Going to Sipadan

My brother is coming to visit me in Thailand and apart from exploring the cities of Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur we are planning a dive trip to Sipadan on the malaysian island of Borneo. We are both avid divers as it is my current profession and my brother has done a number of dives and hold the advanced open water diver certification. Our goal is to do a dive trip together every year, and last year we went to Similan Islands. It was a fantastic tour with Queen Scuba, a liveaboard boat departing from Phuket, with an amazing marine life. We saw manta rays, sharks, turtles, eels, seahorses, harlequin shrimps and much more.

This year our dive trip will go, as mentioned above, to Sipadan. A world renowned dive spot that many divers rave about. It is a bit of a hassle to get there from Bangkok as the flights do not correspond, but with the company of each other and a couple of IPods we should be fine. Our plan for is as followed:

On December 4 my brother will board a flight from our hometown of Stavanger in Norway. It will bring him to Amsterdam in Holland where he will have to spend a total of seven hours on the airport before a new flight will bring him to Bangkok in Thailand. He should be on the ground in Bangkok around 7:30 in the morning of December 5. From the airport he will catch a taxi and get to the Cozy At Ten Hotel, located in Sukhumvit Road.

December 5 until December 6 will be spent in Bangkok where I will show my brother a couple of famous temples, take a tour through the aquarium on Siam just to get the right feeling before the dive trip, shopping, eat at some fancy restaurants and make some suits for my brother.

We will use Air Asia, which is a no-frill airline, to get us from Bangkok in Thailand to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia early in the morning on December 7. As we would like to get to a airport as close as possible to Sipadan we have no other choice then using Air Asia as they are the only airline company who fly there it seems.

DECEMBER 7 * Air Asia -> From Bangkok in Thailand to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia – AK 881 0925 (BKK) 1230 (KUL) Adult, 3,909.00 THB Economy per person.

In Kuala Lumpur we have to wait on the budget airport for some hours before we depart again. This time we will do the stretch from Kuala Lumpur to the airport closest to Sipadan, which is Tawau.

DECEMBER 7 * Air Asia -> Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to Tawau on Malaysian Borneo – AK 5154 1525 (KUL) 1810 (TWU) Adult, 374.99 MYR Economy per person.

When we arrive in Tawau a car from the resort we have chosen will be waiting and bring us to the small town of Samporna. It is a ride that will take approximately 85 minutes. When we arrive there we will have to stay at Seafest Hotel, a hotel that charge 100 MYR for the night including breakfast. Had we arrived earlier we would be able to go straight to the resort, but as we arrive in the evening we have to stay in Samporna first.

Early morning of December 8 we will be in a speedboat on our way to Kapalai Island Resort. It is a resorts just a few minutes by boat from the islands of Sipadan and Mabul. A resort sitting on its sturdy stilts on the shallow sandbanks of the Ligitan Reefs. Planned and built in full style as an airy, comfortable, sunny water village with no land in sight, it boasts a mile-long sandbank of powdery white sand where one can get a nice suntan. It seems to be a really nice dive resort and we are both looking forward to the stay there.

DECEMBER 8 to 14 * We have chosen a package from Save Money Diving consisting of 7 days and 6 nights. The total price per person for this period, in twin shared accommodation and including the Sipadan permit fee is 1062 US Dollars. This price also include transfer from the airport to the resorts, all meals, 3 boat dives per day and unlimited reef diving.

On December 14 we will hopefully have seen our share of turtles, sharks and more and are ready to leave Sipadan. We leave the resort early in the morning so we are able to catch a flight to Kuala Lumpur in order to get there before it is to late. This as we would like to have as much time as possible in the capital of Malaysia.

DECEMBER 14 * Air Asia -> Tawau to Kuala Lumpur – AK 5153 1030 (TWU) 1315 (KUL) Adult, 347.99 MYR Economy per person.

We have made a reservation with Asiahotell.no for Swiss Garden Hotel, a hotel that seems to be pretty nice. As we will only stay in Kuala Lumpur for a bit more than 24 hours we have already made a plan of attack when we get there. We would like to see Petronas Twin Towers as they are the highest twin towers in the world, Berjaya Times Square as it is the largest shopping center in Malaysia, Chinatown as it sounds like a great place to be in the evening and Menara Telecommunications Tower as it is the tallest telecommunication tower in Asia and the fourth tallest in the world. A dinner is also planned in the telecommunication tower, as it is a evolving restaurant with a great bird view on Kuala Lumpur.

DECEMBER 14 to 15 * Swiss Garden Hotel will cost us 72 US$ per person for a superior room each including breakfast buffet.

After a day in Kuala Lumpur we will return to Bangkok on December 15. There we will have three days where no plans are made at all. Will probably do the touristic things, like finding a tour company and check out what they have to offer in half and full day tours.

DECEMBER 15 * Air Asia -> Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok – FD 3574 2030 (KUL) 2135 (BKK) Adult, 363.99 MYR Economy per person.

In the evening of December 18 there will be some sort of a party with members of Asiaforum.no, a large web community for people in Scandinavia who has a interest in Asia. And just some hours after that we arrive to the part my brother has to leave in order to catch his flight back to Stavanger in Norway. We will hopefully have had a fantastic holiday together that we can live on until our next dive trip comes up.

(This blogpost were written for an another blow I had on December 5, 2007 – and have been moved here)

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Sean Kjetil Nordbo

Enthusiastic and energetic. Love life and all it has to offer. A lover of humans, animals, technology, the universe and everything else that is good.

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