Bungalow and Sipadan Mabul Resort
When choosing accommodation on Mabul Island, consider your priorities—whether it's proximity to dive sites, luxury amenities, cultural immersion, or budget constraints. It's advisable to book in advance, especially during peak diving seasons, to secure your preferred accommodation. Additionally, always check the latest reviews and amenities to ensure the chosen accommodation aligns with your preferences.


Mabul Island: 10 Best Thing To do!

Are you ready to explore the hidden gem? Whether you’re diving enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking relaxation in a tropical paradise, here are the 10 best things to do in Mabul Island:


Scuba Diving: Mabul is renowned for its exceptional diving opportunities that allow diving activity year-round on Mabul, although for optimum conditions, come outside of the rainy season, which is typically from November to April. The waters around the island are known for their rich concentration of small, exotic marine creatures, explore the colorful coral reefs, encounter macro marine life, and venture to nearby world-famous dive sites like Sipadan and Kapalai
Snorkeling: If you're not a certified diver, snorkeling is an excellent way to witness the vibrant marine life and crystal-clear waters surrounding Mabul. There are several popular dive spots, including Lobster Wall and Crocodile Avenue. Dive through coral gardens populated by cuttlefish, starfish, boxer crabs and harlequin shrimp. Look in crevices and ledges for seahorse, pufferfish, and lionfish.
Visit Sipadan: Take a day trip to Sipadan Island, one of the world's top diving destinations. Experience awe-inspiring drop-offs, an abundance of pelagic species, and pristine underwater landscapes. Book early as it requires permit to visit this Eco marine paradise island.
Sipadan Island: Sipadan Rehabilitation Month refers to a conservation effort aimed at preserving and rehabilitating the marine ecosystem around Sipadan Island, which is a globally renowned diving destination. Sipadan Island is welcome all year round EXCEPT November since year 2020 for rehabilitation the marine ecosystem.
Turtle Hatchery: Mabul hosts a sea turtle hatchery where you can learn about sea turtle conservation efforts and even participate in the release of baby turtles into the sea.
Island Hopping: Explore the neighboring islands of Kapalai and Sipadan. Each island offers unique experiences, from overwater bungalows to serene sandbars. Charter a boat for a trip to nearby Sipadan Island, another popular diving destination. After your dive, see what else the island has to offer. Stroll along white-sand beaches and trek through the jungle to see a variety of tropical birds. The island was declared a bird sanctuary in 1933 and is a stopover point for many migratory birds. Look for such species as sea eagles, sunbirds, and kingfishers.
Cultural Interaction: Engage with the local Bajau Laut community, also known as sea gypsies. Learn about their traditional way of life, visit their stilted villages, and gain insight into their unique culture.
Relax on the Beach: Mabul's white sandy beaches, fringed with palm trees, are perfect for relaxation. Bask in the sun, take leisurely walks, or watch the mesmerizing sunsets over the Celebes Sea. In between dives, enjoy some of Mabul’s other attractions and activities. Cut through the water in a sea kayak and explore the island on foot. This is easily done in a couple of hours because it only covers approximately 51 acres (21 hectares). Then relax on sandy beaches lined with coconut palms.
Underwater Photography: If you're a photography enthusiast, Mabul's diverse marine life and pristine waters provide excellent opportunities for underwater photography.
Bird Watching: Mabul Island and its surroundings are home to a variety of bird species. Bring your binoculars and explore the birdwatching opportunities in the lush environment.
Sunset Cruises: Consider taking a sunset cruise around Mabul Island. As the sun dips below the horizon, you can enjoy breathtaking views and capture stunning photographs.


The door opens all year round for you to reach Semporna, no matter what season, Mataking Island is always ready for you. The best time to visit largely depends on your preferences, either Dry Season (March to October) or Raining Season (November to February).

Fresh Dining at Mabul Island

Mabul Island is primarily known for its stunning marine life and natural beauty, but it also offers some delicious local cuisine. While you won't find as many dining options as in larger cities, there are still some delightful dishes to try during your stay on Mabul Island. Here are a few of the best foods to savor:
Fresh Seafood: Given the island's location in the Celebes Sea, fresh seafood is a highlight. Try dishes like grilled fish, seafood curries, or prawns or the delicious lobster cooked in various styles. Many local restaurants and resorts offer seafood dishes that are caught just offshore.
Sabahan Cuisine: You'll find a variety of Sabahan dishes that reflect the local culture. Don't miss trying "Nasi Goreng Kampung" (village-style fried rice) or "Hinava," a traditional fish salad made with fresh raw fish mixed with lime juice, chili, ginger, and shallots.
Lokan: Lokan, also known as blood clam, is a delicacy in the region. These clams are often served steamed or in a spicy sambal sauce, giving them a unique and flavorful taste.
Local Sweets: Sample some local desserts, such as "Kuih Cincin," a layered rice cake, or "Pulut Panggang," a grilled glutinous rice cake wrapped in banana leaves.
Fresh Fruits: You can't visit the tropical paradise of Mabul Island without indulging in fresh fruits. Enjoy tropical fruits like mangoes, pineapples, and rambutans, which are often available at local markets.
Remember that dining options may be limited compared to larger cities, and the availability of certain dishes may vary. However, experiencing the local cuisine is part of the charm of visiting Mabul Island. Don't hesitate to explore the island's culinary offerings and savor the fresh flavors of the sea and the region.

Mabul Island is waiting!

Mabul Island, Sabah, is a destination that truly has it all. With its easy access, abundant marine life, and stunning natural beauty, it's a paradise for divers and nature lovers alike. Now that you're armed with all the essential travel details, you're one step closer to embarking on an unforgettable journey to Mabul Island. Whether you're exploring underwater wonders, relaxing on pristine beaches, or immersing yourself in local culture, Mabul Island promises a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Pack your bags and get ready to discover this hidden gem in the heart of Sabah.
Book your escape travel NOW! or others places please click here

Resort / Hotel / Activity

Day Trip To Mabul Island

Resort Dive Center Snorkeling / Watersport Center Restaurant Transportation Operator Tour & Sightseeing Operator Learning Center Yacht / Cruise 4 Star Comfortable Resort Massage & Spa Center Beach Wedding Planner One Island One Resort

Mabul is good for

Solo Traveler Group Of Friend Couple & Honeymooner Family
Other Top Destinations