Mabul Island is located in the Celebes Sea, off the coast of Borneo. It is in Malaysia’s most eastern state, Sabah, and can be reached within half an hour by speedboat from the closest town on the mainland, Semporna.
Speedboats to Mabul depart from Semporna, a small fishing town on Malaysian Borneo, and trips there and back are arranged by the resorts. The boat trip takes around 20-30 minutes. Diving trips to Mabul are also arranged by the dive resort on nearby Kapalai island.
The closest airport to Semporna is in Tawau (GPS N 4 18.862 E 118 06.881), approximately 1 hour away. Your resort can arrange for transport (usually by air-conditioned minivan) from the airport to Semporna.
As there are no boats to the islands after nightfall, you may need to overnight in Semporna after flying in to Tawau. The Seafest Hotel and the Dragon Inn are popular choices as they are within metres of the Speedboat departure point.
Air Asia has several flights daily to Tawau from Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia Airlines has daily flights from Kuala Lumpur and Sandakan and several flights daily from Kota Kinabalu. From any international destination, book your return flights to Kuala Lumpur International Airport, from where you can get the abovementioned connecting flights to Tawau.