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PADI Open Water Diver Course in Kota Kinabalu

(25 customer reviews)


The PADI Open Water Diver Course is the most popular course for learning to dive in the World!! Choose the full PADI Open Water Diver Course (3.5 days) with Borneo Dream during your holiday in Kota Kinabalu and enjoy small groups per PADI Instructor, nice diving boats, friendly crew offering great service, tasty lunch on an island and learning to dive in tropical waters along coral reefs.

Group size *

Please select your group size so that we can offer you the best deal. If you are on your own or wish to see if you can join others to get a better price, please contact us.

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

Sabah Parks Conservation Fess *

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 upon the activity chosen. For example, a standard 3-Day PADI Open Water Diver Course requires a ‘3 Consecutive Days…’ permit purchase.

Dive computer rental

Monitor your dives with a dive computer rental. We offer Mares Puck Pro dive computers for rental. They are very simple to use and are also Nitrox/Enriched Air capeable. The replacement cost should you lose or damage it is RM 1000.00/unit.

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PADI Open Water Diver Course in Kota Kinabalu

Are you wanting to learn to dive during your holiday in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah? Then choose the PADI Open Water Diver Course with Borneo Dream. The PADI Open Water Diver Course is the most popular course for learning to dive in the world! The full course is 3.5 days and involves a pre-study session followed by three days on our boat during which you will complete five confined water skill sessions, four open water dives, a swim and float test. Upon completing the PADI Open Water Diver Course you will be a certified PADI Open Water Diver and able to dive to 18 metres with a buddy anywhere in the world.

During your PADI Open Water Diver Course with Borneo Dream, all confined skill sessions and open water course dives are completed in the lovely tropical waters of Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park located in front of Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. During your open water dives, you can expect to see some pretty cool marine life including Clown Fish, Parrot Fish, Lion Fish, Puffer Fish, Barracuda, Yellow Snapper, Blue Spotted Rays and if you’re lucky a Hawksbill Turtle!

Learn to Dive – choose the PADI Open Water Diver Course in Kota Kinabalu

If you don’t have four days free during your holiday in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah to learn to dive then there are other PADI Open Water Course options for you. The PADI Open Water Referral course is where you complete all the confined water training and academic study sessions in your home town with another PADI Dive Centre. Once you are on holiday in Kota Kinabalu you join two (2) days of diving completing four open water training dives. Another cool option is the PADI eLearning Open Water course where you complete all academics online using say a PC or iPad then come to Borneo for just three (3) days of water training. The choice is yours!

PADI Open Water Diver Course in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Typical Itinerary for the full PADI Open Water Diver Course in Kota Kinabalu

Course Itinerary

Pre-study Session

Arrive at our Shop in Kota Kinabalu (G27 Wisma Sabah) for a 9:30 am started. During the study session, you will watch 3 sections from the PADI Open Water Diver Course DVD. You will then complete 3 chapter Knowledge Reviews, answer correctly 3 quizzes plus 36 questions from the final exam. All this should take around 4 hours. The remaining study (2 more chapters) will be completed in your own time but before the morning of day 2. The remaining questions on the final exam and the fourth quiz will take place on the lunchtime of day 2

Day 1 – PADI Open Water Diver Course

Your need to meet our Dive Crew at the Red Public Telephone Booths at the entrance to Jesselton Point Jetty (in central Kota Kinabalu) at 8:45 am, for an 8:50 am boat departure. Please ensure you arrive on time, or early, as our boats will depart on time. 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 morning diving activities. You will then complete your 200m swim test and 10-minute float.

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.

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 your first open water course dive. Put your dive gear on and go for a 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 open water course dive. You’ll then be transferred back to Jesselton Point Jetty.

Day 2 – PADI Open Water Diver Course

Meet our Dive Crew at Jesselton Point Jetty at 8:45 am, for a 9:00 am boat departure. Today will be a busy dive day as we have a lot to do. In the morning you will complete Confined Water Training Sessions 2, 3, 4 and 5 followed by lunch. In the afternoon it is time for your PADI Open Water Dive 2. After your afternoon dive, you will be transferred back to Jesselton Point Jetty (arriving back between 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm). By the end of today, you will have completed enough training to be a PADI Scuba Diver. Cool!

Day 3 – PADI Open Water Diver Course

Meet our Dive Crew at Jesselton Point Jetty at 8:45 am, for a 9:00 am boat departure. All being well, by the end of today you will be a PADI Open Water Diver and have joined the millions before you in this fantastic diver education program – The PADI Open Water Diver Course. Today will be a less busy PADI Open Water Diver Course day, but we still have a lot to do. In the morning you will complete Open Water Dive 3 followed by lunch. In the afternoon it is time for your PADI Open Water Dive 4 – your final qualifying dive :-). After high 5’s with your PADI Instructor, you’ll be transferred back to Jesselton Point Jetty (arriving back to ~ 4:00 pm). Congratulations on becoming a certified PADI Open water Diver!!

PADI Open Water Diver Course in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Course Pre-requisites

To join a PADI Open Water Diver Course you must be:-

  • Aged 10 years or older.
  • Fit, healthy and able to swim comfortably in water too deep to stand up in. You will be required to self certify you are healthy to go diving before you start the course. If you will answer YES to any question on the PADI Medical form we will need to see a signed letter from your doctor saying you are healthy to dive.
  • Prepared to study both before and during your PADI Open Water course.

What’s included?

  • PADI Manual, Certification and Log Book
  • Full Diving Equipment
  • Lunch on diving days
  • Low Instructor to Student Ratios, often lower than 1:4
  • Free flow water on our boats
  • Instruction in English, Malay or Chinese
  • A smile

What’s not included?

  • Sabah Parks Diving Permit and Island Conservation Fee – RM 25.00 Malaysian RM 70.00 Non-Malaysian
  • Collection from your hotel

What do I need to bring on my diving days?

  • Towel
  • Swimwear – Please be ready to get wet straight away 🙂
  • Suntan lotion
  • Any personal items
  • Your PADI Manual
  • Money in case you want ice cream…
  • A smile 🙂

Notes – PADI Open Water Diver Course, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Please note that you need to have minimum of 18 hours free after diving before flying on a plane, or changing altitude > 300 metres, in line with PADI safety standards.

25 reviews for PADI Open Water Diver Course in Kota Kinabalu

  1. webmaster (store manager)

    Customer: Melania Michael
    Date: 29th till 31st March 2021
    Comment: Thank you so much. It was such a beautiful experience. Amir was great, so as the rest of the crew, Ian, Esther & the boatman too!! I truly enjoyed every moment spent throughout the 3-day course, I couldn’t ask for more. I’m looking forward to the PADI Advanced course soon.

  2. Lauren B (TripAdvisor)

    Great open water course! – Did our 3 day open water course with Basir. He was very patient and professional, we left feeling very confident in or ability and looking forward to our next dives! The team are great fun. Thank you all! Jamie & Lauren

  3. Alex B (TripAdvisor)

    PADI Open Water Diving Course – My wife and I have just finished the PADI open water diving course with Borneo Dreams. Our instructor, Basir, was amazing, very calm and helpful. My wife was quite apprehensive about the course but he enabled all of us to complete it. We had a great time, learnt loads and saw a huge amount of different fish and sea life. All the equipment provided was top notch. Would thoroughly recommend Borneo Dream! A great experience!

  4. Celin Y (TripAdvisor)

    PADI Open Water Diving Course
    First time diving underwater and it was a great experience under the guidance of our instructor – Esther Koh! I was a bit nervous at the beginning of the course but Esther was very dedicated and patient in teaching all the skills over and over again. I know I will be safe under her guidance. Unfortunately, it was not a good weather during the diving course but Esther managed to show us some interesting marine creatures such as reef shark, lionfish, black scorpion and etc! Thank you Esther and the crews for the wonderful and enjoyable 3 days of dives.

  5. 대규 최 (TripAdvisor)

    You’ll never regret choosing this diving shop! – I came to KK alone only for diving. I’ve never dived in my life so it was the first time. The instructors are really nice and pro. The sea is enough warm to swim and clean to see many fishes. I could see beautiful corals, turtles, squids, yellow snappers and eagle ray. You can see more beautiful creatures. I got the Open Water course here and did fun dive for 2 days.
    Thank you Bas, Amir, Yoojin, Esther and Zull. You gave me great presents. I’ll never forget all of you. I wanna come back here, see you and get the advanced license.
    Take Care and Good Luck with your life!!
    Thank you!!

  6. Christoph F Greater London, United Kingdom (TripAdvisor)

    Excellent diving experience – My first time diving after passing my PADI course and it was an amazing experience. Amir and Esther took great care me. I did six dives with them and saw amazing wildlife while improving my diving skills. Safe, professional and really fun people. From sales staff at Gaya to managers Billy and Bob an absolute top team.

  7. Chenming Z Osaka, Japan (TripAdvisor)

    Utmost professional (Open Water diving course) – My friend and I are most satisfied with our experience with Borneo Dream.
    I first made my enquiry for open water course 1 week prior to our holiday, which was very last-minute. I approached all top 5 agents on TripAdvisor, and Borneo Dream had the fastest response(even after the closing hour), and arranged new spots for us that work with our schedule.

    For the OW course, Borneo Dream is not the cheapest, but the communication was very sincere. There was no aggressive up-selling as I experienced with some other highly rated agents. We were told that dive computer rental is advised but not mandatory for the OW course, too. Which saved us a bit extra.

    The teacher-student ratio was 1:2, only Amir(certainly the most assuring and professional mentor in the water) and us. The course takes 3.5days, unlike 3days at other agents in Kota Kinabalu, or 1day in Phuket…Which is the most attention you can ask for in the water. This was especially helpful as I personally had a lot of fear of ocean due to inexperience(I could only do breaststroke). Yet with this course, I learnt finning, floating, skin dive, water-clearing in mask and snorkel and all other diving basics. Water entry was the most dreadful thing, but as strict as Amir is, I had to do everything multiple times until I built up enough confidence to perform properly.

    The rest of the Borneo team was also very professional. The dive boat was well maintained. Briefing on all kinds of on-boat and in-water rules was succinct and on point.
    Knowing my friend’s liveaboard experience in Thailand, I am truly glad that I booked with Borneo Dream, which is, by all means, safer, cleaner and more fun(blessed by Sabah’s amazing marine life).

    Other highlights include the diligent hidden photoshop talent on their Facebook page, free cookies every day after the dive, and Amir’s jokes.

    Will certainly come back to hang out with the crew.

  8. Henrik H (TripAdvisor)

    Open water course with Dreamboy Jason – Not much to be said. We did a four-day course to become open water divers. Jason really did a good job helping us out and cracking a few jokes in between.

    Physically we are done but it was all worth it.

  9. Everitt family

    Borneo Dream did an excellent job accommodating our family. Our 12 yo daughter completed her Open Water certification and Basir, our guide, was wonderful with her- encouraging her and sharing his enthusiasm for diving. It was great that my husband (a certified diver) was able to accompany her on all her dives and be a part of this with her. Myself and our younger daughter were able to accompany them on the boat for the 3rd day and enjoyed the wonderful snorkeling. The boat, equipment and dive/snorkel sites were all great and the Borneo Dream staff made our trip top notch. Highly recommend!

  10. Chris Ackermann

    My Padi OWD Course with Borneo Dream was absolutely amazing. You guys really did a perfect job! I was a bit nervous at the beginning, but our instructor Eugene was extremely professional, patient, welcoming and funny! I felt very safe all the time and had lots of fun at very nice dive spots! I’m already looking forward to dive with you guys soon 😉 Eugene and Team, thank you so much for opening the marine world!

  11. Nic

    Absolutely amazing course, really from the start the guys are professional but also fun too. We were a little nervous in the water at first and all the group felt a little unsure and also overwhelmed by the theory. But they really made everything so easy, step by step, and in the end the exam was nothing and we were so comfortable and confident in the water! We also saw some really stunning places out here, great place to do your PADI.

  12. Alexander Biliy

    PADI OWD opened for me now!

    All because of these guys!

    Thank you so much for such a professional, funny and safe course!

    Special thanx to Basir, my instructor!
    The best of the Best!

  13. Amber Wilmshurst

    Our Padi Open Water Diver course, was an incredible experience. Our instructor, Basir, made it even more wonderful. He was such a lovely instructor and gave us time if we couldn’t do something and helped us to retry. He was hilarious and made the whole trip more enjoyable. We saw 3 green turtles on one of our dives which was amazing! Would truly recommend Borneo Dream, and ask for Basir if you can:)
    Amber and Jess.

  14. Kristine

    In connection with our recent stay in Gaya Island Resort we went diving 2 of the days with Borneo Dream. Since it had been 5 years since my last dive I was a bit rusty on my skills. Luckily that was not a problem at all since both we had very experienced, friendly and patient diving instructors in Basir and Amir. They took the time to brush up on all the safety exercies etc which made me feel very safe and comfortable during our 5 dives. If we come back to this area we would not hesitate to go diving with these guys again – can highly recommend. Thank you for some very good, safe and comfortable dives 🙂

  15. Sasha

    A Labour Day weekend well spent getting my OWD certification. Special thanks to Basir, our PADI instructor for being infinitely patient, informative and teaching us to ‘fall with style’. Thanks to the entire crew for the entertainment and warmth shown to us throughout the trip!

  16. Johanna

    The team of Borneo Dream did a splendid job they way they organised the PADI open water course. The instructors are very kind and with a touch of humour they teach you all you need to know. They take you to different places for the diving, so you see a different reef each time.
    The staff in the office is likewise kind and helpful with any kind of questions you have (I asked about a spa and they could recommend me a great one). The team is very professional and personal at the same time. For me it was absolutely value for money.

  17. Lady Of Misrule, UK (TripAdvisor)

    Open Water Certification & 4D 3N Jungle Adventure
    We took our Open Water Certification with Borneo Dream after doing some research of dive schools in the local area. We settled on them as they had good reviews and good prices. We were not disappointed! Our instructors were really knowledgeable with decades of diving experience between them and doing the course was so much fun! Our confined water dives we did just off Sapi Island in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, which I was really pleased with, we had tropical fish swimming all around us as we learned the basics, & it felt like a more comfortable transition from learning to actual diving than maybe doing the confined dives in the pool would have been. The dives themselves were really fun, we did 2 on the House Reef and the other 2 in the Coral Garden, different sections each time. Saw a bunch of pufferfish, lionfish, barracuda, stingrays, mantis shrimp, a moray eel and loads of other fish.

    We also chose to book with Borneo Dream for a 4D3N tour, which took in a Turtle Sanctuary, where we got to see a Turtle give birth and then some baby turtles released into the wild, which was magical. We initially thought this might be a if you’re lucky kind of situation but it happens every night. And it’s great. Second day we visited the Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary and the Sun Bear Sanctuary in the morning, both of which were awesome, and then went to the Kinabatangan Lodge in the jungle, where we stayed a further 2 nights. During this time we took two sunrise river cruises, two sunset river cruises, 2 night hikes through the jungle and one trek to an Oxbow Lake. This entire experience has been incredible. In the wild we saw Orangutans, Proboscis Monkeys, Silver Langurs, Saltwater Crocodiles, all kinds of birds and spiders and scorpions and generally just had an amazing time. Falling asleep in our bamboo hut listening to the sounds of the rainforest was truly magical. On the last day we visited the Gomantong Caves and we saw a mother and baby Orangutan and some red leaf monkeys as an added bonus to the cave itself, which was immense and really cool.

    Big shout out to our Jungle Guide James, who was with us for the whole four days and was an all around great guy. He was really knowledgeable and really friendly and approachable – an amaing guide, we couldn’t have hoped for better.

    Really enjoyed both of our experiences – thanks Borneo Dream! 🙂

    Visited February 2016

  18. Imke Rian Schoppink

    PADI Open Water Diver Course, Kota Kinabalu – After all the learning and practising (safety) exercises, it’s really cool to finally do a fun dive and use some of the things you learned. I loved the lessons but the fun dives were my favourite. And loved our instructor Basir! He stayed really calm, friendly and funny while explaining everything.

  19. Ammar Rafidah Binti Saptu, MY

    Borneo Dream is always the best team I must Choose for diving needs in Kota Kinabalu. I look forward to diving again soon. Richard help, guide, support & always be patient with both of us & made us feel confident,relaxed especially me who was nervous to complete open water module. All crew in boat looked after us very well.

  20. Xavier Drion, HK

    PADI Open Water Diver Course Kota Kinabalu, Sabah – Professional and securing team and fun in addition.

  21. Anna Frackiewicz & Xavier Drion

    PADI Open Water Diver Course, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah – People 🙂 Our instructor as well as the rest of the team were very patient helpful and professional.

  22. Chung Yuk Ka, HK

    PADI Open Water Diver Course, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah – Safe and smooth arrangement on everything. All staffs are very nice. The coaching was professional. We did learn a lot about diving.

  23. Chung Yuk Ka, HK

    Safe and smooth arrangement on everything. All staffs are very nice. The coaching was professional. We did learn a lot about diving.

  24. Siobhan Collie, Australia

    The whole experience was such a fabulous way to start diving and complete my first course! I had an awesome instructor (Ian) who ensured we always knew what we were doing above/underwater and made room for fun at the same time. I loved my diving experience with Borneo Dream and am very grateful. Thank you.

  25. Zoe Nackman, Australia

    Phil and I thoroughly enjoyed our time in Kota Kinabalu, learning to dive. We found Eugene to be wonderful and his calm personality is certainly the right fit for the diving industry. He was very patient with us, and gave instructions and directions very clearly. All in all, five out of five for Eugene.

    I also found the customer service leading up to our trip to be fantastic. You always managed to respond to me emails within a few days. I was a little confused when I arrived at the resort, as was under the impression that we were going to get our manuals on check in. This was probably just my confusion.

    The only suggestion I would make is that as the stay and dive is sold as a package, it would have been good to have transport included to and from the resort to the dive centre/jetty (and charge a little extra). Overall, taxi service was easy enough so no big deal.

    Thank you to you and the whole team at Borneo Dream. It was truly an amazing experience.

    Hopefully we will return next year to dive Sipadan.

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General frequently asked questions

  • What is Borneo known for?

    Borneo is the third-largest island in the World and is known for a range of things that help make it a special place to visit, and on the bucket list for many travellers. From it’s an amazing range of wildlife including the Bornean Orangutan, it’s ancient rainforests (some of the oldest in the World), world-class diving at Sipadan through to the highest peak in South East Asia – Mount Kinabalu. Borneo is one of the most biodiverse places on the planet, being home to an estimated 15,000 different plant species including the World’s largest flower – the Rafflesia. Borneo is also famous for its rich culture and is home to > 200 tribes each with their own traditions, dialect, dishes, type of home they live in etc. The most famous tribe from Borneo are the headhunters (Murut tribe). 

  • Is Sabah a country?

    Sabah is a state of Malaysia located in northern Borneo. Borneo is home to four political regions: Kalimantan belongs to Indonesia, Sabah and Sarawak are part of Malaysia (often referred to as Malaysian Borneo), and the sultanate of Brunei.

  • Can you fly direct to Borneo?

    To fly to Sabah, Borneo you need to fly to one of three airports – Kota Kinabalu airport (BKI) the main gateway to Sabah, Sandakan airport (SDK) on the east coast and Tawau airport (TWU) on the south coast. Which airport you fly in to/out of depends upon your itinerary and your flight route to Sabah. There are currently direct flights to an airport in Sabah from a range of airports in South East Asia with most direct routes being via Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or Hong Kong. More recently you can fly direct to Kota Kinabalu (BKI) from South Korea, certain cities in China, Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines. For other parts of Borneo, you can fly to Sarawak’s Kuching airport and Brunei’s Bandar Seri Begawan airport.

  • What language is spoken in Sabah, Borneo?

    Bahasa Malaysia (Malay) is the official language spoken in Sabah. Other widely spoken languages include a range of Chinese dialects (such as Mandarin), Tamil and English. All the indigenous tribes also speak their own language – in Sabah the indigenous people speak Dusun and Kadazan, Bajau, Murut, Lun, Bruneian, Rungus, Bisaya, Iranun, Bawang, Sungai, Suluk, and Sama. For travellers visiting Sabah, you will find English is fairly widely spoken and understood in most areas you would visit, although if you tried to speak a few words in Malay it would go down a treat.

  • Which currency is used in Sabah?

    The Malaysian Ringgit is the currency of Malaysia. The currency code for Ringgit is MYR and the currency symbol is RM. We will quote all our prices using RM.

  • Is Malaysian Borneo expensive?

    Borneo may not be as cheap as some other countries in South East Asia, however, you can still have an affordable holiday here and experience some of the best Sabah has to offer. There are activities and accommodation for those on a budget, as well as more luxurious options for those wanting the 5* experience. The same goes for eating out you can eat very cheaply at a local cafe or food court, or you can choose to eat in a more expensive restaurant catering for the tourists coming here. Sabah, Borneo can be as cheap or as expensive as you want to make it means it is still a travel destination most can consider visiting.

  • Is it safe to go to Sabah?

    Sabah in general is a safe place to visit. There were over 4 million visitors to Sabah in 2019 and the vast majority of these visitors enjoyed trips to Sabah without incident.

    In recent years Sabah has put in place enforced security practices, via ESSCOM, to ensure Sabah remains a safe location to visit – these are focused on the south of Sabah (Semporna area) and the islands off the south and east coast of Sabah including those located near Sipadan. You can read the latest Travel Advice from Sabah Tourism.

    At Borneo Dream, we put our customer’s safety first. We ensure a safe environment is offered to our customers during their holiday in Sabah – whether it be suggesting restaurants to our customers, visiting the Kinabatangan River, white water rafting along Padas Gorge through to trekking in the jungle. We still suggest our customers take extra care if they go off exploring independently – this is the same for most other safe countries you could visit in the world.

    We do recommend you also read your country’s FCO Travel Advice for Sabah (Malaysia). You can also email the Borneo Dream Team with any questions or concerns you may have about visiting a specific location in Sabah and we’ll provide honestly informed feedback.

  • Will we still go diving or snorkelling if it is raining?

    The quick answer is “yes”. The longer answer for why rain does not ‘stop play’ when scuba diving or snorkeling in the tropical waters of Sabah:-

    • It is still safe to snorkel and dive when it’s raining.
    • You get wet in the sea when snorkelling or diving, you are not going to get any wetter if it rains.
    • You won’t get cold if it rains as the sea temperature, for most of the year, is a toasty 28C – 30C and even the rain is warm. Nice! We also provide all our divers and snorkelling customers with 3mm tropical wet suits for thermal protection.
    • The marine life doesn’t care if it rains and will still be there to see as you enjoy your scuba diving or snorkelling activity.
  • What will the weather be like when we are on holiday in Sabah / on my trip?

    Sabah has two seasons – The ‘Dry Season’ and the ‘Wet Season’. However, during the whole year we have a fairly constant temperature and humidity level – Sabah has a tropical hot and very humid climate. Most days normally start off with blue sky, sunshine and a calm breeze. Most days throughout the year we have a chance of rain typically later in the day, evening or night time – this is due to clouds building up during the day on the Crocker mountain range which rolls down into Kota Kinabalu normally during afternoon or evening.

    Online weather reports for Sabah will always say there is a chance of rain or thunderstorms every day in Sabah. This is true I that later each day we could get some tropical rain. But no-one can predict accurately what exactly the weather will the next day, the next week or the next month. All we’d say is don’t let weather reports rule what activities you choose to join. As long as you come on holiday prepared for a hot, humid and sometimes wet tropical climate you will have a great time!

    Find to more about Sabah, and Sabah’s climate, on Sabah Bah web site

  • Is it safe to visit Sabah, Malaysian Borneo?

    At Borneo Dream, we put our customer’s safety first. We have been operating in Sabah, Borneo since 2007 and all of our customers have experienced safe, enjoyable holidays. We ensure a safe environment is offered to our customers – whether it be suggesting restaurants to our customers to eat at in Kota Kinabalu, staying at a lodge along the Kinabatangan River, white water rafting along Padas Gorge or staying at an Island Resort. There are a small number of areas we suggest our customers take extra care if they go off exploring independently – this is the same as most other safe countries to visit in the world.

    Sabah itself has put in place enforced security practices over recent years to ensure Sabah remains a safe location to visit – these are focused on the south of Sabah (Semporna area) and the islands off the south and east coast of Sabah including those located near Sipadan. You can read the latest Travel Advice from Sabah Tourism

    We do recommend you also read your country’s FCO Travel Advice for Sabah (Malaysia). You can also email the Borneo Dream Team with any questions or concerns you may have about visiting a specific location in Sabah and we’ll provide honestly informed feedback.

  • Should I take malaria tablets for my Borneo holiday?

    Borneo typically as a whole is classified as a ‘high risk’ area for malaria. In reality, there will be areas in Borneo that are higher risk – like inner rainforests and rural areas – and areas in Borneo that are a lower risk which typically includes most of the places tourists visit in Sabah e.g. Kota Kinabalu, Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary etc. We would always recommend you seek your Doctors advice on what medical precautions you should take when coming on holiday to Sabah, Borneo. It then comes down to the level of risk you want to take when coming on holiday regarding your health.

  • Can I book when we arrive in Kota Kinabalu?

    You can choose to wait until you arrive in Kota Kinabalu to book your trips. However, we’d always recommend you book your tours in advance if you are travelling to Sabah during a peak period, joining a specific tour really matters to you or you have limited time in Sabah (so little flexibility to join a tour on other dates).

    All the trips/packages we arrange for our customers in Sabah will be subject to availability. Some tours do tend to get fully booked in advance throughout the year as there is limited capacity and they are very popular e.g. Turtle Island, Resorts near Sipadan and climbing Mount Kinabalu. During peak periods in Sabah other tours/activities can also get fully booked e.g. Kinabatangan River packages and our own diving and snorkeling trips.

  • Which currency is used in Sabah, Borneo? What is the difference between MYR and RM?

    The Malaysian Ringgit is the currency of Malaysia. The currency code for Ringgit is MYR and the currency symbol is RM. We will quote all our prices using RM.

  • Can you look after my child/children while I join an activity?

    We help many families come on holiday to Borneo and organise tours that the full family can enjoy together. During activities, our guides and PADI Professionals are there to provide advice, tuition and supervise the activities they are running. We do not employ qualified childminders. As a parent, you are responsible for the child or children in your care and are required to supervise and be with them during all activities. This is for your child’s safety and protection, as well as helping you enjoy your time together as a family.

  • Best time to go to Borneo to see Orangutans?

    During the period of March to October is the best time to visit Borneo and see the Orangutans. This is when the weather is at its hottest but more importantly driest. The daily air temperatures range from 27°C to 32°C with humidity hitting 80% often. Orangutans can be sited at Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre or on one of our many Kinabatangan River cruises.

  • What is the weather like in Borneo?

    Borneo is a tropical destination located approximately 6 degrees north of the equator. Let’s look at three destinations located in Sabah. Sabah is the northern Malaysian State of Borneo. On the west coast of Sabah is it’s capital Kota Kinabalu and on the east coast, we have Sandakan they are approximately 180Km apart. 125Km South of Sandakan is Danum Valley.

    Kota Kinabalu – The rainfall of 85 to 317mm per month with the wetest months being September till January. Temperatures are prerty steady at 31°C to 32°C.

    Sandakan – The rainfall of 120 to 450mm per month with the wetest months being August till February. Temperatures are prerty steady at 29°C to 33°C.

    Danum Valley – The rainfall of 165 to 220mm per month with the wetest months being October till January. Temperatures are prerty steady at 27°C to 29°C.

  • Terms & Conditions

  • Making a booking

    Please provide all information requested to help us manage your reservation and booking as quickly as possible. Please book as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Late bookings, less than thirty (30) days from your arrival date, will be accepted subject to availability. All late booking requests must be accompanied by full payment.

  • Our Prices

    All of our prices are quoted in RM (Ringgit Malaysia). Our quotes are valid for 30 days from the date of issue subject to our suppliers maintaining theirs pricing. Our prices include current taxes where applicable. It is worth noting that we work on extremely tight margins to deliver you the best enjoyment for your buck. Thus on very rare occasions, our suppliers will alter pricing at the last minute. If our supplier decides to alter their pricing and we are unable to absorb the extra cost/s you will be asked to cover the diference.

  • Paying for your holiday
    • A 30% non-refundable deposit of the total booking cost (Trips, tours and packages more than RM 1000.00) is required to confirm your reservation.
    • On trips, tours and packages with a total cost less than RM 1000.00 then full payment is required at booking stage.
    • Full payment must arrive 45 days before trip/tour start date – Failing to do this could result in the cancellation of your reservation.
    • There are a few ways to send us a payment – send a SWIFT Payment (Electronic International Bank Transfer), pay via Stripe.com (via credit card on our online shop) or we can process your credit card locally (VISA or Mastercard):
      • SWIFT Payments can only be sent in MYR, GBP or USD.
      • All bank charges and credit card charges for payments to Borneo Dream are to be borne by the customer.
    • Please note that some of the trips we arrange with Suppliers work to different payment terms (for example, for Mount Kinabalu trips full payment is required within 5 working days of making a reservation). Were this is the case we will advise you at the reservation and booking stage.
  • If you need to cancel your booking at the last minute

    For courses, trips and packages provided by Borneo Dream (Borneo Dream scuba diving and snorkelling trips and courses only) the following cancellation policy will apply:

    • If you cancel >45 days from date of your trip/course/experience, we will charge the 30% non-refundable deposit (for the total package cost).
    • If you cancel between 20 – 35 days from date of your trip/course/experience, we will charge 50% the total package cost.
    • If you cancel within 19 – 10 days or less from the date of your trip/course/experience, we will charge 75% of the total package cost.
    • If you cancel within >10 days or less from the date of your trip/course/experience, we will charge 100% of the total package cost
    • If you fail to turn up for a trip (“no show”) you will still be charged the full package cost.
    • We will not refund in respect of any unused services (or part) included in a package.

    Our chosen Suppliers for land trips, Sabah diving packages, transport and room bookings will charge late cancellation fees in line with their own cancellation policy, and depending on the circumstances. The cancellation fees charged by them will be charged to you by Borneo Dream.

    For Mount Kinabalu trip bookings (climbing Mount Kinabalu) 30% of the upfront full payment is a ‘non-refundable deposit’. The remaining 70% is fully refundable should you cancel the booking more than 60 days before the trip date.

    Please note for Turtle Island bookings that Turtle Island Resort charges an extra fixed cancellation fee for cancellations. This fee is over and above what has been paid for the trip. This means if you cancel a booking at Turtle Island they will charge an extra amount which you will need to pay. We recommend you only book Turtle Island Resort if you are 100% certain you will go on the trip (including after checking your country’s FCO Travel Advice for Islands off the east coast of Sabah).

    For the 4D3N Mount Trusmadi trip and the Danum Valley Field Center Tour the cancellation policy is as follows:-

    • 90 – 46 days prior to arrival a 25% cancellation fee will apply
    • 45 – 22 days prior to arrival a 50% cancellation fee will apply
    • 21 – 0 days prior to arrival a 100% cancellation fee will apply

    No partial or full refunds will be given for an uncompleted PADI course, diving or snorkelling trip with Borneo Dream. If you decide during your course/trip you do not want to continue we will offer you our ‘Unguided Snorkeling Trip’ as an alternative for the remaining part of your course/trip.

    What happens if we need to change your booking:

    • Although every effort will be made to operate the trips as advertised, Borneo Dream reserves the right (at our sole discretion and without penalty) to make alternative arrangements as it sees fit if caused by poor weather conditions, technical problems to vehicles, flight delay or other circumstances beyond their control necessitate.
    • Where it is in the interest of tour/trip/course members that an itinerary be altered, such alterations may be made without penalty to the company.
    • If a Borneo Dream Tour (snorkelling and/or scuba diving tour run by Borneo Dream) is cancelled prior to the date of departure, due to circumstances beyond our control we will refund all money paid by our booked customers.
    • In the event of one of our suppliers cancelling a tour, we will make every endeavour to ensure full reimbursement but where a supplier has a policy of retaining any fees or charges we will have to defer to their policy.
  • Move/Re-schedule your Turtle Island and/or Kinabatangan River Cruise

    If  you wish to re-schedule/move your adventure we will need your new dates ASAP. The dates must be in the same calendar year as the original trip. Subject to availability you will be charged RM 250.00 as a ‘Change of Booking Fee’ plus any other costs due to price increases, supplier cancellation charges or seasonal variations. This can only be done once.

  • Our liability

    We act as an agent for airline, hotel, ‘Explore Tours’ and in some cases, transport companies assume no liability in connection with their services. Borneo Dream will not be responsible for any act, omission, error or any injury, delay, irregularity, government regulations, theft or strikes over which it has no control.

  • Diving and Conservation Permit

    Like with all great Natural Marine Parks around the globe such as the Ras Mohammed Marine Park in Egypt, The Cayman Islands, the Maldives etc., the Local Governments and Authorities impose local Permit charges to all guests and visitors alike. Here in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo we have several marine parks of this type, such as Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park (TARP) just outside Kota Kinabalu (KK), one near Pulau Tiga, Turtle Islands Park and Pulau Sipadan to name but a few.

    The following charges will apply to all our guests and will either be collected in advance or on the day of the activity (Correct September 2021):-

    • Go Ashore (Known as the Marine Park Conservation Fee) – On any of the islands in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park (TARP), Pulau Tiga and Turtle Islands Park it is RM 5.00 for Malaysians. For Non-Malaysians RM 20.00 – This is per person per day.
    • Scuba Diving (Known as the Diving Permit) – Within the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park (TARP), Pulau Tiga and Turtle Islands Park is RM 20.00 for Malaysians and RM 50.00 for Non-Malaysians. This is per diver per day.
    • Scuba Diving Courses – Within the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park (TARP), Pulau Tiga and Turtle Islands Park is MYR 20.00 for Malaysians and MYR 50.00 for Non-Malaysians. This is per diver for the duration of the course.

    If another operator says that he has included the Marine Park fees, I would ask you to request a valid “Sabah Parks” receipt on the official Sabah Parks paper.

    Further information and up to date pricing on Sabah Parks conservation fees can be found here.

  • Sending a Payment

  • Overview

    We offer a range of payment methods for sending payment to Borneo Dream – various credit card payment options plus bank transfers. We hope that our customers will find at least one of these payment methods to be a convenient and fair value option for them.

    We offer a range of payment options from buying your tour/package online via our website, paying by credit card or by sending a bank transfer. If you are already in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah then you can visit our Shop at Plaza Tanjung Aru to pay by cash or credit card or pay by cash deposit machine into our bank account at any Maybank Branch. Find out more about each payment option below.

    If you get into any difficulty sending us a payment – please send us an email and we will look into it from our end.

  • Buying via our online store - Stripe.com or Bank Transfer

    Buying tours, trips, dive equipment or clothing via our online store has never been easier. Once you have decided on your purchase and added it to your cart you can proceed to view your cart or head straight to checkout. Our checkout allows you to register to receive future special offers or you can use the guest checkout function. Once you have filled out all the necessary information and checked any dates or availability with our sales office it is time to pay. We offer two methods of payment on the website.

    You can pay by credit or debit cards plus ApplePay and GooglePay using our Stripe.com Payment Gateway. Unfortunately, there is a charge for this that is levied by Stripe.com on to us. The charge is 3% on the transaction + RM 1.00. As we are in Malaysia 6% SST is also applied to this charge as well.

    What does this mean for you? We will not be passing on the charge to you but should we have to refund you or you request a refund and you paid by Stripe.com Then we will refund the amount paid less the Stripe.com charges as we do not get them back even if we refund a payment. Example – If you had paid RM 100.00 by Stripe.com we would refund you only RM 95.76 (Original amount less 3% + RM 1.00 x 6% SST).

    The second payment method we offer is direct bank transfer to our Malaysian account or if you are in Malaysia you can use the Maybank Cash Deposit Machines (CDM). Our bank details are as follows:

    • Account name: Borneo Dream Travel & Tours Sdn Bhd (please use our company name in full for the “Beneficiary account name” when sending payment)
    • Company registration number (if requested by your Bank): 788821K
    • Bank Name: Malayan Banking Berhad (or commonly known as ‘Maybank’)
    • Branch Address: Menara Maybank, Floor 8, 100 Jalan Tun Perak, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 50050
    • Account number: 510 143 111 363
    • Email for a payment notification: joanne@borneodream.com
  • Sending a Payment by SWIFT - International Electronic Bank Transfer

    You can send a SWIFT payment/transfer to our business account based in Sabah, Malaysia.

    Please note all bank charges for payments to Borneo Dream must be borne by the customer. You will need to send an equivalent amount that, when it is credited to our account, is the same as the invoiced amount or the amount we requested. Our account can only accept Malaysian Ringgit. If you send another currency such as US Dollar then this can delay the process and cause more bank and currency charges which will need to be borne by you.

    Our bank account details are as follows:-

    • Account name: Borneo Dream Travel & Tours Sdn Bhd (please use our company name in full for the “Beneficiary account name” when sending payment)
    • Company registration number (if requested by your Bank): 788821K
    • Bank Name: Malayan Banking Berhad (or commonly known as ‘Maybank‘)
    • Branch Address: Menara Maybank, Floor 8, 100 Jalan Tun Perak, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 50050
    • Account number: 510 143 111 363
    • Email for a payment notification: joanne@borneodream.com

    When you send a bank transfer to us we need you to do the following:-

    • Put your surname and/or invoice number in the reference field in order for us to process the payment.
    • Please confirm by email when you have sent a payment (deposit or full payment) to us. Email the Dream Team with your surname, invoice number and total amount paid. If you get a payment completion reference number then please include it.
  • Sending Bank Transfer from a Malaysian Bank Account

    For those with a Malaysian Bank Account, you can choose to send an online bank transfer to our Maybank Account (Account name is Borneo Dream Travel & Tours Sdn Bhd and our account number is 510 143 111 363). Please email a copy of the transfer confirmation slip to joanne@borneodream.com once payment has been sent.

  • Already in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah?

    If you are already in Kota Kinabalu, alongside buying online via our website, you can choose between the following payment options too:

    Come and visit our Sales Office located in Kota Kinabalu at F-G-1 Plaza Tanjung Aru, Jalan Mat Salleh (09:00 – 18:00, Mon-Sat). You can pay by cash or by VISA/Mastercard credit card.

    Visit a Maybank outlet to pay cash in via the cash deposit machine. We then need you to take a photo of the deposit receipt with your phone and email it to us at info@borneodream.com. Our account number is as follows:

    • Account name: Borneo Dream Travel & Tours Sdn Bhd
    • Maybank Account number: 510 143 111 363
  • 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 5,00€ 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 🙂

  • 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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