Archive for January, 2015

Danum Valley: Something for everyone in the virgin rainforest!

Saturday, January 31st, 2015 @ 08:00 News, Sightings

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Sabah Travel Centre Managers Alice and Magdalene report Danum Valley has something for everyone to enjoy in the virgin rainforest!

A ‘familiarity trip’ is organised and fully-sponsored by Downbelow Marine and Wildlife Adventures to explore the attractions of Danum Valley to increase product knowledge for the benefit of our clients.

The ladies stayed at the Borneo Rainforest Lodge, as well as Tabin Wildlife Resort, to assess the level of customer service meets our clients’ expected standards of excellence!

They also learnt a lot of the incredible plant and animal biodiversity of Sabah, Borneo; particularly during guided walks in the morning and afternoons to spot rare and endemic wildlife. Beautiful views of the misty jungle in the mornings are just amazing from the watchtower at the Borneo Rainforest Lodge; and at the Tabin Wildlife Resort, they saw a variety of animal footprints covering the mound that is the Lipad mud volcano.

Get more information on how our Sabah Travel Centre can create an individual itinerary for you to explore the untouched ‘heart of Borneo’ in Danum Valley!

Mount Kinabalu: Getting to Low’s Peak summit.

Thursday, January 29th, 2015 @ 08:00 Climb Mt Kinabalu, News

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Getting to Low’s Peak summit on Mount Kinabalu needs some preparation, and our Sabah Travel Centre have a bounty of experience to offer so that our guests succeed!

International clients Helena and Peter from Finland chose our 2D1N itinerary to attempt one of the biggest challenges in Sabah. They made it to the summit, and they managed to get there in time to watch the sunrise over the valleys of the Crocker Range too!

Travel consultants of our Sabah Travel Centre located in Kota Kinabalu city centre have provided the necessary information for them to climb Mount Kinabalu. One way our services offer support to our guests is frequent communication throughout their package: offering them encouragement before they ascend to 4,095m, and congratulations when they are greeted once again by one of our friendly drivers at Kinabalu National Park HQ.

Pre-climbing preparation is also outlined here, for our clients’ further information on what to expect of climbing the summit trail.

Contact our Kota Kinabalu Head Office to discuss a similar itinerary to that of Peter and Helena’s, or one more suitable to your holiday in Sabah, Borneo!

Sabah, Borneo: High biodiversity in tropical fish!

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 @ 08:00 Courses, Dive Kota Kinabalu, News, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park

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In Sabah, Borneo, there is high biodiversity in tropical fish species, which fascinates marine enthusiasts the world over!

Danny and Rachel from Australia continue their dive education on the PADI Fish Identification Specialty Instructor course, and the opportunity to do this in the Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park is a prime location for diverse marine life.

Their PADI Instructor, Pablo, is an accomplished underwater photographer too, who will suggest in their future dive adventures to invest in a camera to capture anything unfamiliar they spot.

During the course, his students will illustrate different fish families because recognising what family a fish species belongs to will make it much simpler to identify its species.

A popular method is to dive with fish identification slates, and we stock several at our Kota Kinabalu Dive Shop. Some of these slates are specific to a fish family, and we also have slates for coral species too.

Come and check out the different fish ID slates available at our Dive Shop, which is the same location as our Sabah Travel Centre. While you do so, one of our friendly and helpful consultants can create a program to include the Specialty for you to complete at our Dive Centre!

First step to become a PADI Instructor? GO PRO internship!

Sunday, January 25th, 2015 @ 08:00 IDC, News, Professional Diving Internships

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A Go PRO internship at our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre is the best first step to become a PADI Instructor!

Francisco can focus entirely on his professional dive training on our next PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC), as many conveniences are included in his 1-month professional scuba diving internship.

His Go PRO advisor Sarah Jane, fills him in on the details of his itinerary at our Kota Kinabalu Sabah Travel Centre.

There are numerous benefits to completing an internship, and particularly at Downbelow. Internships, which are all under the mentorship of our Go PRO team and resident Platinum PADI Course Director Richard Swann, is a minimum of 1-month for the IDC. We conduct the IDC course over 16 days, however we advice our candidates to stay for the one month period so that can spend time with our Go PRO team and build dive leadership skills over a longer period of time to really absorb what’s involved in a dive lifestyle. This way candidates also benefit from our IDC prep programs. 

Go PRO interns may also take advantage of perks we offer, such as UNLIMITED scuba diving in the TAR marine park, and all products at both our KK Dive Shop and Sabah Travel Centre are discounted – just for interns!

We know what hard work goes into completing the IDC, and as a treat newly qualified Go PRO divers can explore more of Sabah as a treat for their success! One of the most popular and challenging adventures in Sabah is climbing Mount Kinabalu, and we have a ‘No Frills’ package 9for the budget traveller – perfect for newly qualified Instructors who are just starting their diving career, for example!

Get in touch with Sarah, or any of our travel experts, to create an awesome program to Go PRO and discover more of Sabah!

At our KK Dive Shop: the PADI pyramid of diver education!

Friday, January 23rd, 2015 @ 08:00 Courses, Dive Shop, News

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Supervisor Karen has assembled an awesome structure of the PADI pyramid of diver education at our KK Dive Shop.

This pyramid of educational materials can be read by our walk-in clients and visitors to our KK Times Square HQ for a better understanding of the variety of PADI diving courses and programs.

If you’re thinking to Go PRO, on display is the PADI Instructor Manual, which comes in its own zipped binder for any candidate on our professional scuba diving internship program.

Our Dive Shop is the same location as our Sabah Travel Centre, which is really handy for clients who will be visiting our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre in Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park. Guests can finalize their itinerary to include an island activity with one of our travel consultants and leave with the educational materials corresponding to their PADI course and start their studies ASAP.

Get more details on what PADI courses and programs we conduct at our beach house and the dive theory study to meet its performance requirements, when you contact our Kota Kinabalu Head Office!

Scuba diving and mountain climbing in Kota Kinabalu!

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Two awesome activities, scuba diving and mountain climbing can be found in Kota Kinabalu!

Only very recently, Go PRO intern Mike completed his professional scuba diving internship at our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre, and now he’s back for a different adventure!

Instead of going under the water, Mike wants to explore above the water – Mount Kinabalu! Sabah Travel Centre Manager Alice was Mike’s Go PRO advisor and created his personalised professional dive internship itinerary. Great news for Mike: Alice knows exactly what to expect and shares with him every detail he needs to successfully reach the 4,095m mark in our 2D1N standard mountain climbing program!

Alice also encourages Mike to participate in the Lows’ Peak via Ferrata circuit because it’s the worlds’ highest via Ferrata, with its starting point at 3,776m altitude, and it gives an unbelievable adrenalin-high and stunning views of the vast Crocker Range!

For more details on the programs we can cater to suit your individual needs, get in touch with our Sabah Travel Centre in Kota Kinabalu, and prepare for one of Sabah’s biggest challenges!

Take advantage of 3 nights of luxury and a day of island fun!

Monday, January 19th, 2015 @ 08:00 Discover Scuba Diving, Dive Kota Kinabalu, News

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Our Sabah Travel Centre based in Kota Kinabalu created a very special promotion to take advantage of 3 nights of luxury and a day of island fun at our paradise beach house in the TAR marine park!

Experiencing the luxurious accommodation facilities of Sutera Harbour Resorts: the Pacific Sutera and the Magellan Sutera, will be one of many highlights of a Sabah holiday!

Guests of both resorts are able to enjoy the 27-hole course of Sutera Harbour Golf and Country Club with its white-sand bunkers dotted about the greens’ Bermuda grass!

Each resort has its own spa where there is an array of facial, body, aromatherapy, holistic or traditional therapies and massages to choose from – a relaxing time after a full day exploring Kota Kinabalu!

The dining experience found at either resort eliminates any need to go to Kota Kinabalu’s city centre, as there are several eateries offering different cuisines on location. The world-class Ferdinand’s at Magellan Sutera serves Italian and is known as East Malaysia’s finest dining experience!

For a day, guests on this promotion visit our premier PADI 5 Star Dive Centre, which is located 8 minutes by fast speedboat in TAR marine park.

On the morning of the island activity day of this promotion, one of our Sabah Travel Centre experts will greet guests at the waiting hut – only a 5-minute walk from the either resort.

Upon arrival at our beach house, a member of our island staff team of PADI professionals will greet you with a welcome briefing.

Everyone proceeds to the deck of our Dive Centre, where their PADI Instructor or guide will give them a detailed schedule of their island activity.

There are two choices: either our 1-day fully guided snorkeling, or our 1-day PADI Discover Scuba Diving program! However, discuss with one of our HQ’s Sabah travel experts on creating an itinerary with your individual needs catered to!

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Special Promotion: 3 nights at Sutera Harbour Resort & 1-day island fun!

Saturday, January 17th, 2015 @ 11:14 Promotions

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A special promotion is available to enjoy luxury for 3 nights at Sutera Harbour Resort and 1-day of island fun at our 5 Star Dive Centre in the Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park!


Sutera Harbour Resorts’, the Magellan Sutera and the Pacific Sutera, are two of some of the finest luxury accommodations to be found in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

Golf-enthusiasts will appreciate the classy touch of Bermuda grass that makes up the 27-hole course of Sutera Harbour Golf and Country Club.

Both resorts’ have a spa on the grounds, where guests may unwind after an active day exploring the many attractions around Kota Kinabalu.

Other forms of pampering come in the form of dining experience, and each resort caters a variety of cuisines in the several bars, cafes and restaurants. The world-class Italian restaurant, Ferdinand’s, serves one of East Malaysia’s finest dining experiences!


The location of both the Magellan Sutera and the Pacific Sutera Resorts’ are perfect for this special promotion our Sabah Travel Centre created!

Our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre transfers our island guests from the Sutera Harbour jetty in the morning, which is a 5-minute walk from either resort. Once arrived at the base camp, one of our team of PADI dive professionals will provide a welcome briefing, before proceeding to try equipment for your chosen activity! We have two packages, which can be altered to suit our individual clients – no problem! There is a choice of either our 1-day fully-guided snorkelling, or our 1-day PADI Discover Scuba Diving program!



Pacific Sutera Harbour Hotel

Deluxe Golf View Room:

  • 3 Nights with 1 Day Scuba Diving: RM 935 per person (*RM 1,065 per person)
  • 3 Nights with 1 Day Fully Guided Snorkelling: RM 885 per person (*RM 985 per person)


Magellan Sutera Harbour Resort

Deluxe Sea View Room:

  • 3 Nights with 1 Day Scuba Diving: RM 1,305 per person (*RM 1,175 per person)
  • 3 Nights with 1 Day Fully Guided Snorkelling: RM 1,225 per person (*RM 1,125 per person)



Note: Blackout Dates: 17th to 23rd February 2015.

*Rates for non-Malaysian.

**Promotional rates are valid until 31st March 2015 (except for blackout dates), based on 2 persons sharing (single supplements apply) and includes all room and government tax.



Included in 1-day island activity:

  • Boat transfers to Gaya Island.
  • Snorkelling & diving equipment rental (except Dive Computer)
  • Lunch and refreshments on Gaya Island.
  • All park entry & jetty fees.


Note: You do not have to be a qualified diver to enjoy the diving activity, just let us know and we will conduct a PADI Discover Scuba Diving program for you with an extra boat dive in the afternoon.

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What wildlife is likely to be spotted in Sabah, Borneo?

Saturday, January 17th, 2015 @ 08:00 News

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What wildlife is likely to be spotted in Sabah, Borneo will be influenced by the knowledge and experience of your guide and the locals. However, we remind visitors to appreciate that any wildlife spotting is due to chance – we don’t believe in creating a stage for nature, and that makes these moments so rare and special!

Joey creates a 2D1N itinerary for our repeater client, Jaakko, to see what his chances are of spotting wildlife on Sabah’s east coast, at Sandakan!

The rarely spotted animal species endemic to Borneo are, pygmy elephants, gibbons, clouded leopard or rhinos, and they roam through the jungles freely, which means there’s always a chance!

This adventure program that our travel expert Joey has suggested for Jaakko includes lodge accommodation along the Kinabatangan River with our trusted partner, and wildlife safaris are in the form of river cruises and night walks! Jaakko will find the experience to be a very personal one and the boatmen have ‘eagle-eyes’ to spot orang utans, proboscis monkeys, hornbills from far, far away.

To spend a short getaway or a real jungle adventure, contact our Kota Kinabalu HQ to discuss a personalised program for you to take a chance with spotting the wildlife of Sabah and Borneo!

Marine, wildlife and adventure packages: Explore Sabah, Borneo!

Thursday, January 15th, 2015 @ 08:00 Dive Kota Kinabalu, Enriched Air Nitrox, News, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park

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Explore Sabah, Borneo for a personalised holiday on our many marine, wildlife and adventure packages, like Richard’s old friend Jason is doing!

Jason visits our 5 Star Dive Centre to qualify as PADI Enriched Air Diver, and his Instructor is his old friend Richard Swann. As a Platinum PADI Course Director, elite Instructor Trainer, Richard has a lot of dive experience to share with Jason!

As he completes his course, Jason also explores the TAR marine park with some leisure dives, making for an exciting start to his Sabah adventure.

Wildlife spotting cannot be missed when visiting Borneo, and there’s so many endemic and rare animals in Sabah itself. Jason will fly to Sandakan town, on Sabah’s east coast, and be transferred to the Kinabatangan River for some peace and relaxation while getting closer to nature in Bilit Village. A good camera is highly suggested to capture the numerous hornbills guests spot during the morning and early evening river cruises.

For the next Sabah adventure (but probably not the last), Jason is white water rafting at the mighty rapids of Padas River! Hoping it’s terrible weather on that day…because it makes the rapids wilder!

For more information on how our Kota Kinabalu HQ Sabah Travel Centre experts can arrange a suitable adventure package for you, get in touch.

Combine various day trips, overnight stays, luxury accommodation or budget backpackers, we have the expertise to personalise your Borneo holiday!