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“AMAZING!”

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Scuba Junkie Hotel & Diving
Reviewed 20 December 2012

Scuba Junkie is a well oiled machine. A pleasant surprise in this part of the world. They are thorough, responsive, and come through on everything. The food is great at both Semporna and Mabul. If you can afford to stay at Mabul the whole time, I recommend it. Semporna (the town) is a bit of a dump, but not terrible. Scuba Junkies accommodations are nice and clean, the staff is excellent at both properties. The diving is just incredible. If you can afford it I def recommend spending 6 days, to get 2 at Sipidan. It will only increase your chances of seeing something big. I only had one day and still loved it though. The staff and dive guides are amazing, very knowledgeable and friendly. No complaints at all.

Room Tip: There is no swimming pool. It wont let me change that.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled solo
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1  Thank ambcha12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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37 - 43 of 169 reviews

Reviewed 11 December 2012

Not being a diver, I went for a two-day open water course and then one day of fun diving. Everything runs pretty smoothly, although some people at the counter in Semporna could be more friendly... The stay I did in Mabul Island was just great, in a very nice secluded island in lovely bungalows. As to the diving, it was simply above everything I could ever imagine. My instructor was really competent and super-friendly, I was alone in my group so we finished in a day and half instead of two, so I got one extra (free) dive. I saw amazing fishes and my instructor made sure I had a great time: we had a couple drinks at night, and talked a lot over lunch and dinner. I would definitely recommend it.

Some people mention the sadness of seeing some very poor people on the island: I'm afraid this is true.

Stayed: November 2012, travelled solo
2  Thank Jonathan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 December 2012

We are just back from our 6 day stay in Semporna and Mabul. We stayed in the Hostel in Semporna and the Beach Resort in Mabul and we had a blast of a time. All rooms were excellent, nicely refurbished and very clean. The staff absolutly lovely especially in the dive school. Well managed trips and equipment which is up to scratch. We thought it is a absolut amazing value for money.

Room Tip: Dorms or private room, they all look lovely.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank katjathe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 November 2012

I went to mabul island with SJ and stayed in mabul resort.the trip was well organised and I loved staying on the island!!!!The dive masters working for SJ were awesome.i was travelling on my own but didn't feel alone at all.after I returned to semporna I dined at sucba junkie,food was great and it is a good place to meet other divers!!

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled solo
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2  Thank silvi111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 November 2012

Scuba Junkie is a slick operation - very well organized. We stayed at both the hostel in Semporna town and on Mabul island. Dived from both places. Sipidan was of course awesome. Diving around Mabul was good. We also enjoyed the day trip dives to Sibuan up north. More relaxed than at Mabul. Would've loved to have gone to Boheyan or Mantabuan. If you have time for a trip to the north, definitely do it! The staff were all very professional. The hostel was better than we expected based on other reviews. Had a fan room on Mabul. Really nice, although it does get hot, so if you can, go for aircon. It was shoulder season (Oct) but they were still full with lots of divers on the waiting list for Sipidans, so book as early as you can. We would love to go back, and would totally book with SJ again.

Room Tip: The room we got in SJ Hostel on the way back was especially good. Nudibranch room if I remember rig...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Aiyun P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2012

Just came back from Semporna, stayed at SJ Dive Lodge, no doubt the service provided by SJ is superb. We had a wonderful diving trip and special kudos to Instructors Michella, Ikha, Ted and Thisj, you guys are great and helpful.
The only setback was the driver who sent us to Tawau airport, he was speeding and overtaking car like F1 driver, I hope the management can look into this seriously before something bad happens.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank Wallas_LCW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 November 2012

I think there needs to be a clear point here somehow that they offer TWO types of accommodation- both in Semporna and on Mabul,and I think they should be rated individually.
The hotel in Semporna is fit for purpose, as somewhere to rest your head either before or after your dive trip. We had a double room with air con which was fine, and had a comfy bed so we slept well, it was fine. Their own restaurant next door did good food, but we also ate at a local restaurant maybe 3/4 shops down the road, which did amazing (seriously cheap) Indian-style food.
Great for those trying to offset the cost of Sipadan....

The accommodation on Mabul was lovely, nicer than I'd expected. They maintained their specific patch of the island well, but the shanty towns that greet you on arrival was still quite a shock. I agree with what others have said- divers are ploughing so so much money into this area- and clearly, most of it is going straight into the pockets of the (probably) Western owners and not filtering down to help this area and the locals.
Semporna is one of the grubbiest places I've ever been, which did shock me- couldn't some of the revenue created go towards helping them upgrade a little? I know it's more complicated than that, but it still seems terrible that we're all passing through spending fortunes that they don't appear to benefit at all...

We're vegetarians, and they were aware in advance we were coming and had staff who were too, so they made plenty of allowances for us which was really nice, we had plenty of choice for all our meals. The food was great and water, tea,a snack of some sort was generally always available.
If i'm honest- after all the hype, we both preferred diving Mabul. Sipadan was good, but we've had better experiences at the Yongala (sorry guys, although you're now voted top!) and I just think everyone's constant going on about how it'll blow our mind...it just seemed underwhelming after that. Plus the visibility was low most the time, which probably didn't help.
Great staff though, great food, and a good night's rest, would go back again for sure.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Nikki S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Scuba Junkie Hotel & Diving

Address: Lot 36 PO Box 458, Block B | Semporna Seafront, Semporna 91308, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > Semporna District > Semporna
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 30 Speciality Lodging in Semporna
Number of rooms: 24
Also Known As:
Scuba Junkie Hotel And Diving
Scuba Junkie Hotel Diving
Scuba Junkie Semporna

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