P U L A U K A P A L A I
Macro heaven in the Celebes Sea
A few minutes byboat from Sipadan but a full world away it lies the exhilarating Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort, sitting on its sturdy stilts on the shallow sandbanks of the Ligitan Reefs. Planned and built in full style as an airy, comfortable, sunny water village with no land in sight, it boats a mile-long sandbank of powdery blindingly white sand where one can suntan at complete leisure.
The resort offers great food, surprisingly roomy ad elegant twin-sharing wooden chalets with huge private balconies and attached bathrooms and a couple of miles of walkways for those who like to take their morning jog while looking at thousands of fish just a few inches beneath their feet. Meals are served in the terraced, open central structure, while a big western sundeck allows divers to have an evening drink or an after-dive chat with a background of fabulous tropical sunsets.
Diving around Kapalai is exceedingly easy and shallow but quiet spectacular: the sandy bottom and the spare coral heads host an amazing array of small, often yet-to-be-classified, shamelessly colorful subjects, making the diving here and unforgettable experience for any discerning photographer. The resort offers three dives a day plus, if requested, day trips at Sipadan.
Diving in Kapalai
The purest image of natural serenity, the sandbank of Kapalai and its exclusive resort-on-stilts lie on a patch of brilliant turquoise a few miles off the coast of Borneo, along the spectacular Ligitan Reefs and just a few minutes byspeedboat from the celebrated (and more crowded) islands of Sipadan and Mabul.
Quiet shallow waters lap at the sturdily, kampung-style built wooden bungalows overlooking the sandy sea bottom, and from the windows of the elegant, spacious rooms one can spend endless hours looking at the sea life dancing its never ending tune just a couple of meters below.
Innovative in concept - a chain of roomy and well-equipped chalets with private bathrooms linked bylong wooden walkways, centered around the open restaurant cum sundeck and the customary dive center - the Kapalai Dive Resort has been built on a shallow but surprisingly wide sandbank which had been long known (and dived) byunderwater photographers from all over the world, who used to come all the way from Sipadan and Mabul in search of its wildly exotic resident fauna.
Swimming, creeping, crawling or just simply lying still on the surrounding sand bottoms, hiding among the branching colonies of the shallow surrounding coral reef, ambushing their unwary prey from the hideouts offered bythe resort stills and a few artificial reefs dotting the bottom, an amazing number of rare and unbelievably colorful species play their game of life and death, offering to the discriminating visitor unsurpassed opportunities for observation and macro photography.
This is the lair of the weird and Technicolor flamboyant cuttlefish, rumbling on the bottom like a miniature tank rippling with fluorescent waves of vermilion, purple, chocolate brown, bright yellow and blinding white, all the time waving and flourishing its paddle-shaped front tentacles like some samurai of yore, looking more like a sensuous orchid than a predatory cephalopod; it is the domain of the invisible frogfish-coming in Kapalai in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colors - which despite sometimes being as large as a melon will often escape even the most trained of wildlife spotters.
All dive spots are extremely close and can be reached in just a few minutes byspeedboat (some of them, actually, just byswimming from the dive center pier); the diving in Kapalai is so easy and shallow that it can be considered ideal for the newcomers to the sport, being extremely satisfying at the same time for the very experienced.
In any case, those who are at last satiated with the tiny marvels of the macro life of Kapalai can, in just a few minutes more, dive at will both in Sipadan (where big fish and turtles abound) or at Mabul (whose solty and muddy bottoms offer different and equally pleasant opportunities to the lovers of "muck diving"). And those who just want to relax and rest between the dives may take advantage of the cleverly thought-out balconies of the bungalows, which offer the total privacy so much sought out bythe lovers of sunbathing.
Warm Welcome of Kapalai Island's Sundeck
Package Price 2008/2009 - Ex Tawau
(Price Per Person in Ringgit Malaysia)
Cuti-Cuti Malaysia Promotion Package (available for Malaysian only).
For further details and enquiries, please email us.
OTHER ACTIVITIES AVAILABLE
- Ocean Kayak - RM30/HOUR
EQUIPMENT RENTAL AT THE RESORT*
1. BC JACKET MYR 30.00/DAY
2. REGULATOR/GAUGES/OCTOPUS MYR 30.00/DAY
3. TORCH WITH BATTERIES MYR 20.00/DIVE
4. MASK, SNORKEL MYR 15.00/DAY
5. FIN MYR 10/DAY
6. WET SUIT MYR 25.00/DAY
7. BOOTIES MYR 10.00/DAY
INTERNET SERVICE CHARGES IN KAPALAI*
Desktop in the office = NYR 20 for 30 Minutes
Own Laptop (Wireless) = MYR 35/day
3 Days = MYR 60
One Week = MYR 100
* All Prices stated above are subject to change.
RECOMMENDED FLIGHTS TO TAWAU AND OUT OF TAWAU AIRPORT
ARRIVAL FLIGHT :-(KOTA KINABALU OR KL TO TAWAU)
MH 2121 – 0700/0745hrs – check in Kapalai via 0930hrs boat transfer
MH 2137 – 1315/1400hrs – check in Kapalai via 1530hrs boat transfer
AK 5833 – 0930/1020hrs from KK to Tawau – check in Kapalai via 1200hrs boat transfer
AK 5152 – 0720/1005hrs from KL to Tawau – check in Kapalai via 1200hrs boat transfer
DEPARTURE FLIGHT:- (TAWAU TO KOTA KINABALU OR KL)
MH 2134 – 1440/1525hrs – check out Kapalai via 1030hrs boat transfer
AK 5834 – 1045/1135hrs – check out Kapalai via 0630hrs boat transfer
AK 5836 – 1715/1805hrs – check out Kapalai via 1330hrs boat transfer
AK 5153 – 1030/1315hrs from Tawau to KL – check out Kapalai at 0630hrs boat transfer
AK 5155 – 1855/2140hrs from Tawau to KL - check out Kapalai at 1330hrs