On our second day in Kota Kinabalu, we went to the beach! The first thing we did was get to Jesselton Point. There are a lot of other ports that take you to different water parks but Jesselton Point takes you to the Tungku Abdul Rahman park which is a group of islands with wonderful beaches.
Once you get to Jesselton point, you will be able to pay for your trip, you can choose to go to 1 island, 2, 3 or more. In our case, we only went to three islands because those were the major islands everyone recommended we visit: Mamutik, Manukan and Sapi Island.
The boat fare differs depending on how many islands you go to. I forgot how much it is per island but in our case, since we went to three islands, we paid RM 43. plus the terminal fee of RM 7.20 for a total of RM 50.20. I also rented some goggles for snorkling which costs around RM 10 so my total expense for this trip so far, excluding my food (which I bought at a local food stand which costs just around RM 4.00) is RM 60.20.
It's best to get to the port early, in our case, we arrived there around 7 am so there aren't really a lot of people yet so we got to have a boat all to ourselves. Although I think that's how they do it there, one boat for every group cause I could literally see other boats with just one or two passengers leaving at the same time we did that morning.
Our first island stop was at Mamutik island. this is one of the islands in the park that the locals suggested we go to because its a great place to snorkel. There are a lot of corals and marine life there even if you don't go too far out (I was only snorkeling a few meters off the shore and I could see fishes, big and small, surrounding me. I kind of panicked a little but its al good. LOL)
Another thing I liked about is is that it is so small and secluded that there aren't really any commercial places around the area. So I suggest bringing your own food because there won't always be any available restaurants or stalls until a certain time and even then, I heard it was expensive compared to when you buy your food before heading over to all the islands.
Now, upon arriving at your first island, you have to pay another RM 10.00 if you aren't Malaysian for the conservation fee. Don't be fooled, you only need to pay for this ONCE. If you are going to more than one island, keep the stub or receipt they will give you in exchange for the conservation fee and show that to the other staff once you get to the next island if they ask you to pay again.
The second Island we went to is Manukan Island. Out of all the islands featured in the Tungku Abdul Rahman Nature Park, this is the most popular because it has the widest shoreline of all the islands. Since this is the most commercial one, it is also much more developed so there is a pretty decent food and souvenir store where you can also rent swimming equipment (although if you are renting, I suggest you rent your equipment over at Jesselton Point because then you'd only have to pay one time whereas if you rent equipment on one island, you will have to return it and then rent another set of equipment when you get to the next island.
I gotta admit though, it was my least favorite mostly because there were a lot of people and the sand near the shoreline was mixed with tiny corals which hurt to walk on but also because there were a lot of floating plastic bottles and wood floating about. It was pretty disturbing how the water was so clear and a lot of people were swimming about but no one really took the effort to clear up the water especially since there were kids littered everywhere and there were some floating woods with nails sticking out. It was pretty scary so instead of swimming on the island, my friends and I decided to clear some of the wood and plastic bottles away from the shore line where children were literally playing with their parents.
I also like this island because its divided into two sides, one side for those who want to learn how to dive and will be diving while the other side is for those who just wants to enjoy the sun, sand and the water. The sand was finer than the ones on Mamutik (there are a few corals on the shoreline and a little more in the near waters) and Manukan (Like I said earlier, there were a lot of corals on the shoreline it hurt to walk on). I don't have any pictures of the island though cause I was too busy getting sun burnt and swimming about in the water :( My forehead is so dark I look like I ombre'd my face. LOL
Nevertheless, this was one of the best trips I have ever taken. Definitely one I will want to repeat in the future! :)
This is probably my last post on my trip to Malaysia. I didn't get to take much photos because I was out exploring and it was raining out by the afternoon. I will try to post some of my instagram photos from when I was over there though :)
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