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“way overdue thanks”

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Scuba Junkie Hotel & Diving
hong kong
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“way overdue thanks”
Reviewed October 2, 2012

Recently spent 4 days with SJ- not only were their staff serious about diving, they were very clued up and inspired about conservation, and were so wonderful to talk to about our oceans and the situations most divers really care about; shark populations, dynamite fishing etc- its a pleasure to not only have amazing dives, but to do log books over a beer, while chatting about diving and the oceans with people who care enough to make a difference. Our dive masters were fantastic- and were always realistic about the dives and what to expect. Mabul was a wonderful place to dive as much as possible, and the relaxed atmosphere of SJ is far better than the "upmarket" places they compete with.

Plus, part of your money goes to supporting so many great projects- thanks for a wonderful stay SJ!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
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1 Thank nicole g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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166 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
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English first
Antwerp, Belgium
Level Contributor
33 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed July 29, 2012

This hostel has the best breakfeast we had in malaysia, a restaurant with a top australian chef and very shy prices....good beds, all ac, quiet and very clean. The staff went over board to help us with everything, picked up our laundry and even sent it to the next island we were staying at. Warm showers, tv lounge....the one oasis in semporna, trust us, this is the place you want to be in.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank JulesMattsson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed July 29, 2012

After staying on Mabul Island I booked this hostel as it was affiliated with scuba junkie. Location is central and next to the scuba junkie restaurant. Plus points are wifi, breakfast included and hot showers. Downsides include; no key for your room, no lockers available in the room, plug sockets in room do not work, strong smell of damp. Overall fine to stay for just one night.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Brighton85Brighton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
28 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed July 17, 2012

As a family with a 7 and 9 year old, we stayed at the hostel in Semporna and then Mabul beach resort. Overall we found that SJ gave us a really easy trip - accommodation and dive/ snorkelling experience all went smoothly and was organised well and hassle free.
Semporna Hostel - we stayed in the family room which was great - 2 rooms and a kitchenette, great air con, and really well priced.
Semporna itself is a weird wild west type town - where is all the money going that passes from the hands of all the diving and snorkelling tourists? Certainly not into the town, or to the locals. Certainly not into environmental education. Certainly not into a suitable and salubrious garbage collection program. The garbage is right on the boat pier where all the boats depart and for maximum stink factor - no-one actually bothers much to put their garbage bags in the skip, but instead throw it all (bagged or unbagged) haphazardly around in the general vicinity. The local police force seem a might to be reckoned with however.We chose not to walk around much.

Mabul Beach Resort - The air conditioned villa was great - a generous double bed and bunk bed. Well air conditioned and really comfortable. Lovely newly built accommodation with own balcony and hammock. Well worth the money - especially as we heard poor reviews on the dorm accommodation. The food on Mabul was definitely below par for anywhere else we stayed in Borneo, coffee awful. We were happy with the 'no fish on the menu' policy , understanding that until local fishing techniques improve SJ do not want to support their industry. We could see that SJ are trying to have a positive environmental influence on the locals.
We were really impressed with our action packed diving and snorkelling guides and experiences- a really wonderful experience, incredible place....
However...Just couldn't get over the rubbish - I have never seen so much in such a small area so close to a major tourist destination and marine/ national park area. Again, it made me wonder where the money is going and what exactly the government and dive companies are doing to fix this problem up - even just on Mabul - I don't see why all the resorts on the island couldn't pitch in for a sustainable garbage collection and sorting service, plus intensive local education input - they must make so much money from the surrounding diving dollar, why not and how much would it really cost to do so?
Yes, we would go again, hopefully to see some great developments in marine protection of this wonderful environment.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank dene s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2012

The Scuba Junkies lodge must have gone through massive renovation since previous reviews because my experience was nothing like previously described. I stayed in the first dorm (dorm 2) for 4 nights while diving with Scuba Junkies and also another dive shop. They offer you the discounted rate of 25 Rinngit a night as long as you dive at least one day, you can say as long as you like for the same price.

The dorm was comfortable with AC and fan. It was clean and had new mattresses. Towels and sheets are provided. The bathrooms had hot water and good pressure which was great after a diving day.

Plentiful breakfast is included: eggs, fruit, toast, coffee, cordial, and tea. They also have free wifi, a computer for guest use, and a small tv room. The staff was nice but the main lady in charge was extra nice - she remembered your name and greeted you every day.

On a separate note about diving with Scuba Junkies for people WITHOUT SIPIDAN PERMITS:

Ask other dive shops. Since Scuba Junkies is the most popular it's always booked far in advance and it only has 7 permits daily. We went without permits and they told us we had no chance for 2 months but other dive shops had permits for that very weekend and they also had more permits than them - 11 permits per day. Don't let Scuba Junkies popularity ruin your plans to dive Sipidan. Diving only in the surrounding dive sites will leave you disappointed.

Also, the town of Semporna is extremely dirty, unattractive, and locals sell sharks in the market which goes against everything divers and tourists want from Sipidan. Be prepared.

Room Tip: The downstairs showers might be better than upstairs. Dorm 2 is very clean.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LAbackpackerChick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melb
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed July 10, 2012

This is a very tough place to review. On the one hand the scuba diving and snorkeling is brilliant, but on the other hand you have to ignore the continued destruction of the ocean by all resorts here as well as the locals (see photos).
As far as dive masters, Scuba Junkies is far from being world class. Most of the staff here are not paid, but work for food and board. This means they compete directly with the paying customers for all meals (which are buffet). The food is below average but you can make a balanced meal by avoiding too much rice and noodles and supplementing your meals with lots of fruit.
Don't expect good tea or coffee.

A lot of the staff here smoke. This means that when you are getting in and out of the water they are actually smoking on the boat. So, after an hour of diving you then spend 20 mins or so on the boat in a cloud of 2nd hand cigarette smoke since they like to sit up front and chain-smoke after a dive.

It's hit or miss with the dive masters. Some are patient and good communicators, others are arrogant, cliquey and inattentive. I would much prefer to dive with well-trained, local (Malaysian) divers who are career divers, rather than European kids who are only interested in getting their dive numbers up (that's not to say that all the European dive masters were bad though since some were great).

Last point is the beach itself on Mabul. What an absolute disgrace (see photos). In one session of snorkeling my partner and I cleaned up 17 plastic bags FULL of rubbish. Not just 17 plastic bags, but we actually filled plastic bags (that we had found in the water) with rubbish that we found around the Mabul jetty. From what I could tell most of this rubbish comes from the local villages and all the resort owners on Mabul have made attempts to help the locals dispose of their rubbish thoughtfully. However, it's not working and the ocean is suffering.

Even on Sipadan the local police who are there to protect the area would throw their cigarettes on the beach.

Would I recommend Mabul Island? Probably not - I would prefer a boycott until the locals clean up their act. However, it was amazing to see so much life when just snorkeling around the jetty. How the fish can survive amongst the rubbish is mind-blowing. However, the coral is clearly dead and dying quite rapidly.
Would I recommend Scuba Junkies? Not necessarily - the only advantage to diving with SJ is that they do 4 dives in Sipadan rather than 3. Which might be reason enough to go with them.
Would I recommend Sipadan? Yes - it's an amazing dive site and there is every chance that it won't exist in a few decades due to mismanagement and various other environmental issues.

Room Tip: I would avoid rooms near the staff quarters and away from the dining area since this will be noisy a...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Lost-in-Wanderlust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2012

I went there with my parents age 74 and 77 and children age 19,22 & 23.Me and sons of coz enjoy the dive and snorkelling,,and my wife and parents in particular enjoy going into the villages and look around talking to the people there.
Initially I was afraid my parents would be bored with nothing to do..but I was glad they had a good rest of nothing to do...hahaha...and a good walk in the village.

The food is modest..so are the lodgings and rooms...but the people are great...they make concercted efforts to connect with the guests and make everyone feel at home...

For that i will definitely come again

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank pakmatempeh
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

Property: Scuba Junkie Hotel & Diving
Address: Lot 36 PO Box 458, Block B | Semporna Seafront, Semporna 91308, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > Semporna District > Semporna
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 22 Specialty 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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