Cheap (relatively) and cheerful Seahorse Sipadan offers a range of basic fan-cooled rooms, from lino-floored bunk-bed dorms to family rooms, set in a stilt longhouse above the water.
Rooms are spartan, but clean and beds are comfortable. Don’t expect much from the bathrooms—cold brackish water showers and peeling paint feature in most. One we saw used a plastic water bottle as shower rose, innovative we guess, however they were very clean, just a tad rundown. You’ll hear your neighbours through the paper-thin walls and if not you’ll feel their vibrations on rickety boards (let’s hope they’re good vibes).
Outside decks and deck chairs are a pleasant spot to relax, and you can jump straight off the end onto the reef in high tide. The rooms may be on the modest end of the spectrum, but the friendly staff make this guesthouse a winner—you won’t be made to feel you are just part of the production line, as with many of the busier operators. Most evenings the guitars come out and a singalong is often on the cards, but not too late, there’s diving to be done tomorrow.
Included meals are basic and repetitive, with a lot of cabbage and processed sausage. Don’t expect gourmet fare. No alcohol or soft drinks besides water and very sweet cordial at the buffets are available; a small shop nearby sells cold drinks, but you’ll have to go hunting for beer or bring your own.
Seahorse Sipadan Scuba had equal numbers of divers and snorkellers when we visited. We only snorkelled, but the guides were very attentive to all, and were excellent at pointing out critters. If you keep your expectations low, Seahorse Sipadan Scuba is a solid budget choice. For a little more comfort with air-con and hot water, try Billabong Scuba
nearby. Prices below are per person and include meals.
Type of room, low and high season prices
Room: Dorm fan cooled, low season: 80 ringgit, high season 80 ringgit. Notes:
Room: Dbl fan private bathroom, low season: 198 ringgit, high season 198 ringgit. Notes: 240 ringgit with a balcony