The Tunku Abdul Rahman park comprises a group of five islands located only 20 minutes away from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah’s capital. The park is spread over 4,929 hectares, two thirds of which is sea.
The five idyllic islands, Manukan, Mamutik, Sulug, Gaya and Sapi have soft white beaches and are teeming with fish and coral, perfect for beginner divers as well as snorkellers and picnickers. Gaya and Sapi Islands also have hiking trails through their pristine jungles.
These islands are home to a variety of flora and fauna, including one of the most intriguing birds, the Megapode or Burung Tambun, a chicken lookalike with large feet and makes a meowing sound like a cat.
Manukan Island has the best infrastructure. This includes lovely chalets where you can spend the night, as well as a small dining facility and barbecue pits near the beach.
How to get there
Take a boat from the Central Market Harbour jetty in Kota Kinabalu.
There are a couple of very nice eco resorts on these islands, but most day-trippers opt for accommodation in the nearby capital of Kota Kinabalu, just 10 minutes away.