Adventure | Travel & Culture

The Pontoon Borneo Reef World Underwater Experience (Kota Kinabalu Tour Part 3)


When I learned we are going to visit some beaches at our Kota Kinabalu trip, I got so giddy. I am one of those who is so in love with the sun, sea, and sand.  On our second day at Kota Kinabalu, we visited a couple beaches that are popular in the place. I thought we were gonna settle down into one of the beaches we went to for a swim and do that sea walking thing in our itinerary. Little did I know we were on our way to another adventure that I can now cross out in my bucket list, walk under the sea/ helmet-diving/ sea walking!


Yes, that is me on my way down the sea!  An alien Earthlingorgeous! LOL!

This is where this under-the-sea magic happened, the Borneo Reef World, the largest reef activity pontoon in Asia and is equally modern as the ones operated at the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.


It measures 37.5m Length by 24.5m Width by 11.8m Height and is built with high marine grade rust-proof aluminium

. The 2 level pontoon include our unique Underwater Observatory, carpeted walkways, sunbathing deck, freshwater showers, shaded seating areas, children’s pool and comfortable dining area. It also houses the 5 sea level platforms to launch the various water activities.


Before doing any activities we had a short briefing first on what to expect while in the pontoon, the do’s and don’ts while in the area or doing the activities, and other reminders on safety.

After the briefing, we went to get our things settled in an area and look around the place while waiting for our turn to do some water activities.    Applying sunscreen/sunblock is not recommended as it can harm the corals and the fishes.   

Equipment for snorkeling and diving

Here’s an area where beginners can learn basic scuba diving!

And the doorway to the underwater observatory

This is ho the underwater observatory looks like!

I was down there earlier than the rest so I was able to capture the elusive barracuda!


Another elusive fish I saw in the pontoon observatory was this angel fish, this is the best angle I can take this fishy always hides when I focus my cam!

There are many fishes in the sea! lol

After seeing all those many fishies, we decided it is time to try the water activities! Our first stop was snorkeling. Honestly, I never snorkled before. I am scared to death because I’m intimidated with that goggles and the thing I need to put on my mouth lols.


That’s me in the middle. I looks so uncomfy! LOL!

I’m so glad to have found a friend in the trip that is as scared as I am when in comes to snorkeling, Marj Pineda-Uy Hey, the water below us is 15 meters deep and I can’t swim. Even if we have life vest on and there are so many friends in there to save us if ever. I still can’t psyche myself to go far from the deck because I might not be able to come back and I start panicking! That will be a scary scenery and very embarrassing!


I was able to move 5 feet away from the deck! But no further! That’s an achievement already!

After a few minutes of “snorkeling” we decided it is time to go underwater sea walking!

This was the equipment we used to go underwater!

These things weigh a ton! Super duper heavy! But because we are underwater, it weight less but still heavy but tolerable!

We were taught basic underwater signs so we can communicate with our diver guide and with our fellow sea walker!

LOL I dunno what I was doing here!

That’s the OK sign

I’m with Ada here

There’s not much to see under that I did not see in the observatory, so hmmmm if you want to enjoy this underwater walking at the Borneo Reef, better go here first before the observatory so you will be more excited to see the fishies!

I did find Nemo the clownfish though poking in his anemony ! Although I heard it is Dory who is missing this time around! Haha

So as to give sea walker something to look at, a pseudo coral reef, kinda like an aquarium in open water was placed at the side of the rails

I wish the water was a bit clearer (maybe because there were many who went before us so the water is kinda mossy (malumot) but the experience was definitely one for the books.


I can cross this one out on my bucketlist, walking under the sea. Geez it was not even on my list before to be honest with you all!

The underwater walking last for 20 minutes but it is up to you if you wanna go up earlier. We stayed for 20 minutes so the dive guides have to do something to entertain us

It was still so early in the day so we decided to enjoy the pontoon by taking OOTDs and sun bathing and lounge by the deck area, like a boss! Haha


Like some FHM models lolz!


After soaking in the sun and the entire view around the pontoon, it was time for lunch. We had a Filipino buffet in there as one of the staff was Filipina! Lunch was good. Sea food buffet and lotsa veggies.  Then we rested for a bit, while some went in for a dive and snorkeling again before heading back to our hotel.

The Borneo Reef Closes operation at 2:30PM and opens at 5:30am everyday.

Going there you need to contact the local tour operators or Sabah Tourism Board. From there the will assign your service boat going to the pontoon and book your activities for you. We were taken to the pontoon by a private speedboat, like a boss, haha! Thanks Tourism Malaysia, Sabah Tourism Board for this lovely experience!

group shot boatIMAG7766
Hey looky! That’s Mt.Kinabalu on our background!

Going back to the hotel, we all boarded this super cool fast craft!

This is how this boat look from inside

The passenger area

By the deck area

And the by the captain area. Yes I took over the boat! Haha!

This trip was one of the best trip I had because of blogging! Thanks so much Zest Airways, Tourism Malaysia, Sabah Tourism, and Fleishman Hillard Philippines for this opportunity!

borneo world group pic

Photo credits:  All photos in this post are courtesy of Raffy Pedrajita of Philippine Travel Blog, Iris Camille Acosta of Pinay Ads, John Michael Bueno of Kumagcow, and the rest were mine. You may use the photos in this post with permission to the owners. Thank you!

Here are other post related to this trip:
Zest Airways Maiden Flight To Kota Kinabalu
Kota Kinabalu City Proper Tour
Sabah Museum Tour
Mari Mari Cultural Heritage Village Tour

How about you, have you been in an underwater adventure before?
Stay gorgeous everyone!

Share Your Thoughts Here

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Beautiful place! Looks like all of you had fun. Well, who wouldn’t, right? It is really gorgeous and the underwater experience looks fun. I want to try that one!

  2. obviously like your web site but you need to test the spelling on
    several of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling issues and I in finding it very troublesome to inform the truth then again I’ll certainly come back again.

  3. I wish I would be there, good pic, especially underwater one. Cheers. X.

  4. Oh-ha, you’re not just an accomplished beauty blogger now, you’re blogging beautifully about travel as well! 😛

    Borneo is beautiful, I also wish to see it someday. A friend of mine from Kota Kinabalu brags about their islands every time he can and I would always reply that we have thousands and thousands of them, equally if not more beautiful than theirs! 🙂

    Great to see you guys enjoyed the trip!

  5. walking under water sure is not on my bucket list, either, but i would love to experience this one day + visit Kota kinabalu, too!

    when will i ever get to travel for free? sigh!

  6. ooh i’m really jealous, you got to enjoy the beauty of one location and the fact that it is free is totally rewarding. I would really love to try that underwater experience but i’m afraid of the water since i don’t know how to swim 🙁

  7. Wow! I want this trip too for myself! That is one of the items in my wishlist! I am also afraid but I’m willing to give it a shot so I can see those fishies! Nice and helpful post! =)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.