These pictures were taken in Malaysian Borneo; Mabul and the surrounding islands, including Kapalai, Mantabuan and Siamil. This is another great place where you’ll find a mixture of “muck” and coral reefs, plus a few artificial reefs.
Mabul is where I started doing night dives for fun – until then I would avoid them like the plague. I’m scared of the dark so night dives terrified me, the monster was out to get me!! But on my first night dive on Mabul, there was so much going on I completely forgot about the time and started to just enjoy the dive.
Some of the photos are from the local Bajau village on Mabul, these indigenous people are also known as “Sea Gypsies” or “Sea Nomads”. Traditionally they always lived on the sea, in small wooden sailing vessels, travelling around the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, however, in recent times the younger generation have started to settle on land.
Unfortunately now they are a very disadvantaged group, not being formally recognised by any country, resulting in no government funding for health and education or anything else. Despite this, when you walk around the village all you see is big smiles from everyone. Children run around playing with home made toys, like an old tire and a stick which keeps them occupied for hours – just like the UK used to be before we all had smartphones!