Island-Hopping in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Monday, August 08, 2011

Malaysia, like the Philippines, is also famous for being an archipelago. They have awesome (mostly untouched) beaches. This is why tourists like me want to go island-hopping in Kota Kinabalu. We put this as our main activity for day 2 in KK.

The cost:
RM 180 (around Php 2,500)- Island hopping (includes pick-up from the hotel and buffet lunch on Sapi Island)

I heard that there were a total of 5 islands you can visit. For some reason, the hotel lady who arranges tours for the guests only booked us for two islands - Manukan and Sapi islands. Later, I realized there's really not much to see in those three other islands. We saw them from our boat on our way to Manukan Island.

First stop: Manukan Island



 

















The best thing about this island is that it's a good snorkeling and diving site! I've never gone snorkeling for more than an hour before I went to Manukan. Oh yes, you will be allowed to stay on the island for a couple of hours (even longer if you wish to). Boats pick-up and drop off passengers every 30 minutes. They have almost the same route and the entire team is operated by the Sabah tourism board. No need to wait for the boat that dropped you off.

There was only one thing that ruined the trip for me. I was so excited to get in the water so I swam without realizing that my Nokia N8 was still in my pocket! So stupid! I only realized it when I noticed that my right pocket was a bit heavier than the left. I'm still trying to let the thing dry but it was soaked in salt water. There must be some salt in there.

The worst part is that I lost some beautiful photos which were taken with my N8. Oh my.

After having a quick meal, we then transferred to our second stop: Sapi Island.

 

 

 


Sapi island has some great things to offer. First, they serve delicious Malaysian food for the guests. You can also go snorkeling, reef walking and diving. There are some huge lizards and a trail that leads you to the middle of the Borneo jungle. I was tempted to follow the trail (after seeing a couple of Europeans going up trail). Somehow my memory of Bear Grylls' visit to the Malaysian jungle convinced me that it might not be a good idea.

VERDICT: The beaches on this side of Malaysia are beautiful and peaceful. If you like diving and snorkeling then I would definitely recommend this place. As for people who like beach parties, you better head to Boracay. KK has a pretty laid back culture. There are no noisy, big parties at night even in the most populated areas. There are a few bars but I don't think it matches even the parties in Puerto Galera.

We wrapped up Day 2 with another round of Tiger beer.

You might also like: Trip to Seoul, South Korea

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