Mabul island, first day


We woke up this morning and figure out that we will stay another night. This island is beautiful and really controversial. A part of Mabul island has been bought by Sipadan Mabul Resort in the early 90’s to develop tourism and since that time, many other resort has been developed around the tiny island. The Mabul backpacker is situated at the “border” between this luxurious resort and the authentic village. There is a community of people here (mainly from philippines) who live on their boats. This place is a community where rich and poor people lives next to each other, not really together. The landscape is wonderful but it doesn’t feel right.


That’s where we stay.


In live! nearly…


The living room is totally open at 180 degrees and above the water.


That’s the rooms and the exit that leads to the island.


The map of mabul island. Everything that is on the north-east side is made for tourism. The bottom part is occupied by the two villages.


Our dorm room.


Let’s visit this island. It takes about 30 minutes as a slow pace to do a round trip. As soon as we get out, we can see the Authentic village (here the public school).


We first turned right. 50 metres later we are walking through the resort part. The difference is shocking!


Everything is very clean and quiet.


We have walked 5 minutes (very slowly because we take pictures) and covered already a quarter of the island.


The water is so clear.


Down there, there is the Sipadan water village resort.


Suddenly, we crossed an imaginary line and came back to reality. The thing that looks like a petrol station is actually used as a resort. There is 6 resorts on Mabul Island.


The difference is very obvious now.


So much rubbish. Why no one tries to clean this place? It’s like being poor is not compatible with being clean. The resorts should get in touch with the government and organise a rubbish collection once a while. I don’t get it.


The site is normally protected here. It’s very sad to see big pieces of broken coral failed on the sand.


We entered in one of the village.


Seems like the upper class of the villagers live here. That’s not a resort.


So much stuff everywhere.


We are not allowed to walk on this pier. I don’t know what’s at the end. A restaurant? A lookout? No idea…


Suddenly again, just after the pier, we came into another touristy place where people are lying down on their chair playing with there phone when, on the other side of the pier, poor people are living. At least, that’s maybe a good place to be poor because they got a great view compared to some other places around the world. But a strange feeling still remains.


Everything is clean again.


This might be a restaurant this time. Look like there is more activity there.


Very nice lights on this typical house built above the water.


Same but different.


There is a basketball match going on here. Look at the way the basketball poles are made :-)




Our tour of the island is nearly done. Some kids followed us and ask for pictures. I wish I could print this one for them. They enjoy pausing and then watch the picture we took of them. That’s it for today!

2 thoughts on “Mabul island, first day

  1. Nicest Backpacker I have ever seen!
    I wonder the toilets in the houses over the ocean…. where are they connecting to…
    What is going to happen if they collect rubbish in the island.. bury them? or ship to bigger island?
    Ummm… we human are not taking care of our actions.

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