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PADI Discover Scuba Diving DSD in Kota Kinabalu

(14 customer reviews)


The PADI Discover Scuba Diving Experience is a wonderful way to experience scuba diving for the first time. This one-day try-dive with Borneo Dream includes a diving skills training session and two dives. You’ll have the chance, under the guidance of our experienced PADI Instructors, to go scuba diving in the tropical, warm waters of Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park and see an amazing array of colourful marine life including a Turtle if we’re lucky!

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Please select your group size so we can offer you the best deal.

Sabah Parks Conservation Fees *

When scuba diving in the local marine park (Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park) Sabah Parks applies a conservation fee. It has two parts, a scuba diving permit and a conservation fee. The amount payable is split into two groups – Malaysian (valid MyKad or a foreigner with Permanent Residence ‘PR’ Status) and Non-Malaysian. Even if you have a Work Pass you are classed as Non-Malaysian. Current charges are RM 25.00 for Malaysia and RM 70.00 for Non-Malaysian. You will also need to select the right number of days based on the activity chosen. For example, a standard 3-Day PADI Open Water Diver Course requires a ‘3 Consecutive Days…’ permit purchase.

U/Water Digiatal Camera Rental

Why not capture a few underwater memories with an underwater camera rental. We offer a Nikon W300 rated to 30m or Canon G16 with an underwater housing rated to 40m. At the end of the day, your images will be uploaded to either DropBox or Google Drive and a link shared with you. Please be aware that there will be a charge for loss or damage to the camera and housing of RM2500.00

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PADI Discover Scuba Diving DSD in Kota Kinabalu | Ready to try diving?

Want to try something new or fancy exploring the underwater world? Then the PADI Discover Scuba Diving DSD Experience in Kota Kinabalu is a one day Try Dive for those who want to discover scuba for the first time. The PADI Discover Scuba involves 1 day off ‘wet activities’ and no pre-study. During your PADI Discover Scuba Diving Experience with Borneo Dream, you will complete a morning confined skill session followed by a short beach dive, lunch at a tropical island followed by an afternoon boat dive. The maximum depth for the PADI discover scuba is 12 metres, however, most of the exciting marine life is between 5 to 10 metres.

PADI Discover Scuba Diving DSD in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Try Scuba Diving in Kota Kinabalu with a PADI Discover Scuba Diving Experience

Both the skills session and the 2 dives of the discover scuba are completed in the lovely tropical waters of Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park located in front of Kota Kinabalu. Expect to see lots of cool tropical marine life, including ‘Nemo’! During your afternoon dive along a coral reef, you will see a mix of hard corals, soft corals, colourful sponges and anemones. You’ll also see a wide range of tropical fish life including Damsel Fish, Clown Fish, Parrot Fish, Lion Fish, Barracuda, Yellow Snappers, Fusiliers and lots more. If you are lucky you might see a Turtle!

If you have a few days free in Kota Kinabalu and are interested in taking your scuba diving further then you could consider learning to dive with the PADI Open Water Diver Course. If you are not sure about trying scuba diving then you could join our Guided Snorkeling Trip and build up your confidence with snorkelling first.

PADI Discover Scuba Diving DSD in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Trip Itinerary – Discover Scuba Diving Experience, Kota Kinabalu

8:45 am – meet our Dive Crew a the entrance to Jesselton Point Jetty (wait near the red telephone boxes on the left-hand side as you enter Jesselton Jetty). Our Dive Crew will escort you to our dive boat for a 9:00 am boat departure. You will enjoy a ~ 20 – 30 minute boat transfer to your morning dive site in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park.

9:30 am – Receive a full safety briefing provided by your PADI Instructor for your PADI Discover Scuba Diving Experience.

10:00 am – You’ll be helped into your dive gear. You are now ready to start your morning scuba diving training session! During the morning training session, you will complete confined skill session 1 (learning 5 simple dive skills with your PADI Instructor). This session is run from a shallow depth from Sapi beach. Your PADI Instructor then takes you for a practice dive from the beach out along the shallow reef so you can practice โ€˜divingโ€™. The duration of this dive is based upon air consumption (how quickly you breathe the air in your cylinder), but usually, your morning dive will be between 25 to 40 minutes.

11:30 am – 12 noon – Back on our boat and a chance to shower. You’ll be transferred to Padang Point for a tasty lunch.

~1:30 pm – Back on to our dive boat. Your PADI Instructor will provide a dive briefing for the afternoon open water dive. Put your dive gear on.

2:00 pm – Start your afternoon dive from our boat and enjoy diving along a shallow coral reef guided by your PADI Instructor. The dive can last anywhere from 30 – 50 minutes.

3:00 pm – Back on our boat after you finish your dive. Take your dive gear off, a chance to shower and change.

~3:30 pm – Transferred back to Jesselton Point Jetty. We hope you had an amazing time during your PADI Discover Scuba Diving Experience!

PADI Discover Scuba Diving DSD in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Pre-requisites – PADI Discover Scuba Diving Experience

To complete a PADI Discover Scuba Experience you must be:

  • Aged 10 years or older. We will need children under 18 years to be supervised by a parent or guardian during their Discover Scuba.
  • Be fit and in good health to go scuba diving. You will be required to self certify you are healthy to go scuba diving via a PADI Medical Form.
  • Have basic swimming skills and be comfortable in water too deep to stand up in.

What’s included?

  • Use if our rental dive gear (including 3mm shorty wet suit).
  • 1 x confined skills diving training session.
  • 2 x open water course dives (one from the beach, one from our boat).
  • Lunch
  • Low Instructor to Student Ratios, often lower than 1:4
  • Free flow drinking water on our boats.
  • Instruction in English, Malay or Chinese.
  • A smile ๐Ÿ™‚

What’s not included?

  • Sabah Parks Diving Permit paid once per course.
  • Collection from your hotel, as most hotels in Kota Kinabalu it is easier to walk and often quicker than a taxi.

What do I need to bring on my PADI Discover Scuba Experience in Kota Kinabalu?

  • Towel
  • Swimwear – Please be ready to get wet straight away ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Suntan lotion
  • Any personal items
  • Money in case you want ice cream…
  • A smile


If you are on medication or have a known medical condition, then please check with us in advance before booking your PADI Discover Scuba Diving Experience.

PADI Liability Forms and a PADI Medical Form must be signed by the participant before the Discover Scuba commences. You need to have a minimum of 18 hours free after diving before flying on a plane, or changing altitude > 300 metres, in line with PADI safety standards.

14 reviews for PADI Discover Scuba Diving DSD in Kota Kinabalu

  1. Yohindrau (verified owner)

    The whole trip and diving was fun both the instructor are friendly and helpful. The diving experience has been fun.

  2. gglpets Oldham, United Kingdom (TripAdvisor)

    Just Amazing – Myself and my husband did a fun dive with this company and it was exceptional, they really look after you, they warned that some fish bite and to just swim away, and guess what……yes as soon as I entered the water I was bitten, this does not hurt too much though and is all part of the fun. I would really recommend this, the staff are welcoming, professional and funny, very funny, making you feel relaxed. We are not experienced or qualified divers by any means, so i recommend you do this if you get the chance.

    You get half a day, you have your instruction and then your first dive, followed by a free lunch at a cafe, which is very nice. Then a second dive afterwards before heading home.

  3. Oliver B (TripAdvisor)

    Exciting scuba experience – My wife and I spent an amazing 5 days on Gaya island and organised a scuba experience through the hotel. We spoke to one of the staff before the trip who took time to understand what we wanted to do and explain how the trips worked.

    Our instructor, Eugene, was amazing. The day was taught 1 teacher to 2 students, unlike some of the other groups we saw with other companies. He took the time to make sure we understood everything and gradually increased our confidence. He also made a real effort to manage both our learning styles. My wife was initially apprehensive about the experience but by the last dive was eager to get back in the water.

    The dives were also very interesting. We got to see a lot of different coral and fish, as well as a shark towards the end!

    I’d happily recommend them and would certainly use them again if I visit Borneo.

  4. matthew b Hong Kong, China (TripAdvisor)

    Excellent experience; great for kids – I organized a concurrent PADI dive certification course for my son (14 y/o) with Discover Scuba (DSD) and snorkelling for my daughter (10 y/o). The PADI course was very well run, well structured. DSD was great fun for her, and after that experience, wanted to keep diving – which Borneo Dream was able to accommodate on one of the other days. So both were very happy. Organizing the trip was very smooth, and the company communicated with us and organized a good schedule that would address both of their abilities.

    Downsides: while a dive operation cannot control conditions or what is underwater, I felt they could have been more proactive in selecting sites. And the location where we had lunch each day – while the only option around the islands – left a good bit to be desired.

    Overall, would definitely recommend!

  5. Chai S (TripAdvisor)

    Importance of the first impression – Discover Scuba Diving with Borneo Dream – I’m back here from the holiday and writing a review for the team. We had an amazing discover dive with our instructor, Basir. He’s very friendly and funny guy! We had lots of fun and laughter throughout the day. We have never tried scuba before so we decided to do it this time and WE LOVE IT! I love the feeling of being underwater. Big Thank the team for giving us a NICE experience and get to know the beauty of diving. Definitely will be going for Open Water the next time! Thumbs up!

  6. Helen and family

    This was a great way to try snorkelling and for our 10 year to gain confidence in the water. Our instructor, Esther, was very patient with us all and we had a very enjoyable couple of days.

  7. Majbritt

    We booked a diving experience with Borneo Dream Travel & Tours for our family of 2 adults and 2 children (age 11 and 14 years old). It was our first time to try scuba diving. We had a great diving experience where our diving instructor Eugene made us feel safe and secure at our first scuba diving – Eugene was very calm and pleasant and really understood to give us a good experience. We will definitely recommend Borneo Dream Travel & Tours.

  8. Sarah Elliott

    Had a fantastic day, Basir was an excellent instructor,clear, patient, good humoured and thorough !!!! , would love to do PADI open water this year as I will be sixty in December, would love to come back around then to complete for my birthday !!!
    Best of all we saw a Turtle !!!

  9. Max and Hattie

    Markson and the team on Borneo Dream 3 made our first experience of diving very enjoyable. It was amazing to be taken down onto the reef and see so many wonderful creatures.
    It was good to see a photo of us on the boat, but we would like to see the one of us with our certificates on the jetty at DIR.
    Many thanks Max

    Comment by Joanne – thanks Max for sharing such a lovely review about your PADI Discover Scuba Diving Experience with Borneo Dream. Im pleased you liked the photos we shared on our Facebook page of our diving trip you joined. I’ll email to you the extra photos our crew took which include you ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Sabrina Yong

    Thank you Basri for making Alfred a little bit more comfortable diving. Thanks for spotting all the wondrous marine life out there. You were great in taking care of us.

  11. Andrea & Jeff Vlahovich

    We liked the friendly attitude of Ian and Bec. We think the amount of theory to practical was great. The dive spots were really nice, shame that it was too choppy to get to the lighthouse!

  12. Ammar Rafidah Binti Saptu

    My partner and me enjoyed time diving with BORNEO DREAM in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park last saturday.Our trainer Mr.Richard very nice teacher for us. In future, we would request him to be our trainer back. We loved our first experience of scuba diving and it’s tempted both of me to try more diving in the future. If my leave approve, we are plan to do Open Water Course by this Sunday.

  13. Brandon Woods, USA

    Thanks for coordinating my Borneo Dream DSD trip! I had an awesome time diving! All the instructors were fun and great teachers. I’m so glad I got to experience this adventure. Feeling weightless under the sea swimming with the fish is amazing. The surprise storm was even exciting too. I used
    my underwater resistant camera and took some fantastic photos. I can’t wait to tell all my family and friends.

  14. Fish Buddy (verified owner)

    Really enjoyed my try dive. Got to see Nemo and my Instructor, Mr Billy, was very handsome lah!

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PADI Open Water

  • How much does a PADI Open Water Certification cost in kk?

    The PADI Open Water Diver Course in KK ‘Kota Kinabalu’ is just 3 days with a half-day classroom session. Prices for this amazing underwater adventure start from RM 750.00/Student or USD 185.00/Student. The price includes return transfers from Jesselton Point Jetty in central Kota Kinabalu, full diving equipment, lunch on diving days, PADI materials to keep and of course a professional smile.

  • Can I fail a PADI Open Water Course?

    Fail is not something we at Borneo Dream like to say or use unless we have to. Generally, there is always a reason why someone fails to complete a PADI Open Water Course. It can be as simple as ill-prepared, maybe a very strong fear of water or this is just not for me. Our professional team are there to train and mentor you and guide you in the right direction. We will make every hurdle manageable for you. If you have any concerns about taking part in a PADI Open Water Course then why not contact us in advance.

  • Is Malaysia the cheapest place to take my PADI Open Water?

    There is a very old but correct saying – You get exactly what you pay for. The cost of a PADI Open Water Course in Europe is far higher than it is in Asia. This is to do with the cost of living and peoples potential income levels. The same way a Big Mac is RM 1.00 in Malaysia but 5,00โ‚ฌ in Europe. Looking at prices across Asia I would say Malaysia is near the top in value for money or cheapest price range. Borneo Dream’s prices are not the lowest in our area but our dedication to safety and quality speaks volumes. Take a look at our reviews on TripAdvisor or Google Maps.

  • How deep can I dive with my PADI Open Water Certification?

    If you are 15 years old or older on the date you complete your PADI Open Water Diver Course in Kota Kinabalu you can dive to 18metres in theory. I say this: even if your Lamborgini can go at 200mph should you not first learn to drive slower? Always build up your experience gently in a controlled manner. It tends to make you live longer ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Can anyone learn to dive?

    If you can navigate your way across KL airport or through a busy shopping centre, we feel you can learn to dive. 99% Of being able to learn to dive or complete a PADI Open Water Diver Course in Kota Kinabalu is a right positive mental attitude and believing in your own abilities. All we ask is that you are fit and well and have the ability to swim 200 metres in water too deep to stand up in.

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