Kapalai Island

Everything seemed so perfect when I first met Kapalai Island. I don’t what words to use to describe this beautiful and dreamy destination, so it doesn’t sound like an advertisement, which always lies. May be I will just let my photos speak. By boat, Kapalai Island is about 40 minutes away from Semporna town. It is near to Mabul and Sipadan Islands, the world-class diving sites of Sabah.

200 years ago, Kapalai Island was once a “true” island before it was eroded by the sea. What leaves today is only a stretch of sand bar, which will disappear during high tide, thereby giving it another name “magic island.” I enjoy every moment of staying there.

Below is a “summary” of why I love Kapalai so much:

1. Crystal clear water

The sea water is so clean that you can see the bottom clearly even it is deeper than 10 feet. From my photos, you will see some “dark spots” in the water. Those are the corals and sea weed, the sign of rich underwater life. I better explain this coz some foreigners, who never go to sea, would think it is “dirty” stuff. Since this place is so far away from main land, it is also far from air and noise pollution.


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2. Fishes everywhere, some look delicious

Just look down from the boardwalk. But probably what would amaze you the most are large number of starfishes around the resort. They are so plentiful that they have become a feature here, making the water looks like the sky in the sea.


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Below is a 1-min video of snorkeling in Kapalai:

And you also don’t need to dive deep to see stingray, tiger fish, angel fish… At night you will see them wandering under the light of the jetty and chalets. I even saw a sea turtle passing by.


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3. Meal time

Food is plentiful too, in buffet style. Unlike the restaurants in town, in here seaview is the music, sea breeze is the air-con, sunset is the candle.


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Personally I like the opening in the dining hall, where you can see the fishes below.


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4. Spacious chalet

Very big room, as big as a house, even for 3 guests. You can open all the windows, so you can see the sea when you are on the bed.


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There is a small group of soldiers stationed on the island. They are not there for vacation, but to protect the tourists. I saw them only in late night. Well, it is not that our place is not safe. Consider in any part of the world, there are always politic extremists from other countries, who look for easy target. The presence of armed force nearby will be an added security though we would never use them. At least I could sleep soundly.


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You even can see sea turtles grazing seagrass just next to your chalet, as shown in video below:

5. Water Sport

Don’t you want to jump into its sea water at this point? Yes, you can do snorkeling, swimming, diving and kayaking all day long if you like to. They also have a dive centre on the island. I dived in the Mandarin Valley, about 17 Metres in depth and near to the resort. I saw flamboyant cuttlefish, eel, tiger fish, stone fish and many other macro sea life that I can’t name. Too bad I don’t have an underwater camera, otherwise can show you more. Tell me if you got any good bargain / suggestion for such camera.


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Overall, it is a 5-star experience and I wish to stay longer. Just check out my photos for more.

Sorry for not updating my blog for nearly 2 months. I was extremely busy on a project. I’m sorry that I couldn’t respond to the poke, hug, water bomb… from the Facebook. But if you drop me an e-mail, I will definitely reply.

Photos taken in Kapalai Island, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

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