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“BUDGET AND AMAZING”

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Uncle Chang's Sipadan Mabul Dive Lodge
China
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“BUDGET AND AMAZING”
Reviewed 20 February 2013

Uncle Chang is a good place to spend your money. It is a budget accommodation, provide you basic necessity, and yet offer safe diving, good meals and relaxing environment.

Book in advance so that you can get the room you want. I advice to book the standard aircond room because the turtles always appear in these area at night. I enjoy watching the turtles and so do the other family members that i brought over specially the kids. The evening sunset view is the best compared to the other backpackers lodge I ever stayed at Mabul such as Billabong and Scuba Jeff. Because Uncle Chang located right in front of the sea view and has a little distance with the villagers houses compared to the two backpackers lodge. This is my fourth time in Mabul :) If you love music, you will love Uncle Chang place at weekend with their live band filling the air with good musics. You can party and meet new friends. Choose the chalet room if you do not like the music disturbing you, or else you will find hard time to have a good sleep.

Uncle Chang never disappoint me. I always get my Sipadan permits as stated on my booking before my arrival. This is the most important thing about their booking system. They never kept you in waiting list and makes you spend money diving to many places just to be in queue for the AMAZING SIPADAN. I love that they are truthful to the customer if they are run out of the permits so you can right away find other solution.

The food in Uncle Chang is worth the money you pay. However, if you are very particular or choosy about food, it may not meet your satisfactory. You can always buy some seafood from the local village and ask the chef to cook for you (with some tips). The electricity is not available at the day time, so it maybe not convenience for those who brought little kids over with the hot sun during the day time in the island.

It is a budget place with good service. It is not a 5 star resort, so make your expectation at the right level :) IT IS A GREAT BUDGET PLACE

Room Tip: Book in advance
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank empressorchid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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259 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
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English first
Kota Kinabalu
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 February 2013

Came here for diving last year when they were still offering the old price for Sipadan/Mabul/Kapalai dives. Santi was a fab dive master, she made me and my friend feel safe and tried really hard to find lots of interesting things to see there in Mabul and Kapalai. The dive equipment was a little old looking but worked just fine.

During our Sipadan dive, I think a guy named Ridhwan was our dive guide, and my buddy disappeared. The current was really strong and we didn't realize that my friend had problems with his BCD. He missed out a lot at Barracuda Point, which was amazing by the way and I was psyched that I got to see a pineapple seacucumber and bumphead parrotfish.

The downside of UC for me was the 'party crowd'. A friend in KK told me later that every night is Friday night at UC! Don't take the dorms if you don't want to hear drunk people singing and slurring outside till 2 am. You would think they would be tired after diving all day! I also had a Swiss roomie who didn't even come back to the room to sleep. It's better to spend a bit more on the rooms. In the bathroom, the shower empties directly into the sea. I hope they've upgraded the showers by now.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank vrosemarie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
China
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 16 February 2013

This is my second time to Uncle Chang. It is as amazing as the first time I came here EXCEPT i had to cancel my trip to Sibuan Island because I can't stand waiting for a group of local divers who wasted other customer time for 2 hours even thou we have been told be be prepared as early as 7.30am. I hope divers will be more considerate and check their dive location so that they understand that it is far away so needed to be ready early so everyone wont be coming back late. The reception has been waiting for the group for a long time and has been very patient for their attitude.

This time I brought some friends coming over and stayed in dorm at RM70 which includes meals. The price are reasonable and the food are reasonable for the price. They offer also affordable diving rate and their dm/instructor are well trained. I AM HAPPY THAT THEY HAVE MORE NEW DIVE GEAR COMPARE TO THE FIRST TIME I CAME. my friends are happy with my recommendation :)

Anyways, I hope that Uncle Chang can extend their power resource time longer. Hehe. But i understand they are backpackers lodge. They have electricity from 5pm to 8am. I also hope Uncle Chang can serve MILO.

I love Uncle Chang and I will definitely bringing my family the third time I came back.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank IAMBING
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 February 2013

My Second trip to Sipadan - Mabul - Kapalai is a nightmare because of wrong decision in cost saving. I eventually pay more than I should pay if I stay in a 3 - 4 star diving resort here.

If you want to really enjoy a perfect diving trip better opt out a 3 - 4 star diving resort.. Uncle Chang is NOT the place to stay..

I'll tell u why.. :

1) The price look cheap, but too many hidden charges.. no unlimited house reef dive.

2) Most of the staff are rude, inexperience.

3) Almost the same menu in the buffet line everyday.

4) No safety measure.

Overloading the dive and snorkling boat all the time.
When we are coming back from Mantabuan Island the boat stop at UC semporna office to load
all the groceries including the cooking gas tank. It take ages for the overloaded boat reach the
accomodation in Mabul in a heavy rain and we are tired after a long journey dives from Mabul
to Mantabuan which take about more than 2 hours. We reached back to Mabul in 8.00 pm
since we depart at 9.00 am. Everybody is shivering and hungry.

There a 8 of us in the boat going to Mataking Island the boat head to Semporna first to pick up
12 more snokelers to join us. There is not enought place for everybody to sit. Can you imagine
standing for 1 more hour to reach Mataking Island in a rough Celebes Sea?

5) There is a worm in our bathing tank. We did not expect that staying in backpackers lodge they
could ignore the hygenic standard.


5) Check out time at 8.00am.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Fairuz_h2o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shanghai, China
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 30 January 2013

1. Sleep quality not good, it's very noisy after mid night because of the gas tunk refill.
2. There is a huge hole(d 50cm) in the ceiling in my room, worry that a cat may just drop when i fall into sleep. not good.
3. the room rate is attractive for backpacker.
4. Great view of sea without beach in between. The house is builit on the sea.
5. Not enough chinese diving teachers. I was sent to a diving shop next door for a chinese teacher.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Rebecca Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 January 2013

We spend 6days 5nights here had Open Water Dive Course. As for a diving place, it worths the money, the instructors are very professional and equipment are also good. Since we came here just for dive course, so we chose this budget hotel and not expecting any service, but I would expect this place to be improved to be a better place in future.

Food: GOOD
Compare to the price, the food is good, but most of time, we buy the seafood from the fisherman and ask the chef to cook it, he is a very good chef who can prepare good meal. So we end up paying 35RM for a special cooked meal, which is quite worth the money.

Room, NEED MAINTAINANCE
The bathroom mostly are broken but works, some bricks missing from the wall. I only go to the room for sleep, don't want to stay inside for one minute more. The bed cloth is uncomfortable with skin since it is quite rough. I also get 5 bug bites over my legs, very itching

Public Place: NEED MORE SETTINGS
There is only a dinning place where you could chill out, no lie down chairs, constructions around, felt no where to go after diving, room not comfortable, public place has no comfortable settings

Staff: NEED MANAGEMENT
Quite friendly but lack of management. Play loud music until 1am even if three groups of dive students are going through test, we had no where else to study and has to put up with their loud music and even drums.

Diving: Great!
Their instructor and equipment was all worth the value, that's the only thing we felt good about it. I highly recommend Mr Mo who is a very experienced instructor and always smiling and greeting people.

I think Uncle Chang needs little bit maintainance on the room and a manager to the staff, also create more public place for people to relax, just a few sunbath chair would be helpful. I hope my advice could help this place to know where to improve instead of going worse, it can be a better place if they care more.

Thanks for the new year party, great band and atmosphere!

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank angela_wly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johor Bahru, Malaysia
1 review
Reviewed 9 December 2012

Would highly recommend.. stayed for 3 nights and its really unique environment.. We stayed in a basic room which provided everything you would want for a short stay.. cleanliness along with a comfy bed, safe, tea and coffe making facilities.. The room was calm, peaceful and had everything we needed..

The staff are very friendly and are happy to help.. The whole island is very friendly.. Beautiful is not enough. Everything is perfect: style, service, atmosphere, kindness, food at the restaurant.
We really love it.. The food was delicious.. Everything was beyond our expectations..

Relaxing..

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bdak_itam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Uncle Chang's Sipadan Mabul Dive Lodge

Property: Uncle Chang's Sipadan Mabul Dive Lodge
Address: 91307 Causeway Road, Pulau Mabul, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > Semporna District > Pulau Mabul
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 10 Speciality Lodging in Pulau Mabul
Number of rooms: 29
Also Known As:
Uncle Chang`s Sipadan Mabul Dive Hotel Pulau Mabul

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