10 things to do in Mabul Island

Whether you’re planning a laid-back holiday, romantic getaway or diving trip, you’ll find plenty of activities and things to do in Pulau Mabul suitable for almost anybody.

Ocean kayaking

Girl KayakIf you’ve never been sea kayaking before, then now’s the time to break your duck.

Explore Mabul in a Molokini transparent kayak to reach pristine stretches of sandy beaches, waterfront picnic areas and secret hideouts unreachable by foot.

Learn more: Kayaking in Mabul Island

Bajau Laut (Sea Gypsies) village

Any trip to Mabul will not be complete without a visit to the island’s Bajau Laut village, home to the legendary ‘Sea Gypsies’.

The Bajau Laut are a friendly and welcoming people – if you’re lucky, you may even be offered some purple seaweed or fresh coconuts during your visit.


Mabul snorkelingSnorkeling in Mabul is a great way to observe marine life in a natural setting.

Day trips to Kapalai or world-famous Sipadan, both located ±20 minutes by speedboat from Mabul, may also be arranged by your resort or dive operator.

However, Sipadan permits are required before any snorkeling or diving trips can depart for the island due to an environmental protection policy put in place by the government.


Diving MabulDiving is the main activity here, with several resorts offering unlimited house reef/jetty diving.

You do not have to stay on the island in order to go snorkeling or diving here – some visitors prefer staying in Semporna, where hotels and day trips are generally cheaper.

Sunrise and sunset

Sunrise, sunsetMabul is located in Sabah, the first Malaysian state to witness the golden rays of the sun every morning at about 5.45am.

It’s an early wake-up call, but the reward is well worth it.

Join the villagers as they prepare for the day ahead or settle down in your chosen spot at the end of the day to experience sunrise or sunset in Mabul.

Tun Sakaran Marine Park

Aerial View Tun Sakaran Marine ParkIf you ever find yourself in the area, be sure to drop by Tun Sakaran Marine Park, where a world of intoxicating beauty awaits.

The main attraction of this marine conservation area is Pulau Bohey Dulang, one of the most visited and photographed islands in the region.


Milky WayThe Milky Way galaxy lights up Mabul’s sky at night, providing a scenic backdrop visible from most parts of the island.

With low light pollution, being on the island represents an excellent opportunity to observe this phenomenon.

Island hopping

Sebangkat IslandGoing island hopping in Sabah is a good way to discover the coastal beauty of this region.

Apart from Sipadan and Kapalai, those who wish to venture further out may visit other islands including Bum Bum, Pom Pom, Mataking and Tun Sakaran Marine Park.

Day tours may be arranged to many nearby islands (to and from Semporna town or Mabul).

Regatta Lepa

Regatta Lepa Festival SempornaIf you’re making your way over to Pulau Mabul in March or April, do remember to check out the annual Regatta Lepa festival, which takes place in Semporna.

Non-stop celebrations lasting 2-3 days pay homage to the culture and traditions of the Bajau Laut, who come from all over Sabah to take part in this popular water festival.

Miss Scuba International

If you’re coming over in November, you’ll be arriving just in time for the annual Miss Scuba International festival.

Held for the very first time in 2011, the event features participants from all over the globe.

Training for this event usually takes place in Sipadan-Mabul Resort (SMART) (link) or Mabul Water Bungalows (link).