I left my heart to this island on the northern border of Malaysia in Borneo. A place where I drank the water from a coconut, walked across the island barefoot and the wifi is available only during evenings when electricity is turned on, but not really then either.
I arrived to the island with no expectations, my only intention to relax and enjoy the island life for a few days, after three months in hectic Hong Kong. The diving instructions I spoke to did not, however, need to convince me for long to take my open water diving license there. I had always been curious on diving and I wasn’t surprised to completely get addicted to it since my first dive. On my very first dive I got to see huge turtles and indescribable colorful fish and coral reefs. As the instructors told, it was a bit deceitful to start my life as a diver from the top. Sipadan, an island close to Mabul, has one of the most unique under water life on the planet. I did not get a chance to go there though, which gives a perfect reason to go back.
I stayed at Uncle Chang, an amazingly welcoming diving lodge above the sea. I would never get bored to the view of living above the sea and being surrounded it all the time. The people were amazing and on the return boat and it felt like I had known the group of past days for ages, instead of 5 days. The island itself is breathtakingly beautiful, combining both a local village and chill diving resorts. Overall, Mabul reminded me a lot of Tioman, an island on the side of mainland Malaysia, where I visited with family 16 years ago. An island so remoted, local yet paradise at the same time.