Updated on 30-5-2011 MON 1:57PM

Sibuan Island

30 May 2011 Monday

Sibuan Island


Paradise in Celebes Sea

"What is paradise ?"
"Paradise always has a deserted white sandy beach with clear blue water where only you and me........"

Tropical Asian do not have the concept and word for PARADISE. Even though Christianity and Islamic brought us the hope of HEAVEN for life after death, PARADISE and romancing is still a concept not yet part of our every day life.

Many of the tropical islands have been laying quietly unknown as has been since creation, not until the Western explorers came to discover them meeting the expectation of "Paradise always a deserted white sandy beach where only you and me romancing.....". Many PARADISE were discovered in the tropical seas.

One of them is Sibuan Island in the Celebes Sea.

A beach virtually deserted, white sand, warm water, excellent snorkeling make this island an amazing PARADISE off the coast of Sabah in the Celebes Sea.

This beautiful spot does look deserted (photo below) and that's what makes it a little paradise to Mei Yin (snorkeling in the photo) and the 2 business men sunbathing on golden soft sand with warm clean water.

With wealth from a steady economy and an fast absorbing the Western Culture (the culture that create PARADISE), China young generation do dream of a tropical paradise to lay on. A white sandy beach with warm clear water these two young business men from China are now on.

Sibuan Island


These little islands of natural beauty

Anyway the snorkelling was not particularly impressive from Sibuan.

For real snorkelling, one has to swim about 100 meters out to the sea to see   clumps and abundance of marine life.

Novice diver will like Sibuan.

Seasoned divers do not dive here. They go to Sipidan Island.

The southern side of the island is a bit too choppy.

A few dive boats anchored on the beach for lunch break .



Tun Sakaran Marine Park

Sibuan island is one of the eight islands of Tun Sakaran Marine Park.

Tun Sakaran Marine Park (Semporna Islands Park) is located off the east coast of Sabah, Malaysia, on the island of Borneo.

The 8 islands of this marine park are :

1) Bodgaya,
2) Boheydulang,
3) Sebangkat, and
4) Selakan the sand cays of Maiga,
5) Sibuan, and
6) Mantabuan,
7) the patch reefs of Church
8) Kapikan.

Gazette under Sabah Parks with a total area of 100.8 kmē only in 2004.

There are few thousand Bajau Laut (Sea Gypsies) living on the islands within the park.

Among the 8 islands, the internet community reckoned Sibuan Island as the most beautiful island in the Celebes Sea.

Sabah has some of the underwater wonders of the world. And the marine conservation works by Malaysian Government receive appreciation from international diver's community.

Such protective steps (from government and private) will bear fruits in preserving natural wonders for our great grand generations to come. Certainly, a PARADISE we generation can preserve for them, for future, for the whole world.

Sibuan Island



Sibuan Island






Snorkel trip was to Sibuan island

The boatman standing and watching on boat in  above photo




Sibuan Island is the nearest island for the basic skills learning of Student Divers.

We came to Sibuan following a group of 6 Student Divers having their Open Water Training Test (usually the 2nd day of the course).  These 6 Chinese learners  are in 3 teams under 3 different local Malaysian Dive Instructors (Dive Masters).

Getting ready in the water is the Dive Instructor observing 2 student's first time dropping into open water. (Divers do not jump into water, they 'Drop' into water with their back downward "back roll off the boat".).
Hour ago they just passed their 'Floating Test' now for the next advance test - submerge into water.

The 3rd student, the one bare top in above photo, sitting relaxed and watching. He has just given up continuing the course after an earlier unsatisfactory 'Floating Test' which he did not perform well to satisfy the Master. In a 'Floating Test' the Instructor will ask learners to jump into water with goggle and mouth breathing piece on while he himself would stay on the boat observing the ability of his students in floating and breath using only the mouth. (the nose being totally water and air proof by wearing the goggle).

"Under the water is too high a pressure to my heart" He told me after giving up the diving course. Instead he joint me photographing and exploring the island land.

Sibuan Island


The small island is a mix between a tropical paradise and human settlement.

There is a small settlement on the tiny island, families living in little wooden huts on the beach. Poorly educated locals do not have concept of  rubbish disposal and sadly they chuck their rubbish of plastic bags, tins, cans, old clothes into the water.

While snorkeling I scoped out 2 plastic begs from the sea and brought to the land. One is a rice packing beg. Both are thick and strong packing PVC begs that take hundred years to decompose.

PVC is fast polluting all the islands of Sabah. While protecting the marine life is a project,  educating the local citizens from PVC polluting the environment is yet another thing.

Luckily PVC rubbish pollution in  this island is not that serious. The villagers have casual beach clean up organized by natural environment lovers and protectors. I read in the blogs that the army and officers stationed on the islands also participate in island cleaning works.

Underwater and beach clean-up on Pulau Sibuan 2007 : http://www.wwf.org.my/media_and_information/newsroom_main/?4740



Dalok Bin Mangona
The canoe maker of Sibuan Island

Working under the hot tropical sun in the shadow of a shade tree is Dalok patiently digging out a canoe from a piece of log.

He may scrape for months after months

The many canoes we saw by the sea shoe are his master work craft.

Travel by canoe has been the traditional means of communication in the Celebes Sea. They are still made in isolated part of South Asia.

The hulls of canoes are fashioned from a single log.


Dalok is among the last makers of log paddle boat in this region.





Sibuan Island


sea gypsies and their kids were running around playing all the time.

Sibuan Island


Sibuan Island of Tun Sakaran Marine Park

Sibuan Island
Pulau Sibuan is less then 20 km from Semporna,about 20 to 30 minutes speed boat trip.

With the effort of both the authority and divers community, the island beach is clean with only driftwood beaches

The water is clear and inviting.

This small island is popular for swimmers and snorkelers.

The  white sandy beach is perfect for swimmers and non swimmers alike. Children play in  shallows without being worried about stepping on sharp coral.

Some families of the Sea Bajau (sea gypsies) live on the Southern end of the island.

The island is  being part of the Bodgaya Group of islands which are under the protection of Sabah Parks.

With its combination of shallow plateaus and steep slopes this little treasure island is a regular stop over for Open Water Diver Courses and experienced diver programs.

Children snorkeling on crystal clear sea water......Kids enjoy playing on a soft sandy beach...... all FREE from PVC pollution.

God creates paradise but leave the responsibility of  cleaningness maintenance to men.

While we enjoy such a paradise island we do not forget those who do the works behind several months ago...

and one day in return we will render our share of responsibility.



To  explore the amazing coral reef at islands around Semporna Town the diver must pass the test of an PADI OPEN WATER COURSE (same tourist rule apply to other islands internationally)

You can make enquiry here : http://malaysianunderwater.com

How nice if I can buy a piece of land here and build a school for these children.

Perhaps school is not what these kids need. The island itself is their classroom. The environment is their educator and this beautiful landmark is their motivation!
Just like what Carli said, I want to be a sea gypsy boy in heaven..haha..By the way, I am already a nomad...always on the move...since young!

Any one is free to use these photos for personal use such as Blogs, family website, school projects, environment protection as long as not making commercial profit out of it.

In credit just mention : "Photo from www.wongfookyee.com"


2 June 2002 - Tinagat Beach, Tawau, Sabah

22 June 2002 Saturday - Bonuan Binloc Beach, Pangasinan, Philippines

27 May 2007 Sunday - Tanjung Aru beach at Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

1 June 2007 Friday - Esplanet Beach, Miri, Sarawak

28 May 2008 Wednesday - BAKO NATIONAL PARK at Kuching, Sarawak

18 March 2009 Wednesday - MIMPIAN JADI RESORT, Tuaran, Sabah

21 March 2009 Saturday - Pulau Sapi Island, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

30 November 2010 Tuesday - KINARUT BEACH, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

30 May 2011 Monday - Sibuan Island, Celebes Sea, Sabah

19 December 2012  Wednesday - Mabul Island, Sabah

 Homepage of Wong Family Website   April 3, 2009 / Saturday, October 31, 2015 02:14:16 AM

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