(Day 3) Celebrating Chinese New Year at Kota Kinabalu: Island Excursion at Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park& City Tour

It’s January 31 – Happy Chinese New Year! Let’s all welcome the Year of the Wooden Horse, which also happens to be my animal birth year also!

Chinese New Year 2014

Chinese New Year 2014

This travelogue is part of a travel series for my birthday trip to Kota Kinabalu & Brunei, if you haven’t read the previous posts, here’s the link http://bit.ly/KKBruneiDay2 & http://bit.ly/KKBruneiTrip

Island Hopping at Kota Kinabalu

After braving the mountains of Kota Kinabalu on a cold and chilly weather yesterday, we now will proceed to its serene waters & majestic islands.

Island Hopping at Kota Kinabalu

Island Hopping at Kota Kinabalu

Kota Kinabalu has a few gems lying less than 30 minutes off its coast. A bundle of small islands that are a part of Tunku Abdul Rahman Park that are connected via speed boat make for a great day trip and break from the city.

Tunku Abdul Rahman Park (TARP) consists of a cluster of islands comprising Pulau Gaya, Pulau Sapi, Pulau Manukan, Pulau Mamutik and Pulau Sulug. The five islands of the Marine Park are characterized by shallow waters, sumptuous coral gardens and all boast splendid white sandy beaches. The largest being Gaya Island, while Mamutik is the smallest island in the group.

To make things more convenient, we also availed a package tour for the island hopping covering the 3 Islands of Manukan, Mamutik & Sapi for only 90MYR perhaps the cheapest I found as majority of the tour cost around 130-160MYR.

Port for the Island Hopping

Port for the Island Hopping

Kota Kinabalu Island Hopping Tour (3 Islands) : RM90.00/ pax

Schedule: Day Trip

08.30 am – Pick up at preferred hotel & Transfer to Sutera Habour Resort Jetty.
09.00 am – Speedboat journey of a 15 minutes ride to Island Arrive at’Mamutik/manukan/sapi’ Island. Free & Easy
3.00 pm – Transfer to Mainland.*** The day will be at you own leisure .
*** Water sports such as Para sailing, Windsurfing, Kayaking and etc are available at your own expenses.

Tour inclusive of:

  • Island boat return transfer (On Time Boat Departure)
  • 1 way land return transfer
  • Terminal fees and Sabah Park entrance fees
Items to bring:

  • Sun block lotion
  • Towel
  • Personal toiletries
  • Swimming attire
  • Flip flops
  • Extra clothing

Contact: Borneo BeacHouse (Backpackers)`
http://www.borneobeachouse.com
borneo.beachouse@gmail.com (look for Nick)
Tel: +6088 218331

Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park Islands

1. Manukan Island

Manukan Kota Kinabalu

Manukan Kota Kinabalu

Manukan Island, which is shaped like a boomerang or some said a dolphin, is the 2nd largest island (51 acre) of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park (TARP). The island boasts a pristine rainforest and long stretch of beautiful white sandy beaches, surrounded by protected coral reefs.

Manukan Island

Manukan Island

Another thing I loved about Manukan Island is that it’s the first beach island that I’ve visited with Pine Trees in it. So I guess the weather here must be cold to support such.

Manukan Pine Trees

Manukan Pine Trees

Manukan Island beach

Manukan Island Pine Trees

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2. Mamutik Island

Compare to Manukan and Sapi, Mamutik is the least crowded, yet it offers almost everything the other two have.

Mamutik Island

Mamutik Island

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Lunch is often served here for guests who availed tours inclusive of meals. Mamutik Island offers BBQ style cuisine, with prawns, fish and chicken are the main selections. While having a good time with the tasty meal, guests also get to enjoy the cool breeze blowing in from the sea.

Happy Chinese New Year from Kota Kinabalu!

Happy Chinese New Year from Kota Kinabalu!

3. Sapi Island

Sapi Island, which is shaped like a star, is smaller than Manukan, but is the 2nd most developed and popular island of the Tunku Abdul Marine Park (TARP). The island boasts white sandy beaches and crystal clear turqoise waters. Voted as one of the best snorkeling spots among the TARP islands, there are many colourful fishes and corals that you can find here.

Sapi Island

Sapi Island

Around Sapi Island

Around Sapi Island

Beach Bumming

Beach Bumming

After our Island hopping, we still have time to go around the city since tomorrow we’ll already be leaving for Brunei. So here are some landmarks that are worth visiting to, note though that we haven’t visited all.

Kota Kinabalu City Tour

Jesselton Point

Jesselton Point

Blue marlin statue erected near the waterfront

Blue marlin statue erected near the waterfront

The rest of the City that you could explore:

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  1. Atkinson Clock Tower
  2. Sabah Tourism Board
  3. Sabah Museum
  4. Heritage Village
  5. State Mosque
  6. City Mosque
  7. Menara Tum Mustafah
  8. Sabah State Assembly
  9. Central Market
  10. KK Plaza
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6 thoughts on “(Day 3) Celebrating Chinese New Year at Kota Kinabalu: Island Excursion at Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park& City Tour

  1. Goood post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs
    I stumbleupon every day. It will always be exciting to read through articles fro other
    writers andd practice a little somehing from their
    web sites.

  2. Wow! thanks a lot. We booked flight to KK next year and part of our tour is the island hopping. Perhaps you can share with me you IT within the city 🙂 Also, if we go to Manukan Island is there a place where we can stay for a night? I estimate 2 days tour for island hopping. Can you suggest cheap lodge or hotel there? Thanks!

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