Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Borneo: Sapi Island

When we planned our trip to Malaysia, we hoped to spend our time there taking advantage of the awesome wildlife viewing opportunities…we could do an evening river cruise and catch glimpses of proboscis monkeys and fireflies…or we could make our way out to the national park for a small hike and bird spotting…

But on our second full day in Borneo, we were both feeling guilty about spending money since we had just unexpectedly lost $125 during our travel mishap in Kuala Lumpur.

So instead of paying for a guided tour or for transportation to somewhere else in Sabah, we decided on an activity close to Kota Kinabalu: an inexpensive day-trip out to Sapi Island.

Getting to Sapi Island from Kota Kinabalu

To get to Sapi, we walked down to the Kota Kinabalu Ferry Terminal (aka Jesselton Point – located here) where there are a bunch of vendors waiting to sell you island-hopping tickets. All the vendors leaned out their windows, yelling and waving at us to buy tickets from them, but we just ended up choosing the very first stall and it seemed to have a fair price.

A roundtrip ticket to Sapi cost 7.20 MYR (about $2 USD) per person. The company we bought tickets from had a boat leaving KK every hour, but you had to return at a specific time — for us that was 3 PM.

There is also a conservation fee once you arrive on Sapi, which is 10 MYR per person ($3 USD). There was one price for Malaysians, and another for non-Malaysians, which isn’t awesome, but this was advertised from the time we bought our tickets so at least we were prepared and not ambushed with unexpected fees upon arrival.

Exploring Sapi Island

After a quick 15 minute boat ride, we arrived to the Sapi Island dock, paid our conservation fee, and headed straight down to the main beach. It wasn’t too crowded, but we had heard that there were more secluded stretches of sand around the other side of the island.

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