About travel, holidays and hotels in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
Sunday October 28th 2012

Manukan Island

It is natural for us to overlook things that are right in front of us. The waters around Kota Kinabalu has some islands that compares favorably with islands anywhere in the world. For this simple reason, it is not overly commercialized. I mean, no glitzy chalets and loud music. It is all natural.

When was the last time you went on a trip to the Tunku Abdul Rahman Parks? I can imagine chilling out in a tropical white sandy beach, surrounded by pristine, clear water.

Borneo Island
Borneo Island

The Islands in Tunku Abdul Rahman Park comprise of Pulau Manukan, Pulau Mamutik, Pulau Sapi, Pulau Gaya and Pulau Sulug. In case you are wondering, pulau is the malay term for island. These islands are located in Tunku Abdul Rahman Park which is the second National Park in Sabah. It was gazatted to protect the fauna, flora and marine eco-system found in Sabah.

Sabah’s Historical Islands

The names of the islands are symbolic, given by the early discoverers. Manukan island for fish, Mamutik island for sea shells, Sapi island represents the sound of buffalo, Gaya island meaning big, and Sulug island for the ancestry of the Sulu people of Sabah.

Getting There

The islands are only accessible by boats, which leaves from the Jesselton Pier in Kota Kinabalu city. You can buy a ticket from any of the boat operators, the journey to your island of choice takes about 30 to 40 mins. Sometimes, it depends on where they go first. The fare includes to and from the islands, normally pick time can be arranged. There are also plenty tour operators in Kota Kinabalu or your hotel can arrange the tour outing for you.

It usually hot and sunny in Sabah, with calm seas. You can expect rain in the months between October and February, and the sea can be rough at the end of the year. But you can never keep the sun away for long in Sabah.

Island Jetty
Island Jetty

I get a little nervous traveling on water, more concern about the people with me and my camera and DVD recorder. But it is always an exciting feeling. You feel like you are traveling away from the bustle and noise of city life. By the time you see the island jetty, you are already feeling relaxed.

Manukan Island

Manukan island is the second largest island in the park and the most developed. Hence, this island probably see the most visitors. The Sabah Parks headquarters  is located here. The island itself is one and half kilometers long, crescent shaped. There are nature trails if you wish to explore the island. I don’t know if this is the place for bird-watching.

Photo: www.malaysiabest.net
Photo: www.malaysiabest.net

Most of us come for the beach and sea. Here, you can snorkel, dive, swim or walk under the sea. The equipment and services are for rental, so you don’t need to bring a lot of stuff. The sand in Manukan island is quite rough for the most part, and the corals are sharp. The waters are very clear, and you can see the fishes as soon as you reach the island.

Photo: www.malaysiabest.net
Photo: www.malaysiabest.net

Bring your beach towel, sunscreen, camera, water and food. You can stay overnight in the accomodations but this require advance booking. Gone are the days when we could just stay anytime we want. There are restaurants on the island, but I always felt that a picnic is a lot more fun. As you would expect, food and drinks costs more on the island.

Pulau Manukan
Pulau Manukan

Here are some amazing beautiful photographs of the islands found in Tunku Abdul Rahman Park.

Tunku Abdul Rahman Park
Tunku Abdul Rahman Park

The Sunsets In Kota Kinablu, Sabah

Sunset is my favorite time of the day. It is also my favorite image of Sabah. No matter where you go in Sabah, the sunsets are beautiful. Sometimes, it looks as though the sky is on fire.

Sunset On An Island
Sunset On An Island
Photo: Nora Carol, Flickr
Photo: Nora Carol, Flickr

Park Etiquette

Common sense guide. Please don’t screw up our natural heritage.

  1. Take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints.
  2. Do not bring pets.
  3. Respect the silence of nature.
  4. Remember safety. Keep an eye on your kids.
  5. Don’t dive, swim or snorkel alone.
  6. Do not disturb or harm the wildlife.

Conservation Fees For Sabah Parks

All visitors going to Sabah Parks have to pay a conservation fees. Foreign visitors are charged more but the charges are by no means excessive. It is to help preserve the natural beauty of our World Hertigae Site and Parks.

See The Latest Rates Here: SABAH PARKS, look under New Rates.

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11 Comments for “Manukan Island”

  • leong says:

    I want comtact number pulau manukan resort

  • adrian says:

    Hello Leong,

    Manukan Island Resort is being managed by Sutera Sanctuary Lodges, and you can try their website for the contact number at http://www.SuteraSanctuaryLodges.com.my.

    Or you can go here, Manukan Island Resort, if you want to check availability.

  • aisyah says:

    i want contact number to buy the ticket and the transfortation.becouse i want to go in manukan island next week in sunday.

  • adrian says:

    Hi Aisyah,

    All you have to do is go to Jesselton Point and buy a boat ride to Manukan island. It’s right in the city by the harbor.

  • aizat says:

    we’re going to this island on early January.. and we had book a flight ticket already. and lately i hv heard bout the monsoon season. is tht safely for us be there at that time?

  • adrian says:

    Hi Aizat, welcome to our site. Monsoon won’t be a problem in January, and I would not be too concern about the weather.

  • Edwin says:

    halo adrian…..can i ask some question about the pulau manukan??i plan it january period CNY like that go pulau manukan…it suitable for go pulau when period CNY??and if i want play those water sport activity…need booking or not??or just go there and pay??thank^^ hope you can reply as fast as posibble…

  • adrian says:

    Hi Edwin, it’s been a while since I’ve been there. As far as I know, all operators are open during the CNY period and you can rent what you need when you get there. Better check with a tour operator though.

  • mons says:

    we’re planning to go to manukan island? how much is the ticket going to manukan and is there any other fees to pay? also is there entrance fee ? what if we go there by morning and go out in the afternoon do we still have to pay any accomodation fee?

  • adrian says:

    Hi Mons, you can either go with a tour operator or go by yourself at jesselton point. Tour operator, http://www.sabahaspenholidays.com offers day trip to manukan for about RM200 which includes everything.

    If you go by yourself which will be slightly cheaper. You pay for the boat ride and a conservation fee of RM10 per adult.

  • Fauziah Sahar says:

    Can u give a rough estimation on how much we have to spend on the boat ride


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