Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Beauties beneath Manukan Island

The jetty is always packed with visitors from all walks of life

Some of the many colourful fish that can be found swimming freely

Playing in the water near to the beach

School of fish swimming closer to the surface

Photos courtesy of and Copyright to Abdul Aziz Pandin and Brunei Press Sdn Bhd

By Abdul Aziz Pandin

Have you ever wondered how it feels like to be surrounded by colourful fishes under the sea? Charmed by the beauty of the sandy white beaches, crystal clear water and the natural greeneries? I do. There are so many things that you can do if you are seeking for tranquillity, serenity, sun, and fun activities at Manukan Island, Sabah.

The island is located at Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, the second National Park in Sabah, and only accessible by boats. Other than Manukan, which is the second largest and most developed island, there are other islands - Sapi Island, Mamutik Island, Gaya Island and Sulug Island and they are just close to one another.

From the Jesselton Pier, you can buy tickets from any of the boat operators. The journey to the island of choice takes about 15 to 30 minutes. Sometimes, it depends on where they go first. The return fare is reasonable and there are also pick up times to allow any visitors to get on and get off the islands at their convenient times. The hotel where you stay can arrange the tour outing for you as well.

As we arrived at Manukan jetty, the view was just so captivating as we could see colourful fishes, abundant of them, swimming around the jetty. We could see them clearly from above. As we walked towards the entrance, we need to pay a conservation fee at the reception.

As we entered the beautiful island, there are nature trails if you wish to explore and venture deeper into the island. Most visitors go there just for the sun, beach and sea. You can snorkelling - one of my favourite water activities - where you need to rent the snorkelling gears.

Other activities such as walking under the sea, ski jet, glass bottom boat ride, bird watching, fish feeding, swimming, water sports are also provided but of course everything is for rental.

You can also do photography and jogging in the park itself. There are food stalls and restaurants too comprising seafood, barbeque, or simply coffee and tea.

There are also accommodations provided such as Hilltop Cabins and Beach Lodges. You can stay overnight in one of these but remember to book in advance. If you are staying overnight, you will experience a divine moment of sunset.

I must say, this island is a getaway from the hustle and bustle of the cities and our daily life.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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