Monday, November 21, 2005

Dive to explore Brunei's rich coral wonders

By Ignatius Stephen

A Bruneian princess is inviting all to share the wonderful undersea kingdom that lies off the sultanate's shores.

Princess Hjh Ameenah Bushral Bulqiah has gained the backing of Brunei Tourism Department, which also wants the largely undiscovered coral wonders to be made into a world-class tourist destination.

The splendid Empire Hotel & Country Club, where the Princess is centering her diving and sea sport activities, is also supporting the venture.

Princess Hjh Ameenah's activities hinge on a company she has registered, ScubaTech International Dive Centre Ltd, which is operating out of the hotel's Marine Centre.

It will be Brunei's first internationally certified resort dive centre and will hold its product launch Tuesday at the Empire. Tourism head Sheikh Jamaluddin will be the chief guest.

ScubaTech is Brunei's first Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), which ensures that within few days one could be enjoying the underwater world safely.

A presentation explaining the importance of the international certification as well as an update on diving and water sports activities at the Marine Centre for the enjoyment of tourists and locals will also take place.

So, then, would you like to glide along in paradise by the splendid Princess Avenue, Clownfish Avenue, the beautiful Burn's and the Brunei Patch? Perhaps you would. For that you will have to reach down Brunei's deep blue.

There is no doubt now that Brunei is considered as one of the world's top diving destinations in Southeast Asia. Brunei's marine life is rich with variety of coral colours as well as plenty of reef fishes.

Beautiful, rich reefs such as Brunei patch, Princess Avenue, Clownfish Avenue, Burn's patch and many others can be found just 15-20 minutes by catamaran boat 'Pekan Lama'. For those who want to explore Brunei's 'deep blue', wreck diving is also one of our specialties.

There are a number of wrecks found along Brunei Bay and are within reach from the dive centre. These wrecks are also rich with marine life and soft corals can be found everywhere along with barracudas, trevalleys, sting rays as well as other macro species.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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