Downbelow Work Experience Memoirs!

Hello, my name is Heather Zeta Ludi. I am fifteen years old and I am schooling at SM St Joseph Papar. Now it is the school’s holiday for two months. There is nothing to do in this month of November besides going out with my family or friends and going for my usual sports training. So, I decided to find a job to fill my leisure times and getting some experiences on how working really is.

My father got a job for me at Downbelow in Kota Kinabalu Times Square. After my father told me about the news that I am going to be working. I was very excited about it but at the same time feeling lazy as well. Finally I got to overcome the feeling of laziness and packed my stuffs to stay with my father.

On Monday, 9th of November 2015, was my first day of internship at Downbelow. I was introduced to each staff there by one of the staff there too which is my mentor and I also met the director After that, I began doing the works that I was asked to do.

First of all, I was asked to follow one of the staff to check on the stocks for the office, lodge, and beach house at the island. I learned that it is important to check all the stocks because everyday the stocks are subtracting and new stocks are coming. So it is a must to write down the number of things or food and beverages left and which is need to be added some more. Besides that, I also did some counting one the books stocks and filed up the papers.

The next day, on Tuesday 10th of November 2015. I did the same work as I did on the first day but only filing up the papers because I haven’t done doing it and there are few more files that I haven’t finish filing. I only took half a day to work because it is the Indian’s public holiday, which is Deepavali.

On Wednesday, 11th of November 2015. I filed up the papers that I haven’t finished doing yet. After that, I counted the masks, gloves, and hoods to make sure that the number of the equipment are the same as it is stated on the paper. Then, I learned about the fishes, sea slugs, and coral reefs. I got to know that there are seven types of Clownfish and I was a little curious about it. I looked at the commercial playing on the screen at the diving shop. So I asked many questions from my mentor. She answered my questions and I was amazed and can’t wait to dive at the island. I also got to know what is the full name for PADI.

On Thursday, 12th of November 2015. I read more about the marine biology. Then, my mentor explained to me about the gears and suits that is being use by the divers inside the sea. After that, my mentor demonstrates to me how to put on the diving equipment and what is the use of the equipment. I also learned how to attach broken straps to the underwater watches. Lastly, I combined the registration forms for the divers and also counted the stocks for the underwater torch or headlamps.


Heather Zeta Ludi

Frogfish choose Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park!

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What is it about Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park that makes frogfish choose it for their home?

Frogfish (Antennariidae) are part of the anglerfish family, characterised for luring their prey, and learning frogfish marine biology has shown us they are masters of camouflage! They can change colour to suit their environment; or they may use other organisms, such as algae, to hide.

Recently, our island staff team have enjoyed visiting a frogfish that has taken up residency on a coral block of a reef in the Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park where we operate. It’s very special (amongst divers) to find a frogfish because these fish are somewhat particular of their marine environment. So if the frogfish stays, it’s very happy – the best compliment, for Project AWARE supporters like ourselves at Downbelow, to receive!

Contact us at our Sabah Travel Centre to arrange a daily leisure diving program at our PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre to visit the frogfish with one of our experienced PADI professionals!

What dive destinations are there in Sabah?

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015 @ 08:00 Dive Kota Kinabalu, Diving Sabah, News

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What dive destinations  you are looking for is important to our Sabah Travel Centre’s when creating your adventure itinerary – just know that there are plenty of incredible spots in Sabah!

Travel expert Jane, organises a daily leisure diving package for our clients from New Zealand to explore the reefs of the Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park under the supervision of the PADI professionals based at our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre.

Having just experienced a scuba diving adventure at Layang Layang Island, they couldn’t get enough of the incredible tropical scuba diving in Sabah; so upon their return to Kota Kinabalu, they dropped by our HQ to book a few days of our recreational diving program for certified divers.

They are inspired to continue their diver education since logging more and more dives during their diving holiday in Sabah, and they invested in a Suunto Zoop dive computer each to consider the first professional level in the PADI system of diver education: PADI Divemaster!

Get more details on Go PRO internship programs combined with a dive holiday in Sabah when you get in touch with our advisors!

Downbelow team organise an underwater proposal!

Thursday, May 14th, 2015 @ 08:00 Dive Kota Kinabalu, News, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park

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Downbelow Marine and Wildlife Adventures staff team organise and underwater proposal for good friends Navin and Felisih!

It was a complete surprise for Felisih, as Navin requested for our team to keep it a secret from her – the plan ‘went off without a hitch’, and of course she accepted his proposal!

The story goes: Managing Director and resident Platinum PADI Course Director Richard Swann, created a story about a ‘Malaysian Ringfish’…get it!?
So, Richard and our dedicated and experienced PADI Instructors, as well as Navin and another friend Calvin (BOTH Instructors too!), guide the unsuspecting Felisih to a hidden ‘treasure box’, which contained the surprise wedding band and a note of sentiment. After inspecting the box for an unusually long time, Navin instructed his beau to open the box finally…before all divers ran out of bottom time!

It was a wonderful day of long-time friends scuba diving, and Richard cooked his special ‘Buried Chicken’ recipe, which was so delicious it was inhaled by both the island staff team and the ladies of Downbelow’s Sabah Travel Centre!

The lovely couple will need to think of something truly amazing that will beat such an awesome proposal as this…maybe climbing Mount Kinabalu…or our very exciting ‘Going Global’ trips, which is currently in its early stages of planning, but it’s happening very soon!

Get in touch with our travel experts to find out more about our near future developments for travel and tours packages to explore beyond Kota Kinabalu, Sabah!

Downbelow teach SCUBA to the future of Sabah’s tourism industry!

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Our Downbelow premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre operations were honoured to host a whole day for our 30 friends visiting from Politeknik Sandakan!

The students will gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the Project AWARE mission through their experience of the PADI Discover Scuba Diving program and Snorkel Safari. Nothing beats experiencing the reality of scuba diving, and inspiring others to become Project AWARE supporters themselves!

It seemed to be kismet when a whale shark was spotted swimming within the confines of the TAR marine park, and several of the students (who were snorkelling, as a matter of fact) were lucky enough to see it up close from one of our dive boats!

We only wish for the students of Politeknik Sandakan to continue visiting us on the regular basis that they are doing to always remember how important the contribution to our marine environment is for the future of Sabah’s tourism industry.

Sabah Travel Centre experts at our Kota Kinabalu HQ are experienced in creating itineraries to suit the educational mission. Get in touch if your group would like our experts to create terrestrial-based programs – such as jungle trekking the Salt Trails or climbing Mount Kinabalu!

Commute to work and pass the Queen Mary 2!

Thursday, February 26th, 2015 @ 08:00 Dive Kota Kinabalu, News, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park

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Our island crew decided to leave a little earlier than usual, just to pass the Queen Mary 2 during their commute to work!

Such a moment calls for a selfie, so the island staff team co-ordinated themselves into positions and quickly get a shot before heading over to our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre.

Kota Kinabalu is a lively port where many visitors from these luxury cruise liners will disembark to see more of Borneo’s exciting culture and traditions. Because the cruise liners will dock for a certain amount of time to give passengers a chance to sightsee different places, many of the guests who are avid divers visit our beach house for a few days of leisure diving or snorkelling to check out the diversity of the reefs in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park.

There’s lots more than diving in Kota Kinabalu, such as the famous Mount Kinabalu, which is an approximate 2-hour car journey from KK city centre, and our itineraries to climb the summit trail includes transfers among many other conveniences!

Get in touch with one of our Sabah Travel Centre staff who will arrange a suitable itinerary for your travel plans in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah!

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!

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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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!