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Kapalai Island 卡帕萊島
Explore the Wonders of Sabah Malaysia
Kapalai is an island in Tawau Division, Sabah, Malaysia, known for its scuba resorts. The island of Kapalai, just 15 kilometres off Sipadan, was a beautiful island two hundred years ago, but now it is only a sand bar.
Kapalai island – The mere name conjures the image of crystal clear waters and a floating paradise like no other. A 45-minute trip from Semporna by speedboat, Kapalai island is one of the many beautiful diving havens in this part of the world. However, Kapalai is truly unique because it is not quite an ‘island’. Actually, Kapalai Island isn’t really an island per se. It is more like a sandbank of the Ligitan Reefs out in the sea. And the sandbank is only visible during low tide. It was an island long long time ago, but erosion from the sea has pretty much washed it away. The sandy bottom and sparse coral heads is home to an amazing array of small, shamelessly colourful creatures and great for divers who are avid underwater photographers. Often, many of these creatures have yet to be identified as a species. Diving in Kapalai, you will likely encounter a lot of macroworld subjects such as banded pipefishes, blue ribbon and yellow ribbon morays, blue spotted stingrays, butterfly fish, cleaning shrimps, clown anemone fishes, crocodile fishes,groupers, humpback shrimps, lambis truncata seashells, mandarin dragonets, mantis shrimps, spotted boxfishes, squirrel and trumpet fishes, various species of nudibranchs, paperfishes, triggerfishes, crab eyed gobies, gold specs jawfish, razor fishes, porcupine fishes, and rarer subjects as blue ring octopus, frogfish and ghostpipe fish. Kapalai is totally peaceful and quiet, just a turquoise sea stretching off into the distance, and yet right underneath is the water which is literally teeming with life, so you can snorkel straight off.