Kapalai Travel Guide



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If you have been you dreaming of a vacation in a place with clear waters, a deep blue sky and picturesque chalets just above the sea, Kapalai Island located to the East of Sabah, is probably the best diving spot in the world. The lovely experience you will get there will bring you the memories of a lifetime.

Kapalai is not actually an island, but a sand strip close to Sipadan and Mabul, other two magnificent islands. In the outstanding scenery, where the sun seems to be literally rising from the waters, locals have built chalets and restaurants for the tourists to benefit from the beauty of the place. It is a wonderful spot for relaxing and forgetting a little about business and day-to-day problems.

Pulau Kapalai History

A couple hundred years ago, Pulau Kapalai was a real island, with a thicker soil and larger surface. However, due to a strong erosion process, it quickly transformed into a sand bar, where only a thin layer of sand appears over the waters of the Celebes Sea. Kapalai is standing over the Ligitan Reefs and the sandy soil only appears during a low tide period. After that, the whole resort seems to be appearing directly out of the waters, since the chalets are elevated on pillars.

How to get to Kapalai Island

Kapalai is located between the islands of Mabul and Sipadan, so you need to take a speedboat ride from Semporna to get there. Of course, before that, you will need to fly to Malaysia and you could try visiting the capital city as an exciting opening to your Malaysian adventure.

The Kapalai Resort

If you have fallen in love with Kapalai diving or the fantastic view in Kapalai has simply astounded you, then you have the chance to stay there for a couple of days and enjoy the beauty of nature. After all, Kapalai is a magnificent holiday resort standing in the waters of the Celebes Sea. There, you will have the opportunity to relax under the sun or have a truly romantic dinner with you loved one.

We are living in a high-speed world, where everything revolves around working hard and earning money. Nevertheless, if you want a break from all this and you are wishing for some valuable memories that will last for a lifetime, then the Kapalai Island is the right place for your vacation.

Situated along the Ligitan Reefs bordering the vastness of the Celebes Seas, the Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort is a luxury water village resort which stands on a sand bar and can be reached with a 15-minute travel from Pulau Sipadan. According to history, the sand bar was once the island of Kapalai a few years back before an erosion came.

The structures of the water village are built on the water where the guest can enjoy the pleasantness and tranquility of the exclusive resort the whole day, especially in the early morning and late afternoon in which the beautiful sunrise and sunset can be viewed. From the comfort of their balconies, the guests can observe the underwater activities, such as the amusing behavior of squids, or a couple of needlefish and halfbeaks with their silver bodies moving about in the crystal clear water. Sitting in your verandah while watching the turtles swim is just one of the simple yet wonderful things that can surely amaze you.

With a cool ambiance, the resort provides a relaxing accommodation through their twin sharing chalets which features extra-hot baths plus a sundeck or verandah. Recently, there are a total of fifty-one individual chalets around the place which are about 9 meters wide each. The fabulous resort does not only welcome divers but also non-divers as well. Snorkellers can join the tour via dive boats at different dive sites resting at Kapalai, Mabul, Siamil, Mataking.

Scuba Diving in Kapalai?

Kapalai, as well as its closely related Sipadan Island, is one of the most outstanding diving places in the world, for professionals as well as for beginners. The underwater life that you will encounter here will leave you breathless, as marine creatures peacefully swim around you. You will get the chance to see rare species of fish, octopuses and turtles in the waters of the Kapalai Island, as well as an extraordinary view of the corals from the Ligitan Reefs.

Check out our Kapalai dive guide and start planning your next dive trip!

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