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Kapalai Island
Sabah-Islands-DarvelBay PulauKapalai-Pushpin.png
Location of Kapalai Island in Darvel Bay
Kapalai Island is located in Borneo Topography
Kapalai Island
Kapalai Island
Coordinates 4°13′0″N 118°41′0″E / 4.21667°N 118.68333°E / 4.21667; 118.68333Coordinates: 4°13′0″N 118°41′0″E / 4.21667°N 118.68333°E / 4.21667; 118.68333
State  Sabah

Kapalai (Malay: Pulau Kapalai) is an island in Tawau Division, Sabah, Malaysia, known for its scuba resorts.

The island of Kapalai, just 15 kilometres off Sipadan, was a beautiful island two hundred years ago, but now it is only a sand bar. Erosion has reduced the island to sea level and the village now sits on the edge of the extensive Ligitan Reefs. All of the buildings are on stilts resting on the underwater reef.

Kapalai is mostly known for its scuba diving. There is only one private resort on the island, the rest is uninhabited.


Kapalai is situated a couple of hours from the east shore of Borneo in Southeast Asia. This makes it quite a remote location to reach, but there are daily flights from Kota Kinabalu, which is just less than one hour flight to Tawau.


Kapalai Island is located off the east coast of Sabah / Borneo, Malaysia's easternmost state. Direct flights are available to Tawau and Kota Kinabalu on Sabah from Kuala Lumpur Malaysia and Singapore. The closest airport to Kapalai is Tawau, it is approximately one hour from Semporna jetty by mini van. Semporna is the speed boat departure point to Kapalai or nearby islands, Sipadan Island and Mabul Island.

Kapalai Island is located along the north - eastern beachfront of Sipadan Island. It is a 40-minute speedboat ride from the port of Semporna. Normally, when you book the dive packages, the tour operators will provide round trip transfer from Tawau Airport to Semporna and Kapalai Island. You have the option of arriving in Tawau by plane or in Semporna overland.


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