Saturday, March 16, 2013

Underwater Post Office in Sabah


Mataking Island is a stunning, exclusive island situated in the Celebes Sea off the East Coast of Sabah in Malaysia. The island, which is known for its sparkling white sand beaches and cobalt waters, is situated on the edge of the continental shelf, and is   surrounded by a living reef of hard and soft coral.  Mataking  island which is home to luxurious Reef Dive resort is  usually accessed via 40 minute speed boat ride from Semporna on the mainland, though it can also be accessed via boat from other popular diving destinations in Sabah,  like Sipadan or  Mabul  island.
Mataking Island is actually a popular getaway choice for both divers and non-divers alike, for the resort offers a whole host of activities that cater to all tastes.  While divers can enjoy exploring sites like the Eel Garden, the Turtle Playground, Lobster Lair, the Coral Garden and more, non-divers can indulge in pampering treatments at the Jamu Spa, or learn batik-making and even go kayaking, canoeing and jungle-trekking.
Aside from this assortment of leisure and recreational activities,  Mataking Island is also known for its must-see, world-renowned  attraction,  the one and  only ‘Underwater PostOffice’ in Malaysia. In March 2006, Mataking Island joined other exotic destinations like Paradise Island (Bahamas), Japan, St Thomas and Vanuatu, to create its very own underwater post office, when the Reef Dive resort, as a part of its conservation efforts, sunk an old 40-foot wooden cargo ship to create an artificial reef.
About forty people including international guests from Italy, Germany, Sweden and Japan and local divers, were on hand to witness this historic event. A mail box was then placed in the front wheel house of the wreck.
Guests at the resort can now write a letter or even buy a post card from the resort’s gift shoppe and place in a special sealed waterproof plastic postal bag. Divers then deposit the mail into the underwater mail box. Mail is collected twice a week and sent out to locations all over the world. All mail that is cleared through this unique post-office is marked with a special rubber stamp commemorating the service.
A truly charming way of keeping snail mail alive in this hi-tech, Wi-Fi enabled age!

 

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