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Atop the Ligitan reef, a narrow sandbar appears at low tide, only just rising above the waves of the Celebes Sea – Kapalai Island. As the sandy ridge tapers down into deeper water, the shallow sand bed creates a cloud of turquoise in an azure sea, crowned with the wooden village of the Sipadan-Kapalai resort.

The entire Sipadan-Kapalai Resort is built on stilts on the sand and in the shallow water. From afar, it seems to be floating in the middle of the sea. There is an abundance of marine life just below its wooden walkways, a hint at the treasures to be discovered in the depths beyond.
These undersea wonders are the true attraction of Kapalai, apart from the panoramic sea views and the unmatchable seclusion. Without even getting wet, you can spot unusual creatures like lionfish and needlefish in the clear water around your chalet, and diving in Kapalai means entering a macroworld paradise.

Kapalai is located off the coast of Semporna, a small fishing town in Malaysian Borneo (how to get there). It is within minutes of Sipadan Island, a legend in diving circles, and its equally famous neighbour, Mabul Island.

 

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