The Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Haji Apong officiated the promotion of the Brunei Diving Packages today at the Serasa Water Sport Complex with Poni supporting the event. Present at the ceremony were Permanent Secretaries, Deputy Permanent Secretaries, Foreign Dignitaries, Diving Stakeholders, Royal Brunei Airlines, Hoteliers, Travel Agencies and Tour Operators. Poni boats were used for a private guided tour of Pelong Rock and other marine attractions for the GoH, Dato Hj Ali Hj Apong to learn more about our industry.
Pelong Rock or as the locals called it, Pulau Pilong-Pilongan, is situated about eight kilometres from Poni Divers offices at Serasa beach and is visible from Meragang and Muara Beaches. This location is one of the most popular areas for beginners learning to scuba dive and snorkel. There are plenty of dive sites around Pelong, namely Pelong North, Pelong South, Pelong East, Pelong West, Pelong Lagoon, Pelong Ridges and even, a less popularly known, Pelong Cave. Pelong Rock is a beautiful rock formation, jutting out from below the water surface. This is a protected area where rare species of wildlife can be seen and dive sites around the area range from 1 metre down to 18 metres.
There is an interesting folktale connected to the rocky island where, according to the legend in the 14th century, during the Majapahit era, a fighting cock lost the fight and succumbed to its wounds and fell into the sea to become Pelong Rock. The winning cock was cursed and also turned into another island known as Pulau Lumut Lunting (near Bandar Seri Begawan). There is a wreck located nearby Pelong Rock called Dolphin88 with depth ranging from 10 metres to 24 metres. There are plenty of marine life that can be seen at the wreck such as puffer fish, groupers and macro critters. In the Ministry’s effort to protect the underwater marine life, mooring buoys have been installed by Poni around dive sites which allows dive operators to secure their boats without anchoring on the reefs minimizing damage to the corals.
With over 410 coral species and 700 different species of reef fish diversity, Brunei’s coral life is considered to be one of the healthiest in the world. There are also more than 60 diving sites including reefs, wrecks and a decommissioned oil rig.