Congenial and neat homestay
Big John is certainly an affable chap and seems passionate about diving and giving back to his local community, and that seems to rub off on other staff too at Big John Scuba.
Built on a platform over the sea, Big John offers a range of rooms, all with air-con and fresh hot water—for one hour per day.
The standard rooms lead off a corridor and offer neat but cramped, clean interiors with comfy twin beds sporting spotless white linen and a tiny clean ensuite. On the upper deck, up some very scary steep stairs, the VIP rooms are marginally larger, but throw in a fabulous wide private deck with sun lounges, although we’d prefer to use them as moon lounges as there’s no shade whatsoever and it’s very exposed.
Other rooms include a family room sans scary stairs, on the main deck level. Buffet meals were some of the best we saw on Mabul, with lots of variety and piles of freshly cut fruit for between dive too. Big John can offer Sipadan permits if you do a minimum of three dives with them (they obtain them from other operators). Big John Scuba was buzzing when we popped in—a hive of busy divers and instructors, but all seemed quite organised. As it’s a popular spot, it would be wise to book well in advance. Prices include meals.
Address: Mabul Island
T: (0128) 385 285; (0142) 843 723; (089) 785 399;
Coordinates (for GPS): 118º37'42.95" E, 4º14'42.1" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 250 to 500 ringgit
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Standard single room||200 ringgit||200 ringgit|
|Superior single room||230 ringgit||230 ringgit|
|Standard double room||400 ringgit||400 ringgit|
|Superior double room|
|460 ringgit||460 ringgit|
Sally spent twelve years leading tourists around Indonesia and Malaysia where she collected a lot of stuff. She once carried a 40kg rug overland across Java. Her house has been described as a cross between a museum and a library. Fuelled by coffee, she can often be found riding her bike or petting stray cats. Sally believes travel is the key to world peace.
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