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

Want to learn to Scuba Dive in 2024? Borneo is the place to do it!

The end of one year and the start of the next is the ideal time to plan a new challenge. Some people like to take on a physical challenge, others to learn a new skill. If you sit somewhere in between, then learning to scuba dive might just be the ideal target for your 2024. If you’re going to learn to scuba dive, though, why not do it in some of the most spectacular waters in the world? Here’s why Borneo is the best place to learn to scuba dive!

About Borneo

The Southeast Asian island of Borneo is home to some of the most breathtaking beaches on the planet. As the third largest island in the world, it has developed a diverse ecology that encompasses lush rainforests, spectacular mountains and diverse wildlife. The Malaysian region of Sabah is a popular destination for tourists in search of adventure and relaxation alike. 

About Scuba Diving

The sport of scuba diving uses specialist kit and breathing apparatus to enable divers to experience underwater wildlife at close quarters. Depending on the rate of consumption and depth under the surface, scuba dives tend to offer around 45-60 minutes of underwater experience. 

Diving in Borneo – Best Bits

The biodiversity and geology of Borneo make it a uniquely spectacular destination to learn to scuba dive. Most courses take place in the sea around the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. This state park consists of 5 small islands from which boat and coastal dives can take place.

It’s visually spectacular

The marine life that you will witness on a scuba dive in Sabah is both colourful and intriguing. The tropical waters are home to vivid coral reefs and flamboyant sealife. On a scuba dive you may come across clown fish, parrot fish, lionfish, puffer fish, barracuda, yellow snapper, and blue spotted rays. On a good day you may even see a hawksbill turtle.

It’s comprehensive

With so much equipment to operate and things to learn, scuba diving can feel daunting. This is why the dive courses that we offer here at Borneo Dream cover everything that you need to think about. We ensure that you have access to all mandatory learning information, full equipment, conservation fees, and even your lunch! 

It’s accessible

In scuba diving, communication is key. From learning techniques and procedures to communicating with your buddy under the water, we make sure that you learn in the most accessible way. The instructors at Borneo Dream are friendly and experienced, with instruction available in English, Malay, and Chinese. Our instructor to student ratios are low, which ensures that all of our learners get the attention they need to be successful divers. 

Quality equipment

When you try scuba diving for the first time, it’s important that you feel confident in the equipment. As a first experience, you clearly won’t own the kit yourself! At Borneo Dream, we supply excellent quality equipment to all of our learners. It’sregularly serviced and tested so that you can have your first dive experience with peace of mind. 

Tips for Choosing a Course

With so many different courses on offer, how do you decide which course is for you? Before you decide, think about the type of dive that you wish to achieve, the time that you have available, and who is taking part. 


For anything more comprehensive than the one day Discover experience, you’ll need to complete some e-learning modules. You must do this in order to achieve your certification to dive to 12 metres. 

Family friendly

If you are learning to dive as part of a holiday, consider whether to learn with the rest of the family. We run courses which are accessible to ages 8 and above, so younger members can join the fun! Ages 10 plus can take the Discover Experience so that you can learn together. 

How many days?

For initial diver training, there are courses between one and three days. If you are holidaying on Borneo, you may have limited time available. This is understandable, since there are so many amazing experiences in Sabah that it can be hard to fit everything in! However, if you are able to commit to 3 days, the PADI Open Water Diver course is the most comprehensive option. You’ll be certified to dive up to 18m with a buddy anywhere in the world, so you can carry on your scuba diving journey all year long!

Enjoying your holiday

For holiday makers wanting to fulfil their scuba diving aspirations, there is clearly a balance to be found. Borneo is a wonderful location to learn to scuba dive, but that’s not all that it’s wonderful for! Once you are certified, you can look at experiences and excursions that combine beach tours with more relaxed dive options. 

Follow On 

Of course, your initial accreditation as a PADI open water diver isn’t where the journey ends. There are a huge number of more advanced follow on courses and experiences to choose from. So either this visit or next, why not look at refining your new skills with some of these.

We believe that Borneo is the most beautiful place on earth – it’s why we work so hard to share experiences of it with other people. Scuba diving is the most exciting and unique way to witness the diverse marine life that surrounds the island. So when you decide that this is going to be the year that you learn to scuba dive, it’s worth making Borneo the place to do it! 

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