Hi folks, I am in Thailand for 3 weeks in June, and had planned to spend the last week diving in Koh Similan. Unfortunately, the seasons are against me - the Monsoon season starts mid-may and the national park is closed.
I have dived Koh Tao before, when I did my Advanced Open Water, so was looking for other alternatives.
I can get to Tawau, and then back to Bangkok reasonably cheaply, and so am really tempted to dive Pulau Sipadan - which is supposedly some of the best diving in the world.
1 - Bearing in mind i would be getting there about June 15th, and that Sipadan has limited permits for divers - how likely is it that i can turn up and book some dives for the next day (likely to be cheapest)?
2 - If people advise me that it is best to book in advance, how much is it likely to cost me - ideally would like to do 4-6 dives (2-3 days) in Pulau Sipadan. Most of the prices I have found on the net are all-inclusive of flights, accomodation, etc.
3 - Any other activities that I shouldn't miss whilst I am in that part of Borneo?
4 - The lonely planet website has a warning that the islands in the South East of Sabah are "very dangerous due to the possibility of kidnapping by terrorsts" - how real is this threat - are people still going there?