To get to Sipadan from Kuala Lumpur :
1. Via Kota Kinabalu with Malaysia Airlines of Air Asia
- take an evening flight from Kuala Lumpur (2.5 hours)
- stay a night in Kota Kinabalu
- take the 1st flight out of Kota Kinabalu to Tawau (1 hour)
- take a van (arrange with resort that you are staying in Sipadan) to Semporna (1.5 hours)
- take a speedboat to resort in Sipadan (arrange with resort : 30 minutes)
2. Via Tawau from Kuala Lumpur with Malaysia Airlines or Air Asia
- take a direct flight from Kuala Lumpur to Tawau (limited flights, not available daily)
- stay overnight in Tawau and take van to Semporna the next morning as item #1 above
- alternatively, stay in Semporna (only basic accommodation available at low prices)
All land and boat transfers must be pre-arranged with resort in Sipadan before you travel.
Pulau Sipadan is one of the most beautifull island in the world but unfortunately it is not possible sleep there because of terrorism and ecological reasons.
So if you want to dive, or snorkel, there i reccomend you 3 options:
-Sleep in Semporna (the closer town to Sipadan island) and do day-trip to Sipadan (35-50 minutes by dive boat)
-Sleep in Pulau Mabul and go to Sipadan with a day-trip (about 15-20 minutes by dive boat)
-Sleep in Pulau Kapalai and go to Sipadan with a day-trip (about 15-20 minutes by dive boat)
If you have a lot of money i reccomend you to stay in Mabul or Kapai Island. They are a turistic island very beautifull and very confortable but definitively expensive ! If you stay there you could do diving or snorkelling around Kapalai and Mabaul
While semporna is a poor town where there are plenty of cheap hotels or hostels. Around Semporna is impossible take a swim !
Okay....think a lot...and choose the best !
with sipadan being a little island far far away from the mainland.. boat is the only way to get there and to get around.. :)