After two weeks in the city we were longing to get some sand between our toes and to cool off in the water. We went out to Borneo Reef World for snorkeling and sea-walking. You don’t have to go far to get here, only 20 minutes boat ride from Kota Kinabalu city. When we first heard about Borneo Reef World we didn’t know what it was but we understood quickly that it’s a pontoon just nearby a few islands. When we arrived we got welcomed but the crew and they told us about the pontoon and what they do. The main reason is to protect the reef and also educate the visitors. The pontoon has facilitates like toilets, showers and changing rooms. We were lucky that the group we went with was the only group that day, the crew told us that the pontoon is capable to take up to 500 people at the same time. Our group was only 6 people including us and that gave it a very luxury feeling to have the place and the staff just to our self. It felt like the pontoon was ours!
We began to snorkel and discover the underwater world and the reef. The crew was very friendly and helpful to get the right gear then it was just to jump in the water. There were plenty of fishes in the water and we were lucky to see the real clownfish (we found Nemo!).
After the snorkeling we get to try the extraordinary sea walk. None of us has a diver license so it was really fun to be able to go deeper down in the water and still breathe. A sea walk means that you get a helmet that influx oxygen during the whole time when you are under water. You walk down on stairs to 5 meter deep and under the whole time you have a professional diver to access you. While you are in the water you can watch the fishes more close and get the chance to feed them right of your hand. You are under water for 20 minutes which is a good period of time because the helmet is pretty heavy.
If you think the sea walk sound scary they have an alternative when you don’t have to go into the water. On the pontoon they have an underwater observatory. Which is a tunnel that you walk down in and the sides are made of glass, so you can observe the underwater world and fishes. On the walls of the tunnel there is information about all the species that lives in the reef.
When we got up again it was time for lunch. They did serve a big buffet and also a barbeque with fresh seafood. Everything tastes amazing after hours in the water. We didn’t felt like going in the water again so we went upstairs to get lite more sun, on the upper deck you can sunbath and enjoy the view over the ocean and islands.
Later on the afternoon we went to the nearby island Sapi, only 5 min boat ride from the pontoon. Sapi Island is a typical paradise island with white beaches and crystal clear water. We stayed here for an hour and just enjoyed the water and relax in the shadows of the palm trees. If you are up for more snorkeling you could bring the gear along with you.
When we got back to the pontoon we had a short time to freshen up and then it was time to go back to mainland. A bit sunburned but very satisfied. It was great to escape the city for a while and just be in paradise for a couple of hours.