One of the best dive and snorkel spots in the world: Sipidan and Kapalai!

5 11 2011

Our overwater bungalow! Such an amazing place.

After a LOT of internet research, and realizing that the options for diving/snorkeling on the Sipidan site meant either scary shithole-level accommodations or crazy expensive 5-star resorts, we decided that the choice was clear: you won’t enjoy yourself if you are grossed out by where you are staying. So, we took the plunge and got reservations at the Kapalai Dive Resort – stilted bungalows in the middle of the ocean built over a sandbar/coral reefs (the stilts themselves don’t touch any of the reefs!). It was everything we hoped it would be – it was absolutely crawling in wildlife, the kind of ocean life we have only ever seen in the Galapagos Islands and Great Barrier Reef. It was amazing, except for one really strange thing: none of the Asian women seemed to know how to swim, yet they came to a resort that has nothing (and I mean nothing) to do that is outside the water. The upside to this is that all the divers are off doing their thing (I can’t dive due to asthma and inner ear damage), and all the people left behind are either too afraid to go in the water, or have literally (!!!) hired a guide to hold their hand while in the water, all while wearing a life vest (and yes, sometimes a life vest PLUS FLOATIES) while not venturing farther than maybe 100 feet from the steps down to the water. It meant that I basically had an entire huge reef completely to myself to nerd-out on – a marine biologist’s dream world!

Below are pictures of the resort, and pictures I took with a rented camera underwater (a Sony point and shoot that should never be taken underwater. Who designs a touch-screen camera to be taken underwater inside a bulky plastic housing? Sigh). It’s a small dose of the amazing things we saw! What you won’t see – the turtles! Turtles were constantly swimming around our bungalow – I will forever remember the evenings spent listening to the turtles breathing below our room!!

The view from our bungalow!

Lounge areas over a low-tide sandbar.

Phil leaving on a dive trip!

Sea cucumbers were all over the place!


Beautiful, beautiful coral!

Nudibranch!

The whole place was crawling with starfish of all sizes and colors!

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