Two hundred years ago Kapalai was a beautiful island; however erosion has reduced this island to sea level and it is now a mere sandbar. Built on stilts the only resort, Sipadan Kapalai Resort, stands alone on the mile long sand bank of the Ligitan Reefs situated in the Celebes Sea just 15 minutes away from the world renowned Pulau Sipadan. Kapalai is accessible by a 70 minute boat ride from Semporna, a small fishing town close to Tawau or catch a boat from Tawau itself on the southeast coast of Sabah, Malaysian Borneo.
Diving around Kapalai is remarkably easy, due to the shallow depth of it’s dive sites. Pulau Kapalai offers up some of the best ‘muck dives’ in the world with the sandy bottom and assortment of corals being home to a staggering collection of tiny, exceptionally colourful, and some yet-to-be classified aquatic creatures. Rare subjects such as the flamboyant cuttlefish, blue-ringed octopus, sea moths and mating mandarin fish are seen on a regular basis. The jetty dive at the Sipadan Kapalai Resort has plenty to offer like giant frogfish, ribbon eels, mantis shrimp, leaf scorpion fish, harlequin ghost pipefish, and an array of gobies. Other frequently seen creatures such as the crocodile fish, lion and scorpion fish are almost ignored as being too common!
The Sipadan Kapalai Resort is the only accommodation available on Pulau Kapalai. Surrounded completely by water, this wooden stilted water village is the ultimate in peace and serenity. The rooms are comfortable and spacious with massive private decks offering panoramic views of the spectacular Borneo horizon. At the Sipadan Kapalai Resort you do not even need to enter the water to catch glimpses of trigger fish, squid, needlefish, and countless others, just lean over the walkway or gaze into the sea from your balcony.