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MALAYSIA

SCUBA DIVING AND DIVE RESORT MANAGEMENT INTERNSHIP ON PULAU TIGA ISLAND IN BORNEO, MALAYSIA

This is a Diving internship that includes learning to dive and assisting with the running of a dive centre on the paradise island of Pulau Tiga, the location of TV's "Survivor". You'll assist the Dive Master in taking care of the dive centre, guiding and assisting new learners.

If you stay for three months, you can do a total of 60 dives as a prerequisite to the Dive Master Course. You can also develop your diving skills by taking several courses – i.e. PADI Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Emergency First Aid Response, Rescue Diver etc.

SUMMARY: THE BASICS

Price: £2,995 (approx. US$3,800) for 8 weeks
£250 (approx. US$350) for each additional week.
Excludes flights. Please see Full Price List & Other Currencies
Duration: From 8 weeks, up to 6 months, subject to visa requirements.
Start Dates: All year round - you choose your start and finish dates.
Requirements: You must have some basic experience of scuba diving, but no qualifications are necessary. Minimum age 17. However, if you plan to do the Dive Master course, you will need to be 18 years old and upwards.
What's included: Arranging your Programme
Full pre-departure support and assistance
Payment Protection insurance
Accommodation and Food
Meeting you at the nearest Airport
Transfer to the placement site
Return transfer to the airport
Local in-country team support and backup
24-hr emergency support
Certificate of Completion
What's not included: Flights, Insurance, Cost of Visas, and any additional PADI courses.
Who can do this Project? This project is open to all nationalities.
Suitable for gap years or those taking a year out, grown-up gappers, career breakers, anyone interested in gaining overseas work experience or an internship for university credit or requirement. Also suitable for anyone just wanting to study Resort Management and Dive School Management overseas.

WHAT YOU'LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT

  • An exciting opportunity to travel, see the world and experience a foreign culture first-hand.
  • New skills, more confidence and invaluable personal and professional development.
  • An opportunity to take a break from the traditional academic track or your current career path in order to gain life experience and global cultural awareness
  • An entry on your CV or Résumé that will enhance your career opportunities and make you stand out from the crowd.
  • Make friends, form relationships and build memories that will last a lifetime.
  • Opportunities to enjoy some exciting adventure and cultural activities while on your programme.
  • And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!

BOOK NOW! SEE ALL PROJECTS IN MALAYSIA info@travellersworldwide.com

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Survivor Island, home of the Dive Resort Management Internship in Malaysia
Kathy from Travellers UK on an inspection trip to the project. The island was the location of 'Survivor Island' TV show, chosen for its extreme beauty!

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WORK CONTENT AND DESCRIPTION

Just off the coast of northern Borneo lies the tiny island of Pulau Tiga, one of three islands that make up the Pulau Tiga National Park in the South China Sea. Originally formed after a volcanic eruption, Pulau Tiga is a haven for wildlife and ringed by a 7km shallow, healthy coral reef with crystal clear water.

Travellers and the Resort have partnered together to provide our interns the opportunity to do a placement at the Resort’s Water Sports Centre - to give diving enthusiasts the chance to gain experience in a beautiful setting! Your daily tasks could vary but the main objectives of this placement are for you to:

  • Gain experience of running a water sports centre and, if you are able to stay for a period of three months, have the opportunity to do a total of 60 dives as a prerequisite to the Dive Master Course (you'll need to start the programme with a PADI open water qualification to be considered for this course, and you'll need to be minimum age 18).
  • Assist the Dive Master in the daily running of the centre. Responsibilities include: taking care of the dive centre, guiding and assisting new learners, handling customers enquiries, customer service and reporting to the Dive Instructor.
  • Develop your diving skills by taking several courses – i.e. PADI Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Emergency First Aid Response, Rescue Diver etc.

Dry Activities: Job responsibilities include looking after the water sports centre, for example; general cleaning (of the centre and the beach), handling customers inquiries, manning the centre, filling up oxygen tanks, cleaning diving equipment, assisting the movements of the boats or assignments set by the Resort Manager (guiding trail walks, assisting water department, assisting other departments), conducting English Classes.

Wet activities: The main activity you will take part in is assisting the Diving Instructor, for example; helping the instructor while conducting diving lessons, supporting and guiding learners, preparing diving gear for lessons, interacting with new learners. You will also be responsible for cleaning and maintaining the diving equipment, and getting the boats and Jet Ski's ready for guests.

You'll have the opportunity (at additional cost) to take the following courses during your project (depending on previous experiences and length of project):

  • Open Water Course and Advanced Open Water Course,
  • Emergency First Aid Response Course,
  • Rescue Diver Course,
  • Dive Master Course (optional and subject to certain criteria, such as minimum age of 18).

This is not a conservation project but you may have the opportunity to participate in the following other activities:

  • Monitoring and Surveying Artificial Reef (snorkelling) - replacing and/or repairing damaged coral, continuing the development of the reef, conducting an inventory of the marine life encountered (specifically fish), cleaning underwater rubbish, collecting and replanting coral fragments. Due to the location of Pulau Tiga, heavy winds are common resulting in beach debris.
  • Monitoring and Surveying House Reef (snorkelling) - this will involve conducting an inventory of the marine life (fish, coral, giant clams, etc) encountered at the designated area, clearing underwater rubbish, feeding fish, reporting the quality of water (i.e. visibility, under water current, seaweeds, jellyfish, red-tide, etc), reporting any damaged corals.
  • Developing an Artificial Reef – to form the foundation for planting corals, setting up coral nursery units etc (some of this work will be undertaken as a dry activity).

These activities are not guided by a marine biologist, so your input will not have any academic value. Instead, these activities provide you with the opportunity to be involved in useful work for the centre whilst practising your diving skills. Some of the activities are quite routine and in some respects similar to underwater gardening (for example, clearing underwater rubbish, collecting and replanting coral fragments, etc.) During each of the above activities you will dive with other interns who may be on the placement at the same time as you and will not be supervised by a member of staff from the dive centre.

During your stay you might encounter days when the weather is not suitable for water activities and therefore dry activities will take place. Once you have gained your PADI Open Water certification you can also proceed with the following courses during your placement:

  • FIRST MONTH: *Open Water Course, Advanced Open Water Course
    Please note, if you already have a PADI open water qualification then you do not need to take this course but you must take with you your log book and PADI certificate. If you have another type of qualification that is not a recognised PADI then you may have to take a refresher course after your arrival.
  • SECOND MONTH: Emergency First Aid Response Course, Rescue Diver
  • THIRD MONTH: Dive Master Course.
    This is optional but you need to let us know before commencing your placement whether you intend to do the Dive Master Course, and you'll also need to be minimum age 18. In order to do the dive master course you must have completed at least 60 dives and reached a high level of fitness and a slow level of air consumption. During this course you will also learn, amongst other things, about customer service, fish and coral identification, reef structure and underwater current movement. If you intend to take the Dive Master Course within a 3 month period then we recommend that you do not start as a complete beginner – it is advisable for you to have at least the Open Water PADI qualification when starting the project.

WORK SCHEDULE:
During the first week of your placement you'll have most of the afternoons off so that you can acclimatise to the tropical weather and to be familiar with the surrounding environment. During the rest of the placement you'll work 6 days per week. Your day off will not usually be over the weekend as this is when the dive centre is at its busiest. If there are several interns doing this placement at the same time then you may be able to arrange some of your days off together. If you're taking any of the PADI courses, much of your spare time will be spent studying for the exams.

You'll spend 3 days doing dry activities and 3 days doing wet activities. You must take your own fins, mask and wet suit (which can be bought locally, if needed) but diving equipment is provided (this includes BCD, regulator and Scuba tanks).

This is not a conservation project but there are some elements of conservation based activities that you can become involved with during your stay (see above). Diving is possible all year round although the weather tends to be stormy between June, July and August. All diving is weather dependant.

The resort can accommodate a maximum of 120 people at any one time – it’s peak occupancy period tends to be from April/May to Sept/October when usually it will be at least 70% full. At other times of the year, occupancy can drop to around 20%. During the Low season, you’ll find that the staff have more free time to give 1 to 1 instruction, where as during the high season, you’ll have more exposure to customers but more diving will take place in a group.

In order to dive you should take out specialised diving insurance (e.g. Divers Alert Network www.daneurope.org).

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Beach on the Island of the Dive Resort Management Internship in Malaysia
One of the stunning beaches around the Island.
Buffet at the Centre of the Island of the Dive Resort Management Internship in Malaysia
Internal photo showing the buffet and reception / bar at the Dive Centre.
The entrance at the Centre of the Island of the Dive Resort Management Internship in Malaysia
The entrance to the Dive Centre.
The reception at the Centre of the Island of the Dive Resort Management Internship in Malaysia
The very welcoming reception to the Dive Centre.
The Island of the Dive Resort Management Internship in Malaysia
Pulau Tiga Island seen from the ocean. It's outstandingly beautiful and is full of atmosphere - typically Malaysian and typically chilled.
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ACCOMMODATION

Pulau Tiga Resort is privately run and has chalets for guests set in a beautiful and quite exotic environment, with lovely walkways that run between the accommodation and the various facilities at the resort, surrounded by colourful local flora. The Resort's range of facilities is good (see below), but focuses mainly on diving and water-sports, including a jetty set into the tropical beach.

Wi-Fi / Internet: Wi-Fi is available in the Reception in the Resort, but not in the accommodation.

Traditional Longhouse: While on your project, you'll stay in a Malaysian longhouse, where you'll get to experience a taste of living in a traditional style. The Longhouse is traditional in style only - it is a modern facility with a lovely wooden verandah giving beautiful views and is nestled under trees.

The facilities are comfortable, clean and very tropical. You will share your accommodation with a maximum of three per room.

FOOD:
Your meals will consist of local cuisine and are provided in the Resort's Restaurant, the same food provided to the fee-paying resort guests. Meals are taken in the form of a buffet, served daily and usually including two main courses (these are usually a choice or combination of chicken, meat or fish), with local vegetables and salads, followed by fruit. In the very quiet part of Low Season, there may occasionally be no guests at the Resort. At such times you'll take your meals in the staff canteen. Tea, Coffee and Juice is available all day.

FACILITIES:
Pulau Tiga Resort is fairly well equipped in terms of other facilities and, at time of writing, these currently include:
A bar and restaurant area,
A small shop at reception,
A volleyball court,
A football field
A games room (with pool table) and
A TV room

During your placement you will have free access to non-motorised water sports equipment, such as Kayaks - a great way to explore some of the island! Jet Ski's are also available for hire. Local staff are friendly and live on the island - they will often get together for a game of volleyball or football in the evenings. Many of the staff speak good English.

There are also many trails through the undergrowth that you can explore easily and are well worth the effort. One of the features of Pulau Tiga are the several active mud volcanoes which can be found around the island, especially at the summit. Here you can cover yourself in volcanic mud for a natural skin cleansing treatment! These are well worth visiting for the view as well as the volcanoes.

There is a 30 minute boat service from Kuala Penyu to Pulau Tiga which runs twice daily, so you can get on and off the island if needed. In Kuala Penyu there is a hospital, police station, coffee shop, post office, internet connection and some other small shops. There is no nightlife but this can be found in Kota Kinabalu, around 3 hours away by car.

This is a remote island - you can stay in touch with home via Satellite phone or local Sim card, however, there is no internet connection on the island and access to internet off the island can be intermittent. We suggest that you prepare yourself for a remote experience.

BOOK NOW! SEE ALL PROJECTS IN MALAYSIA info@travellersworldwide.com
The buffet at the Pulau Tiga Dive Resort Management Internship in Malaysia
The buffet at the Pulau Tiga Dive Resort Centre. The food is good and is the same food as is served to all the paying guests!
An outside view of the longhouse accommodation where you'll live during your internship.
Inside the very comfortable bedroom in the longhouse accommodation.
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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

YOUR SAFETY, SUPPORT AND BACKUP:
Read important information about the Support & Backup you receive before you leave and during your programme.

Read about the Safety and Security measures we take to ensure your safety and wellbeing while on our programme.

ABOUT THE DIVE RESORT LOCATION:
Pulau Tiga is located about 35 nautical miles southwest of Kota Kinabalu. Around the island of Pulau Tiga, visibility ranges from 6 to 20 metres and schools of tropical fish can be seen from the surface, even without snorkel equipment. The island's landscape is dramatic, set in the midst of lush rainforest, including mangroves, swamps and lowland forests for eight square miles.

Within this enticing habitat are more than fifty different species of trees, countless plant species and an array of fauna such as macaque monkeys, monitor lizards, sea turtles and many other colourful species and birds. A rich variety of marine life can be seen including barracuda, bamboo sharks, cuttlefish and marbled stingray. There are around 132 species of fish representing 62 genera in 32 families.

The Dive Centre you'll work in developed a resort on the island in 1998 to accommodate tourists in a variety of wooden cottages. Scuba diving in the marine park is heavenly, but this peaceful destination is also a great place for outdoor activities and other water sports.

If you are not already qualified you will take a PADI Open Water Diver Certification course on your arrival with the resorts water sports centre. Novices can explore the many dive sites once completing the basic PADI qualification. Seasoned divers will find the reefs wonderful and a number of unexplored diving locations are available for day trips.

Although the island doesn’t generally attract many international tourists, it has recently become famous for the American TV production of Survivor, a reality TV show where contestants battled it out to be the ultimate survivor, living on a tropical island and competing against each other for a prize of $1 Million US dollars. On average, the dive school receives 4 to 5 students weekly and there are currently 5 staff working at the dive centre.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU BOOK YOUR PLACEMENT?

Once you have applied for a placement, we'll contact you and send you our Welcome Pack. You'll also receive Log-on details and password for our Extranet where you'll have access to all the documentation and information which we've put together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your Project Co-ordinator for your country will liaise with you throughout the arrangements process, as well as while you're on your placement and on your return home.

The documents you'll have access to also include a Country Factfile, Safety Guide and any manuals that may assist you on your particular programme (e.g. Teaching Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all we can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome, elegant and beautiful country.

As with all our destinations, the culture and heritage is different to what you're used to ... which, although one of the most exciting aspects of travelling, should be borne in mind. Self-reliance and independence are highly appreciated in all our destinations and will help you to make the most of this wonderful opportunity!

On Arrival, Your Introduction to the Country

When you arrive, you'll be welcomed by Ronn. She is the Travellers Co-ordinator, assisting Albert, our Malaysia Manager. Ronn will take you to your accommodation in Kota Kinabalu, where you will spend the first couple days of your trip. She will show you the nearby facilities such as banks, pharmacy, food and beverage outlets etc.

Albert will give you an evening induction (so you will be free to do some activities during the daytime). You will then be taken to your project and accommodation and introduced to everyone concerned. You will be made to feel very welcome by all!

Our projects in Malaysia (particularly the Orang-Utan Centre, which you must visit(!) are very popular and you are sure to have a wonderful time during your stay in Sabah. Your adventure has begun :-)

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One of the walkways running through the palms at the Diving Centre
Thatched outdoor seating area set in the most beautiful surroundings of the project
Kathy from Travellers UK Office the entrance to Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre in Malaysia
Kathy from Travellers UK Office at the entrance to Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre - a must-see while you're in Borneo!.
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OPTIONAL ADD-ON ACTIVITIES:

Make the most of your time there! To help you do that, we've put together some exciting activities, courses and tours that you can add to your itinerary. These are designed to be fun, but also to enable you to learn, and expand your personal and professional development enjoyment ... but mostly for your enjoyment! :-)

Please note that all optional activities in Malaysia depart from Kota Kinabalu in Borneo. If you are doing the Sepilok Orang-utan Conservation project, this is only a 40-minute flight away. If you're doing a project on the Peninsula, it is a 2.5-hour flight from Kuala Lumpur.

CLIMB MOUNT KINABALU:
Kinabalu Park is Borneo's botanical paradise and home to the majestic Mount Kinabalu (4095.2 metres), the highest peak in South East Asia. On this three-day excursion you'll trek for about 6-8 hours over 2 days and will experience sunrise from the summit of Mount Kinabalu.

LEVEL: Moderate Trekking. No experience needed but see medical notes below
LOCATION: Departs from Kota Kinabalu
DURATION: 3 days and 2 nights
MINIMUM AGE: Climbers below 16 years old are considered Child and will be accompanied by a separate mountain guide. An extra guide currently costs an additional £55 GBP.
INCLUDED: 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners & 1 Supper, 2 Nights Accommodation, Entrance Fee, Return Airport/Hotel Transfer (Additional charges of USD 7 per person are chargeable for outskirt hotel pick-ups), Return Transfer (Park HQ - Timpohon Gate - Park HQ), Mountain Guide, Climbing Insurance, Climbing Permit, Mount Kinabalu Certificate and Certificate Holder, and English Speaking Support Team.
PRICE: £499.

This excursion must be booked and paid for at least 3 months in advance in order to secure the necessary permits. A super peak season surcharge (approx 150RM (£30 or US$45) per night) is also sometimes applied to bookings between June and September. You'll need to pay this locally.

Day 1: You’ll be picked up from Kota Kinabalu and make a scenic drive to Kinabalu Park, arriving late afternoon. You’ll meet up with our representative and then proceed to Sabah Park’s HQ, at 1,563 meters, where you’ll register for the climb, check into your hostel and have some free time to explore the park at your leisure Then dinner and return to the hostel for a much-needed early night!

Day 2: The hard work starts today! After a wake- up call at 7am, you’ll ‘gear-up’ and have breakfast. You’ll meet with your assigned Mountain Guide and proceed to Timpohon Gate for the start of the climb. You'll have a packed lunch and plenty of rest stops! You'll climb for 5-6 hours before reaching Laban Rata. You'll have the afternoon free to relax and recuperate. Dinner will be at the Rest House restaurant and you'll stay in the mountain hut (which has dormitory bunk beds).

Day 3: Very very early wake up call - at 1am! It will be worth it though. You’ll trek for 3-4 hours to reach the summit of Mount Kinabalu to witness the glorious sunrise. You'll then trek down to Laban Rata for breakfast, after which you'll trek down to the Timpohon Gate, then transferred back to the Kinabalu Park HQ to pick up your Certificate of Achievement!

MEDICAL NOTES: A high level of fitness is required and we strongly advise that you have a medical check before attempting the climb. If you suffer from any of the following, you are advised not to do this climb: hypertension, diabetes, palpitations, arthritis, heart disease, severe anaemia, peptic ulcers, epilepsy, obesity (overweight), chronic asthma, muscular cramps, hepatitis (jaundice) or any other condition/disease which may impact on your ability to complete the climb comfortably. If in any doubt, please consult your doctor. If you are an inexperienced climber you should seek further advice before participating.

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS: Although the majority of routes leading to the summit of Kinabalu require no technical climbing skills, some kind of training beforehand is important. It is important to remember that you will be hiking on surfaces with varying angles which may put lots of stress on your ankles and knees. It is also worth remembering that most of the injuries which occur on Mount Kinabalu happen on the way down. When climbing Mount Kinabalu, take a slow pace to allow your body to acclimatize to the altitude, as at 3000 meters, you only have 70% of the oxygen you would normally have at sea-level.

To climb Mount Kinabalu
You need to be in decent physical condition.
you must not have heart or lung problems.
You need healthy knees and ankles.
Take your time and know your physical limitations.
Consult your personal physician if you are taking any kind of medication or if you have any other health problems.

If you plan to take any medication during your climb, you must consult your doctor prior to departure. The effects of medications may vary with altitude and stress. All climbers should consult their doctor or a specialised travel clinic well in advance of their trip.

How Physically Fit I Should Be To Do The Climb? It takes a minimum of 2 Days and 1 Night to scale Mount Kinabalu. Day 1 kicks off bright and early via Timpohon Gate, a 5 to 7 hour brings you up to 11’000 feet above sea level for an overnight stay. The second day is slightly more to the technical side – there are parts where you will need to hold onto ropes at an angle of about 15 – 20 degrees inclination. If you are able to climb a flight of 12 story staircase up and down few times in a day with not much difficulties, that’s good enough to prepare you for Mount Kinabalu.

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1-DAY PADAS RIVER RAFTING (Grade 3-4):
Spectacular scenery and thrilling rafting experience, exploring the wild and untamed Padas River, with 7 exciting and challenging rapids.

LEVEL: Moderate. No experience needed.
LOCATION: Depart from Kota Kinabalu. Located on the Padas River, near Tenom, Sabah
DURATION: Full Day
MINIMUM AGE: 12 years old.
INCLUDED: Lunch, Hotel Pickup & Drop off for hotels in Kota Kinabalu (Additional charges of USD 7 per person are chargeable for outskirt hotel pick-ups) Land Transportation (Seat-In-Coach), English Speaking Guide, Rafting Equipment, Life Jacket, Certified River Guide, Certificate and Insurance. PRICE: £99.

The Padas River is situated in the interior of the south-western part of Kota Kinabalu. You’ll journey by bus for approximately 3½ hours through the countryside to Beaufort Town, where you’ll have lunch in a local restaurant. The rafting start point is only accessible by train, so included in the price is a unique journey in an antique train on the North Borneo Railway. You'll journey through the heart of Borneo to the start of your rafting adventure - a brilliant chance to see the spectacular, untouched scenery of this beautiful country and glimpse the local villages. Upon arrival, you’ll receive a full safety briefing before starting your 9km rafting adventure.

The river holds seven thrilling rapids to negotiate - you’ll work as a team and will have an experienced guide with you. The journey will undoubtedly be an awesome adrenalin rush, as you experience the ultimate white water class III and IV rapids. The route takes about 1.5 hours to complete. You’ll then have the chance to change out of your wet clothes and enjoy some light refreshment at the station, ready for your return train journey to Beaufort Town and bus trip back to Kota Kinabalu.

This excursion includes transfers to and from your accommodation in Kota Kinabalu, full safety briefing and equipment. Please note, this is a full day’s excursion and you won’t return to your hotel until at least 6.00 pm.

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DISCOVER SCUBA DIVING AT TUNKU ABDUL RAHMAN PARK:
A chance to scuba dive and observe the beautiful coral life. The perfect package for those who have never dived before. You'll be given a step-by-step guide to scuba diving, from learning how to suit up, to how to use your diving equipment properly.

LEVEL: Beginner. No experience needed.
LOCATION: Depart from Kota Kinabalu.
MINIMUM AGE: 12 yeaers old. DURATION: Full day.
INCLUDED: Pick-up & Drop-off from hotel in Kota Kinabalu (Additional charges of USD 7 per person are chargeable for outskirt hotel pick-ups), Lunch, Drinking water, Tea & Coffee & snacks, Park Entry Fee, Two Dives, Return Boat Transfer, Equipment Rental and Dive Master/Instructor. PRICE: £125 (Based on a minimum of 2 people)

The Tunku Abdul Rahman Park is a stunning marine park, that comprises of a cluster of islands including Pulau Gaya, Pulau Sapi, Pulau Manukan, Pulau Mamutik and Pulau Sulug. All of the islands have gorgeous white sandy beaches, shallow waters and fantastic coral gardens - and they are all only a 10 - 20 minute boat ride from the city of Kota Kinabalu!

The Discover Scuba Diving program introduces scuba diving in a highly supervised and relaxed manner, giving you just a little taste of the fascinating and thrilling world of Scuba Diving. The Discover Scuba package, conducted by PADI certified instructors at the nearby Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park’s Island, allows you to discover excitement, adventure, freedom and serenity. The Tunku Abdul Rahman Park is ideally suited to beginner divers providing shallow, sandy confined water environments which slope to slightly deeper coral reef habitats.

Learn basic safety concepts, put on equipment and swim around underwater in a closely supervised environment under the guidance of PADI certified instructors today!

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1-DAY TIP OF BORNEO & BAVANGGAZO CULTURAL VILLAGE TOUR:
An opportunity to experience the fantastic culture of rural Malaysia.

LEVEL: Gentle
LOCATION: Depart from Kota Kinabalu, 3 hours journey to northern Sabah.
DURATION: Full day
MINIMUM AGE: N/A (Infants under 3 years old are free of charge)
INCLUDED: Pick-up & Drop-off from hotel in Kota Kinabalu (Additional charges of USD 7 per person are chargeable for outskirt hotel pick-ups), Lunch, Entrance Fees, Land Transportation (Seat-In-Coach), and English Speaking Guide.
PRICE: £115 (Based on a minimum of 2 people)

ITINERARY: You'll journey through scenic countryside to the north of Kudat. You'll pass some spectacular scenery including paddy fields, traditional villages, plantations and local stalls selling handicraft and food items. On arrival at Bavanggazo village (where the Rungus community live) you'll have a traditional lunch, before visiting the community and their cottage industries - Seeing the Rungus Tribe still living in their longhouses is a fantastic once in a lifetime experience! The community is very enterprising - the main economic activities include producing honey and making gongs.

Before returning to Kota Kinabalu, you'll visit Simpang Mengayau, the northern most tip of Borneo, where the Sulu and South China Seas meet. On a clear day, you'll be able to see the outlying islands of the Philippines from this point! Spectacular!

If you take this tour on a Sunday, you may get the chance to visit the Tamu Besar (a bustling open air market in Kota Belud)

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The beach at Pulau Tiga Island at sunset.
View of the tranquil river.
Volunteer having a heart-to-heart debate with an Orang-Utan. The Orang Utan is probably winning!

Terms and Conditions apply for Add-Ons, please see here.

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LOCATION | SIGHTSEEING:

KOTA KINABALU:
Kota Kinabalu, or "KK" (as it is locally known), is the capital of Sabah. KK is home to the International airport and this will be your first point of arrival in Sabah - it is a great place to start your trip and get used to the Malaysian way of life.

Although Kota Kinabalu is far less developed than Kuala Lumpur (its counterpart on the Peninsular), the people are very friendly and the atmosphere here is more relaxed. KK also boasts impressive markets, a beautiful mosque, restaurants and nightlife - a fun introduction to the wide variety of attractions that Sabah has to offer.

Just off the coast it is possible to see an array of beautiful islands which make up the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. Exploring the coral reefs and marine life in this underwater world is fascinating and day trips here can be easily arranged - most islands are less than 45 minutes away by boat. Once you arrive you will be amazed at how clear the water is and just how many different fish you can see. There are also many wonderful beaches to be explored on the islands!

If you are the outdoors type, a visit to Sabah isn’t complete without a climb to the summit of Mount Kinabalu (the highest peak in SE Asia). Standing at over 4000 metres, this is another of Sabah’s main attractions and the views from the top at sunrise more than make up for the two day climb. Afterwards you can soak your aching muscles at Poring where the sulphur hot springs provide a therapeutic bath.

Throughout the whole of Sabah you will find many local "Tamu", meaning market - the variety of fruit, vegetables, plants and handcrafted items on sale at cheap prices has to be seen to be believed!

THINGS YOU CAN DO:
Just off the West coast of Borneo, it is possible to see an array of beautiful islands which make up the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park – a protected area which boasts some of the best coral and unspoilt beaches in the area. Exploring the coral reefs and marine life in this underwater world is fascinating and day trips here can be easily arranged - most islands are less than 45 minutes away by boat.

Once you arrive you will be amazed at how clear the water is and just how many different fish you can see. There is excellent snorkelling and scuba diving (for both beginners and the more advanced) on these islands, as well as some wonderful beaches to be explored!

Take a trip on the North Borneo Railway, where you’ll travel through the heart of Borneo on a beautifully refurbished steam train. The journey meanders through villages, coastal towns, paddy fields, rain forests and rubber/coffee plantations. Passengers experience a glimpse into a bygone era, travelling along what used to be the ‘transport lifeline’ of Sabah – a great way to get a feel for the spectacular, untouched scenery of Borneo.

TRAVEL:

Read about Travel arrangements and what happens when you arrive in your new country.

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Volunteers swimming in the ocean on Turtle Island.
Horseriding on the beach.
This row of statues on the bridge is well-known and just one of the many amazing sights to see in Malaysia.
Mount Kinabalu.
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REVIEWS AND FEEDBACK:

PAULA WALTERS AND CHRIS HOWARTH
British
Dive Resort Management Internship in Malaysia

Our two month placement in Pulau Tiga Resort has been a wonderful experience. The Divemaster section of the placement ran very smoothly with expert instruction and guidance from Julius. The Water Sports Team have been great along with all of the other staff at the resort in welcoming us, integrating us, and guiding us through our duties and responsibilities along with providing us great friendship which has made living and working here a wonderful experience which comes highly recommend to others.

We would also like to thank the water sports team for working with great patience and understanding while we were asked to be in charge of the day to day running of the Centre and to all the other staff for letting us help out in various ways and making our stay a very enjoyable one.

ZACK MCBRIDE
British
Dive Resort Management Internship in Malaysia

I feel I've gained valuable experience in many areas. I have been introduced to and accepted into a completely different culture. Obviously, in becoming a Divemaster, I have not only improved my diving skills and knowledge to a professional level, but have also learned the skills and responsibilities of being a leader and having people under my care.

Aside from the professional aspects, I have had the opportunity to experience living daily life in an extremely remote environment, having to think carefully about what I need and not having the luxury of just popping down to the shop. Furthermore, as all of the staff are working and living in such close quarters, I have been able to experience being part of a tight-knit family atmosphere, and all that that brings with it! I have made many friends that I hope to keep for years to come, and gained an insight into a completely different lifestyle that, to be honest, suits me much better than what we have here!

The best thing about my placement so far is a hard question to answer. On the one hand, I have the opportunity to work in this brilliant environment; diving, catching snakes, finding new reefs (We found 2!), guiding, and constantly meeting new people. On the other hand, I've had the chance to become part of the Pulau Tiga family, getting to know the staff over the course of the 3 months, looking out for each other and making fun of each other in equal measure!

I honestly can't speak highly enough of the people involved in this project. Julius and Albert were brilliant at making me feel at home in Sabah and both of them did a fantastic job in making sure I was taken care of. Julius especially, I probably count him, along with many of the watersports crew, amongst my close friends now!

It was a really brilliant experience and it has given me a taste of a lifestyle that I definitely want to have for myself. Due to this, I have made many new lifelong friends and learnt many skills that will stay with me forever. I am planning on returning to Sabah extremely soon

What type of person would this placement suit?
As long as you are comfortable in water and on boats, and like to meet new people, you should be fine. Depending on how active/ lazy you are, there are plenty of activities to do. You could be playing volleyball or going for a fun dive with the staff, or you could be sitting at the bar chatting and drinking coffee or reading in a hammock by the beach.

Due to the remote nature, I think it is important to be quite an independent person. You need to be comfortable not having your family and friends from home around you. You need to be able step up and proactively volunteer to do work, as the staff won't feel comfortable ordering you about. The good side of this is you can rest as much as you need and no one will shout at you!

At times, if there are no guests, it can get a little boring. But if that happens just read a book, have a nap or call at your friends room and watch a movie!

Can you describe a typical day?
Usually, I would wake up around 8:15-8:30 and straight away help the watersports crew put the boats in the water. After that, we quickly go for breakfast. If there was a Snake Island tour that day, I would usually be the one to do it. Around 9:00 I would round up the guests going to the snake island and head towards the boat with one of the boatmen. If there was no snake island tour that morning, I would help with whatever needs doing, such as filling the air tanks etc.

On the boat I would introduce myself and the boatman to the guests as we head towards the snake island. On the island, I would give a fairly thorough briefing on the safety procedures and also some information on the snakes. We would then spend 45 minutes or so scouring the island catching the sea snakes, letting the guests hold them and take pictures of them.

Before heading back to the island, we stop off at the sand spit for 40 minutes to 1 hour, letting the guests go snorkelling around the reefs. In this time I usually catch up on some lost sleep in the boat from the night before!

By the time we get back it is around 11am. Usually, I will go to the jetty to welcome the incoming guests. 11:30 is the usual time for the morning dive if there are guests diving. Depending on the skill level of the divers, I would act as either assistant to the divemaster, or as the divemaster. In both cases I would help the guests choose and assemble their gear. If I was divemaster, I brief them fully on the dive location, safety procedures, common fish and reef topography.

Around midday we get into the boat and head towards the dive site, usually Asmara Point or Larai-Larai. During the dive I stay in front, with another divemaster at the rear, or vice-versa. I try my best to make sure the dive was as enjoyable as possible by firstly making sure everyone is safe and comfortable in the water, and secondly pointing out all of the cool stuff!

Arriving back around 2:00pm, I grab a late lunch with my instructor Julius. Amongst other things, we chat about my progress, and also jobs for the afternoon. These jobs can include filling the air tanks, taking the afternoon dive, cleaning the watersports centre, or studying for my exams. I continue doing whatever is needed until around 5pm, where I will help bring the boats back in for the night. After that, I rest for 2 hours before grabbing a shower and heading to dinner around 7:30pm. I'm always too tired to play volleyball!

I eat dinner at the bar with Julius and often with the guests who came to the snake island/diving with me that day. After winding down for the day, I head to the karaoke room to play pool and chat with the guests. Around 11pm, the staff often go to the jetty to relax and swim and enjoy a beer or two.

Afterwards, around 1:00am, I usually head back to one of my friends' rooms, where we watch movies and play games, winding down (and drying off) before heading back to my room for the night.