OUR COMPANY TRIP TO A SECRET HIDEAWAY IN KOTA BELUD

BY ESTELLE EILISH S GEORGE, 29 JUNE 2018

If I were to choose a quote to describe the company trip to Bigfin Divers and the immense fun I had, it would definitely be this;

“Traveling — it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller." — Ibn Battuta.

I was completely speechless the moment that we arrived in this beautiful and secluded location not far from Kota Kinabalu. The clear blue skies, gentle warm breeze, and the glistening royal blue ocean – I realised that this is the moment I had been waiting for. If you’ve never heard of Bigfin Divers before, it’s a secret hideaway located along the coast in Kota Belud moments away from Mengkabar Bay – just opposite of Pandan Island and completely non-accessible by road! 2 hours of scenic views and witty conversations made the drive from Kota Kinabalu seem like a fleeting moment especially with a horde of wonderful colleagues sufficiently keeping me entertained.

Once we arrived in Kota Belud, we made our way to the meeting point at Dragon Pearl Beach Resort which was where the peeking view of Bigfin Divers transpired. Everyone wandered off to explore the golden beach while waiting for the boats to come and collect us for our final transit across the tranquil bay.

Prepare yourself for a surge of happiness in this paradise

Our weekend officially commenced upon disembarking and reaching the shoreline as we were warmly greeted by the good folks from Bigfin Divers who were kind enough to assist with our luggage. The white sandy beach soon lead us to the Bigfin Dive & Resort that was completely surrounded by jungle and lined by a colourful garden throughout, aiding towards the secluded isolation.

We climbed a flight of stairs and trailed up the hill past the main dining hall to our rooms, and let me tell you, the sweeping views of Mengakabar Bay was simply jawbreaking and glistened with a vibrancy of green and blue, I was all too excited to get into the ocean and have my feet in the sand! Accommodation available at Bigfin Divers are private hilltop double rooms and a number of tents for camping, all comfortably equipped with basic amenities. I was immediately sold when our bed was covered with a mosquito net which gave me peace of mind with any nearby creepy crawlies!

Fantastic hilltop accommodation with views spanning as far as the eye can see

Since we arrived earlier than expected, we had ample time to relax and soak up our surrounds before jumping into our schedule for the day. Others were occupied with taking pictures, I decided to bask in the ray of the morning sun cocooning in the hammock from the comfort of the spacious balcony of my room. The expansive view of the coastline stretching as far as the eye could see continued to blow my mind! The phone line signal was sporadic but honestly, it didn’t bother me or anyone else for that matter. There’s so much going on in this stunning part of Sabah where the virtual world becomes completely irrelevant.

Hammocks on the balcony to make you snooze a good one

We headed down the hill to the restaurant for lunch where our bonding sessions via presentation and brainstorming commenced. Personally, I’ve never experienced such an engaging discussion where we had an open opportunity to put our own ideas to the company, this was definitely a first for me. My team consisted of Charlie, Carrol, Azreil, and Grace whom were very supportive and motivated me to voice out. The chemistry between everyone was really good it made me glad I was part of the team! We were then served a wide array of scrumptious lunch options prepared by Awi, a talented in-house chef with excellent culinary skills to boot. The saltwater was calling so everyone quickly finished their lunch and ran off to jump into the ocean.

Always a good time with these crowd; in and outside of the office
Each group presented their ideas on the topic of ‘Engaging Work Culture & Environment’

Night finally dawned on us and we were already looking forward to the barbecue dinner. The whole day of outdoor activities placed us in a famished state but still, we had some energy left to spare for a game of cards to roll in the main meal. The loud roars of laughter and intense negotiations during the game would’ve permitted complaints anywhere else, but everyone was having a load of fun and I felt somewhat closer to my colleagues than ever before. After dinner, everyone proceeded down on to the beach for an evening of dancing by the bonfire and meaningful conversations before stumbling back to the room for a good night’s sleep.

The bonfire definitely added to the already high spirits of everyone

Our last day did not disappoint as the morning started off great with a wonderful view from our beds that was soon followed by a buffet of a hearty breakfast and a good ol’ cup of joe. Awi made sure all of us were well fed for every meal. We had a full day of free time at our own leisure where we could simply take in the beautiful scenery and enjoy the ocean side delights. Strolling along the beach in the afternoon we anticipated a beautiful sunset that was on its way, with a stunning view of Mount Kinabalu to the west with a rainbow not too far away. Late afternoon came and thankfully there was no sign of rain. We watched the sun descend below the horizon as it coloured the sky in shades of gold, orange and pink as we basked in all its glory. Our boats finally arrived for the transfer back to Dragon Pearl Beach Resort and I said my goodbye to the island. The hospitality, the fun, and the people truly made this beautiful setting and weekend a wonderful one.

The swings by the sea enhanced our sunset experience  

There are many good reasons as to why one has to include Bigfin Divers & Resort to their list of coastal adventures when traveling to Sabah. It’s quite accessible and easy to get to from Kota Kinabalu without having to fly to the east coast and it doesn’t take long so you won’t be spending half of the day in the car. What’s more, it’s very affordable and incredibly comfortable which maximizes your money’s worth if you’re on a budget, this is the ideal weekend getaway to take on! The island is also a diver’s paradise with beautiful dive sites to indulge in, I hear that ‘Ella’s Garden’ is a favourite amongst the divers. Feel free to swing by our website and have a look at the packages we offer or drop us an email at email for any inquiries.