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Ever wonder what it would be like to sleep and dive on an oil rig? Sipadan, Borneo, Malaysia should be on every diver’s bucket list if it is not already! Not only can you dive an oil rig, but you can stay overnight on one. It may not seem so glamorous at first, but the Seaventures dive rig is like staying at any other world class dive resort.

Top deck of Seaventures Dive Rig

Diving the Rig

If you’ve never had the chance to scuba dive on an oil rig, the one in Sipadan is truly an experience. Oil rigs are covered in coral and rich in sea life. As you dive down, your mind wanders about what life must have been like on this once working rig. With unlimited diving, you will get to explore the oil rig all you want, even at night.

The rig is recognized as a PADI 5-star resort. This means you can take classes if you wish.

Staying on the Rig

There are no resorts on the Sipadan Islands; thus, staying on the oil rig offers the added benefit of being a short boat ride away from some of the most spectacular diving in the world.

Relax on the sundeck between dives and soak in the sun and spectacular views. Play pool or ping pong in the game room, take in a buffet meal on the top open deck, watch a movie in the movie room, sing karaoke in the lounge, or hop on the net with free Wifi access. The comfortable air-conditioned rooms range from bigger VIP rooms to dormitory style rooms appropriate for every budget.

You won’t be trapped on the oil rig. There are boats that can take you to the nearby Sipadan Island to take in the local scenery. Daily boat rides also take you to diving on the nearby islands.

Sipadan Island

The nearby Sipadan Island is one of the world’s best diving locations. There is diving for all levels: beginner to technical. With many walls, coral overhangs, shallow reefs, and even a 650-foot cave system, this island boasts a lot for its small size.

Photo taken while diving at Sipadan Island.

Sipadan Island is one of few places in the world with a huge concentration of sea turtles. You can also expect to see parrotfish, giant mantas, eagle rays, tuna, and possibly hammerheads, whale sharks, and pelagic fish.

Permits are required to dive the Sipadan Islands so make sure you plan your trip well in advance. Seaventures includes permits with stays over 3 nights, but make sure you ask! Permits, however, mean the reefs are very healthy with limited divers.

When to Go

There are no seasons so you can visit Sipadan Island any time of the year. Currents will likely be stronger from January to March. Visibility is incredible, up to 50 meters, from April to June. You can catch a glimpse of turtles laying their eggs on the islands from May to August.

Check out an example itinerary of travel to the Sipadan Islands here and book your stay!

Article by Candace Reno, avid #AtlAdvDivers scuba blogger and PADI IDC Staff Instructor. For more articles click here.