霞女之旅

Xia's Journey

Snorkelling and Sea Walking at Sapi Island

on December 27, 2013

Date of Trip                   :           1 Dec 2013, Sunday to 5 Dec 2013, Thursday.

Flight
To                                  :           AirAsia AK 1792, 1 Dec 2013, Sunday, 5.35pm – 8.05pm

Return                           :           AirAsia AK 1791, 5 Dec 2013, Thursday, 2.35pm – 5.00pm

Cost of Flight                 :           S$171 per pax, with two way 20kg check-in luggage

Accommodations

1 night Accommodation at Step-In Lodge   :   SG$10.96 (4-person dorm)

2 nights Accommodation at Seri Borneo     :   SG$81.32 (SG$40.66 per night)

Sapi Island

Snorkelling Gear + Sea Walk Experience         :                 RM 180

Ferry                                                                :                 RM 20

Conservation Fee                                            :                 RM 3 (Local Adult Rate)

Buffet Lunch                                                    :                 RM 45

4 December 2013, Wednesday

After an arduous 20 hours 30 mins climb at Mount Kinabalu on my Birthday, it was time to pamper myself with a good Rest & Relax.

I had friends recommending ‘Walking in the Sea with an astronaut costume’. Intrigued, I wondered what that was and googled for it. It was known as the “Sea Walk Experience”.

Costs

Horizon Borneo – the agency that I did my Kota Kinabalu climb with, quoted me a RM 250 for the Sea Walk experience and RM 190 for rental of Snorkelling gear, Ferry charges, Conservation Fee and a Buffet Lunch.

Amazing Borneo had an online offer of RM 295 for the Sea Walk experience, rental of Snorkelling gear, Ferry charges, Conservation Fee and a Buffet Lunch. It was an attractive offer but it needed two paxs to go.

As I was travelling alone, it would cost me RM 590 instead. It was way too costly and absurd.

I found some infor on the web that it was much cheaper to travel there on my own and decided to do so.

Amazing Borneo Package

RM 295 – Quite a good deal from Amazing Borneo.

Found Gold

As I was strolling from my accommodation to Jesselton Jetty, a man standing by the roadside slightly after the round-about along Jalan Pantai approached me.

He was selling / (touting) his Day Tours and Island Packages.

He offered a RM 180 for the Sea Walking experience which would have cost RM 250 at the usual price.

The ferry costs RM 20 although I read from the web that it was RM 30.20 with taxes.

IMG_4201

Met the man near this round-about who offered me a fabulous deal… : D

Conservation Fee (Entrance Fee) at the island costs RM 3 for Local Adults and RM 10 for Adult Tourists.

Since I was dark enough to pass off as a local, he managed to get me a RM 3 local rate.

In all, I paid RM 203 for the Sea Walk experience + rental of Snorkelling Gear which he threw in to me for free and I bought a Buffet Lunch at the island for RM 45.

20131204_100658

So many different prices for Conservation Fee !

Different Prices I encountered

Horizon Borneo Amazing Borneo Infor on Web My Costs
Sea Walk Experience RM 250 RM 250 RM 180
Rental of Snorkelling Gear RM 190 RM 10 FOC
Ferry
(Inclusive in RM 190 Snorkelling package)
RM 23 + RM 7.20 = RM 30.20 RM 20
Conservation Fee
(Inclusive in RM 190 Snorkelling package)
RM 10 RM 3 (paid at entrance of Sapi Island)
Buffet Lunch
(Inclusive in RM 190 Snorkelling package)
RM 45 RM 45 (paid directly to stall at Sapi Island)
TOTAL RM 440 (single traveller) RM 590 (single traveller) RM 345.20 RM 248
  RM 295 (2 paxs to go)

Snorkelling

As the venue was highly recommended for its clear and clean waters to snorkel, I was really looking forward to it.

As the speedboat neared the island, I saw debris, flotsam and jetsam on the surface of the waters; water bottles, flip flops, plastic bags etc.

It was a far cry from what I had imagined it to be.

I changed out and got into the waters for some snorkelling but with the thought that the debris were just above my head, that really ired me.

20131204_104321

Debris, flotsam and jetsam on the surface of the waters… Goshh…!!

20131204_134949

Looks clear and awesome, but there is an ugly side to it too. Look carefully and you’ll see leaves, twigs and branches on the waves and waters.

Sapi Island collage

Sapi Island

Sea Walking Experience

I won’t really call it a Sea Walking experience per se. I think it was more like a “Sea Standing experience” rather. Haahaa… 🙂

There were three other Chinese ladies when I signed up for the Sea Walking experience.

The four of us were driven in a speedboat to a platform in-between Gaya Island and Sapi Island and it was here that we did the Sea Walking experience.

20131204_101722

Need to don on this 35kg helmet

They provided us with some rubber footwear and one by one, we don on the ’35kg helmet’ before dipping into the waters.

We went down a flight of steps and arrived at the sea bed.

We held on to the rope and walked (barely more than 10 steps) to the right so that the divers could get some shots of us.

We were given fish feeds and all the nemos and fishes started crowding around us and nibbled on our fingers when we fed them.

The Sea Walking experience lasted about 15 to 20 minutes which I felt was just right.

Any longer, and I could feel my head going groggy with the 35kg weight.

DSC08141

Sea Walking Experience / (More like Sea Standing Experience)… Wahahaha… : D

Barbequed Seafood Buffet Lunch 

When I got to the island at 10am, many of the staff were setting up and preparing the tentages.

I thought there was going to be a party of some sort.

By lunch time, these tentages turned into buffet lines whipping up sumptuous barbequed seafood with crabs, prawns, chicken wings, satay, salad, fruits etc.

20131204_104738_Richtone(HDR)

Such pretty tentages – I thought was some party.

One of the stalls was serving up the buffet for RM 45 and I decided to have a go at it.

The variety was relatively huge with about 15 items to choose from.

The food was quite yummy despite that some of them were already cold since they did not have the warmers beneath them.

I would say it was good value for money especially so for those who went for seconds and thirds.

20131204_130009_Richtone(HDR)

Had crabs, prawns, chicken wings, satay, fruits, salad etc at the RM 45 Barbequed Seafood Buffet Lunch.

Buffet Lunch Collage

Huge variety for a RM 45 Barbequed Seafood Lunch Buffet

However, if you do not wish to take up the Barbequed Seafood Buffet Lunch, there is also a cafeteria near the beach.

They serve ala carte dishes such as Noodles, Rice etc at an average price of RM 9 per dish.

It didn’t look too appetizing and that was why I opted for the buffet lunch although I only went one round on it.

20131204_122647

Ala Carte meals at the cafeteria near the beach.

After Thoughts

I cut short my time at Sapi island and took the 2pm speedboat back to Kota Kinabalu mainland. Although the beautiful sun, sand and sea was a good reprise from the hustle and bustle of our everyday life, the beach was not as awesome as I had imagined it to be. I visited Jakarta’s Putri Island recently and thought Sapi Island would be just as awesome if not more since they had such fave reviews. Sadly, Sapi Island turned out to be quite a damper.

The waters here were rather filthy and there was way too much tourists on the island, causing much noise and litter pollution.

Ultimately, I got back to the mainland to indulge in my good rest instead.

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