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Bigfin Divers

Features Animals
Kota Belud, Malaysia
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About Bigfin Divers
We are the first dive centre in Kota Belud with daily Fun Dives and a full range of PADI dive courses for Introductory to Experienced divers. Based in Kota Belud, Sabah, we offer a close by alternative to the crowded KK marine park. We are in world class dive territory with stunning reefs, wrecks and islands all situated within the coral triangle famous for outstanding marine diversity. Enjoy learning to dive directly off our white sand beach, take a short boat trip to local reefs, submerged pinnacles and picture perfect off shore islands… plus watch out for the seasonal giants that visit annually! We are a small personal dive centre. We dive in small groups lead by experienced qualified instructors to create a safe professional learning experience in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. We dive sites in Kota Belud and Mantanai Island. To book diving please contact us in advance. We are open all year however our dive season runs from February through to September
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Bigfin Divers
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KotieKingo wrote a review Feb 2022
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia44 contributions19 helpful votes
Big Fin is absolutely everything that your looking for in a rustic beach resort. Spectacular scenery, excellent diving, cozy accommodation & super tasty food! It’s only a sort boat ride from the mainland- but you feel like you’re escaping to a hidden little treasure! The resort is a great place to relax read a book & nap in a hammock or if you’re sporty they provide sea kayaks and SUPs to explore the stunning coastline and surrounding islands with! I’m not a diver, but the snorkel trip was excellent & the other guests on the boat said the diving was the best they’ve done on the west coast! AND when we were there WHALE SHARKS were in the bay & someone in our group saw them 😍😍! The owners are the perfect mix of helpful, friendly and relaxed. I honestly can’t wait to go back!
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Date of experience: February 2022
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Vikcil wrote a review Mar 2020
Singapore128 contributions62 helpful votes
+1
2020 is a wonderful experience even though Covid hit us hard. After a long and hard research, by luck, I managed to come across this gem 1hr plus journey away from KK. Wonderland for natural lovers and divers who wish to stay away from busy city life for some peace. We spend 4days (wish is longer) and believe me, time flies here. Below are the Pro and Con of this little lovely family run resort. Pro - For diver, the DM here are superb! Friendly and safety 1 st policy, debrief is to carry up every dive interval to make sure we are aware of the dive site condition and recap important hand signs. My nephew was doing his OWD and he totally loved the experience here. Kudos to DM and Instructor! - The resort is cool! Located in such a wonderful spot that we are spoiled with our own private beach and every morning, Mt Kinabalu will greet you in front of your doorstep! So magical feeling. - Room and bed is comfortable, spacious, clean and you will be surprised if some 5 star hotel in KK cant match the toilet cleanliness here. Love the hammock! Keep up the good work! - Lots of beautiful dive sites nearby. But due to weather/sea conditions, sometime visibility wont be as good, but that is the beauty of nature. - Love my organic Chili Padi - Last but not least, Chief Awie, we love ur FOOD! You will be miss dearly Con - Was a bit disappointed on my first dive where we dropped off the wrong dive spot likely due to GPS. - Some equipment likely has to make a routine check. Got an issue on my regulator, but nothing serious though. No issue with other equipment throughout the dive. - Did 2 dive at Mantanani, didn’t actually enjoy the site (luckily I spot a sea turtle). But I cant said all dive site are bad there because its only base on my 2 dive experience, visibility is not as good that day. The Island is as per most review online, a rubbish collection island, full of plastic! Such a shame that nothing is done here, zero effort for the environment.
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Date of experience: March 2020
2 Helpful votes
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Laura Jane wrote a review Feb 2020
6 contributions1 helpful vote
+1
I did my PADI Open Water and spent 6 nights at this family run resort at the end of a 3 week trip around Sabah. It was the perfect way to end a glorious holiday. You arrive on a small boat to white sandy beaches and are welcomed by home cooked food. The place feels like a warm community which has invited you in, rather than just a resort. You can help yourself to free tea and coffee and you can take other drinks, including beer, from the fridge on a tab basis. The accommodation is perfect. Spotlessly clean, meticulously kept little bungalows with views from your hammock of Mount Kinabalu. The sunrise over the mountain as you open the curtains in the morning is magnificent. I love that they’ve taken great care not to harm the local environment and keep the resort eco-friendly. The diving instructors are excellent. Fun when they need to be ( ask Maman to sing for you!) and utterly professional In the water. We took my 10 year old niece and 13 year old nephew on a Discover Scuba Dive trip and a day trip to Mantanani island where we saw turtles. The instructors, Steph and Maman, were amazing with them and now both can’t wait to get back under the water. I also noticed that they picked up rubbish from the sea floor. They care about the area. Only tip I would give is to book your dives in early as it does get busy. I loved doing my PADI Open Water with Maman and he was very patient with me when I made mistakes. January is out of season for the dive sites and the visibility can be a bit sketchy at that time, but I could see the potential of the sites and would love to go back to see them in all their glory. I still had a lot of fun and we saw lion fish, barracuda, cuttlefish and lots more. In between dives you can simply unwind, read your book on a hammock or watch as the sun sets over the beach. You can also rent kayaks, paddle boards and snorkels to play in the water. If you’re looking for somewhere to escape, dive a bit and simply sit back and enjoy life away from busy bustling resorts bursting with tourists, this place is for you.
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Date of experience: January 2020
1 Helpful vote
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Lexi wrote a review Dec 2019
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia7 contributions
From the moment you send them an email, until confirming bookings with Ella, Bigfin had been prompt, responsive and accommodating. They even passed our manual books to us so that we can read up prior to our dive courses. The resort itself was truly one of a kind. I opted to sleep in a tent and I loved the experience. Waking up to a majestic view of Mount Kinabalu and enjoying the breeze on a hammock with a good book, away from the buzz of city life (yes, choppy telecommunications there), and yet surrounded by buzz of insects, chirping birds. I love the effort they took to be eco-friendly. No aircond, no hairdryer, no water heater, no room kettle, no sales of plastic water bottle. So bear in mind this is those 'no star, yet thousand stars', kind of accommodation! The food was simply amazing. We loved the chef's cooking and complimented him every meal. His grumpy demeanor added the fun to our stay. The dives. Highly organized. Somewhat too highly, imo... until we don't get to set up the gears ourselves, or change tanks. Dive coms were provided as part of our course. All BCDs equipped with DSMBs. And i applaud Apex safety dive briefing. The dive sites. Superb ! Lots to see. Ella adviced on dates and that gave us better vis underwater. Pristine water, much varieties of critters and corals... simply 100 fold better than TARP. The AOW course. While Apex is a knowledgable and good instructor, I must add there is a somewhat limited adventure dives available. We did Deep, Navi and Peak Buoyancy. Fish ID... and a 'Drift dive' without much drifting, as what other choice we have left? No night dive (new moon, not their fault), no wrecks (again, not their fault), no nitrox. All in all. Great place to chill and dive. If you're up for specific dive experience or do certain Adventure dives, choices are limited. But one thing for sure, there is always a highlight/something interesting in every dive, that will keep anyone coming back for more.
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Date of experience: June 2019
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Iris Bootlurn wrote a review Oct 2019
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia35 contributions50 helpful votes
+1
My family and a few family friends decided to come here for holiday after climbing Mount Kinabalu. We were all sore and exhausted after those harcore 2 days, and this was the perfect place to go. At first, it looks a bit sketchy, as you take a boat from a rundown shack to a small island off the coast fo kota Belud. But the 'manager' of the place took us in to introduce us to the place. The hospitality was unmatched to anything I had ever expereinced. All the food was cooked by the gentleman, and you could ask for whatever you want, adjusting the menu to whatever your diet permits. The beach was extremely relaxing, the rooms were very small, but so cosy, with just a bedroom, a porch & a bathroom. It was quite a climb to get there, but the view from the hill is amazing. The diving here was unmatched, it is so untouched that the coral is so alive. It looked like a scene out of the little mermaid, with pufferfish sleeping in purple coral 'cups', and octopi swimming around with no worry. Paddleboards & kayaks are available, as is a snorkelling trip. There is also a secret little area on the right of the beach, where you climb across the rocks for a few 100 metres for the most amazing sunset. Woul 100% reccomend, it was the best holiday I've ever been on, hands down. Only negative is a few dogs who can get a bit energetic, so if you're not too keen on dogs, that may effect your decision.
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Date of experience: July 2019
2 Helpful votes
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Response from EllaM1062, Owner at Bigfin Divers
Responded 15 Oct 2019
Thank you for the wonderful review! We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us :)
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