Sipadan Water Village

Off the northeastern coast of Malaysian Borneo, one of the legends of the dive world awaits the truly discerning diver. The island of Mabul casts an enchanted shadow over the Celebes Sea, where astonishing assortments of macro creatures flourish. A weird and wonderful population exists in the shallow waters surrounding this tiny island. Mabul is famous for its abundance and diversity of exotic small marine life. But there's more. Just a short boat ride from Mabul is the island of Sipadan where a jamboree of jacks and barracudas swirl over meandering sea turtles and hammerheads. Patrolling gray reef sharks pass by marauding bumphead parrotfish and multitudes of multicolored reef fish. It's hard to know where to begin when you get in the water.

Accommodations: There are 4 types of cottages available: Junior, Standard, Deluxe and Grand Deluxe, ranging from 700 square feet to over 1300 square feet Amenities: ceiling fan, picture windows, large tiled bathroom, private balcony, mini-fridge, hairdryer, coffee/tea maker, packages with airfare and tour options Contact Information: Toll-free 866-UW-PHOTO. Web site: uwphotoweek.com; e-mail: [email protected]

Sipadan Water Village (SWV) is built over the water in traditional architecture that is in harmony with the surrounding ecosystem. Standing on strategically placed stilts, this entire resort is over the water. In fact, the only connection SWV has to Mabul is a small footbridge. So its positioning allows for easy access to the most spectacular shore diving. Just a giant stride from the dock and you are in muck diver's paradise.

This resort plays host each year to Underwater Photo Week. This is a fantastic opportunity for underwa

ter photographers, from beginners to advanced, to hone their skills working with world-famous professionals such as Clay Wiseman, Marty Snyderman and Mauricio Handler. There is no better way to improve than in a subject-rich environment like Sipadan Water Village.

Getting to SWV requires planes, boats and automobiles; you will think you are getting away to the very edge of the known universe. Each room is a spacious, individual bungalow that makes you feel like you are on your own private island. This is why you want a scuba-travel expert to handle the details for you.

Travel Masters, based in Austin, Texas, specializes in dive and adventure travel. It is as easy as 1) a dream, 2) a c-card and 3) Travel Masters! You are guaranteed to keep your camera busy when you arrive, and there's nothing wrong with letting a skilled agent take care of the details for your trip of a lifetime.

1. Sipadan Water Village 2. A Macro-photographer's paradise 3. Waterfront view

1. Sipadan Water Village 2. A Macro-photographer's paradise 3. Waterfront view

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