Saturday, August 4, 2012

Day 2 in Kota Kinabalu: Sun, Sea and Sand

Map taken from
After our parasailing adventure, we went back to Jesselton Ferry Point for our boat trip to the three islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park.  There are many operators at Jesselton that arranged for island hopping in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park but we had it pre-arranged with our kababayan, Kuya Ismail. 

Among the five islands of TAR Marine Park, we chose Sapi, Manukan and Mamutik only. Prior to the trip, you need to arrange the schedule of transfers from one island to another. Any changes during the duration of the trip needs to be communicated to Jesselton Ferry Point Terminal which is quite a hassle for any fickle-minded souls.

For the three island boat transfers, we paid MYR33 + MYR 7.20 Tax and Conservation Fee of MYR10.

With approximately 20-minute boat ride from Jesselton Ferry Point Terminal, we took our first stop at Sapi Island (Pulau Sapi).

 The clear waters and the cloudy sky welcomed us at Pulau Sapi. The weather was getting good and the sun was coming out. We're a bit excited but when we were approaching, the island is a bit small for so many activities that we planned to do at Sapi.
approaching Pulau Sapi dock
We explored the island right away and indeed the water is so clear that you can see the fishes below.  The island offers water activities like snorkeling and diving and there were cottages, cafe and offered BBQ lunch package. 
We opted to take our brunch at the open cafe  first. It was nearly ten and we scheduled our transfer to Manukan Island at 1pm.
After our brunch, we took a dip with the rest of the tourists who were swamped in the small shoreline. It was too crowded to swim so we transferred to the other side. 
After awhile we got bored as we couldn't go snorkeling with the weather turning gloomy.  We just waited at the dock for our 1PM boat transfer to Manukan Island.
It was a nice waiting time at the dock enjoying the fishes in the water.
Finally, the boat arrived at 1pm and we transferred to Manukan Island. 
the welcome cottage at Pulau Manukan
Manukan Island is better than Sapi with it's long stretch of shoreline, clear waters as well where you can actually see the fishes even at the seashore and more touristy with the existence of cottages, restaurants and other amenities. We enjoyed snorkeling and walking along the stretch of the shoreline.
the stretch of Manukan Island
the things that we enjoyed the most at Pulau Manukan
Unfortunately, we only arranged to stay there for two hours so we hopped the boat transfer to Mamutik at 3pm. From our experience, I would recommend that you stay longer in Manukan than the other islands.
the beautiful walkway from the dock of Manukan Island
We took a speedboat to Mamutik Island and that added the fun! Mamutik is almost same in size as Manukan and had so much to offer. 
the welcome board at Mamutik Island
Our stay in Mamutik Island was a quick-one with only an hour to stay.  They have cottages and good for day excursion and family picnic.  The weather in KK from Mamutik was getting gloomier and neither the waves were inviting for a swim.
Shallow water good for swimming
With only an hour and a weather getting darker, we just took our shower, had some souvenir shots and waited at the island's dock for our 3PM transfer back to Jesselton Point. 
A view of KK City from Mamutik

It was a full of adventure day for us and had the opportunity to explore the other side of the world again for us.  At first I told myself, beaches in the Philippines are far better than here.  But then, I realized, it's another God's creation and the beauty is each to its own.
Ending our island tour with our souvenir photo at the dock of Mamutik Island

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