The Turtle Islands Park in Sandakan is a good place to learn and witness the cycle of life that the turtles go through. Here visitors will see mother turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs, and also get to help out the baby turtles to venture into the sea when they are released from the hatchery. A good exhibition centre on the first floor of the administration building also has tons of valuable information on the sea turtles. This visit also teaches us the importance of keeping the environment clean and chemically free, especially the sea and ocean.
For much of the history of the Semporna region on the south-eastern part of Sabah, this region consists of a sleepy town and a few villages with the main occupation being fishermen. This is not the case any more, since the last two decades this region has become the underwater paradise for the state. To protect the marine diversity of this region, Tun Sakaran Marine Park was established in 2004 and managed by the Sabah Parks. This Marine Park has eight islands as well as three large reefs and the park is surrounded by the Celebes Sea. Because of its proximity to the world’s reknown Sipadan Island Park, divers, snorkellers and tourists are also taking time to visit this park. If one comes from the Semporna Jetty, this would take about 30 to 45 minutes and covering a distance of 15 to 25 kilometres, depending of which island is the destination.
Once located at the popular dive heaven of Sipadan Island, through conservation and regulation, the Sipadan Dive Centre has now been relocated to the Mabul Island. Today Mabul Island is the main accommodation area for divers and snorkellers at the Semporna region and also for those who are keen to explore the great underwater adventure of the irresistible lure of the Sipadan. Located near the northern end of Mabul Island, and situated right in front of a patchy white sandy beach, this is where the chalets of the new Sipadan Dive Centre. The new beach front chalets of rainbow colours, seven in total, are divided into two rows and were built with wooden stilt structures.
The Mabul Island has two interesting sides, on one side it houses all the exclusive accommodations, and the other side is where all the budget homestay accommodations are located. Situated on the side of the budget stay, as well as nestle among the villager houses and just 500 metres out to the sea is the Billabong Scuba. Built on top of the sea bed with stilts and wooden structure, the Billabong Scuba building is shaped like a letter “U”. The sleeping rooms are located on both of the parallel lengths, while the dinning hall, reception and the common area are placed in the middle. Guests will be able to enjoy free Wifi service at the dinning hall. Billabong Scuba has a total of just 16 rooms and these rooms are divided into three categories, namely Air-Conditioner Room, Fan Room, and Basic Room.
Sabah is located on the northern part of the Borneo Island, the third largest island in the world. It has a land mass of 73,619 square kilometres, which is just slightly bigger than the Washington state of USA. Two thirds of Sabah shoreline are surrounded by seas and with its long shoreline, it also comes with many tropical islands, as many as one hundred, which range from the habitable big ones to exotic tiny ones.
Last century a prize winning book called “Land Below the Wind” which was written by celebrated American writer Agnes Keith, has created a lot of interest from the Western world to explore this wonderful mysterious land. Today with avid promotion done by the state government in many developed countries and also via words of mouth, Sabah is fast becoming the popular choice for an ultimate tropical vacation.
Paradise Two is one of the best site for snorkelling at Mabul Island. Dense corals concentration provide many living spaces for small fish. Many species of reef fish, including family like Angelfish, Butterflyfish, Anemonefish, and Damsel fish are found here. This is also a popular place to see turtles.
Sibuan island belongs to a grouping of eight islands that formed the Tun Sakaran Marine Park, and some people reckoned that Sibuan Island as the most beauitful island in the Celebes Sea.Semporna region is fast becoming the paradise playground for the divers and snorkellers who come here for the crystal clear sea water and the mutlitude of marine life. With increase frequent flights from Malaysia Airlines and budget airline Air Asia to the Tawau airport, getting to the islands of Semporan are not so difficult these days. Apart from the immensely desired Sipadan island, this region offers plenty of other islands for the adventurous snorkellers to explore and Sibuan island is one of them. Located on the south west corner of a reef, Sibuan island belongs to a grouping of eight islands that formed the Tun Sakaran Marine Park. This marine park was gazetted in July, 2004 to give greater protection for its environment and its eco-system.
The real gems of the Sapi island are definitely the many different corals and the ecology that comes with it. Hop on a speed boat at Jesselton Point, and within minutes you will be transported to this small tropical island called Sapi. With a crowd arrival second only to Manukan Island at Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, it is well advised to come to the island early if one wants to use the many garden tables provided free by Sabah park. If not one can always rent a floor mate from the many vendors on the island.
White sandy beach, crystal clear water, and great tropical sunshine are what made this island special. Another special feature at this island is the monitor lizards, a distant cousin from the Komodo dragons. During lunch time many of them can be seen venturing out to the cooking area, no doubt invited by the nice aroma of cooked food. For the real gems of Sapi Island one would have to dive under the water. Numerous number of different corals and the ecology that come with it are the real show. So grab yourself some snokelling gears and dive into the enticing underworld of Sapi Island.
Ten Best Destinations at West Coast, Sabah, including popular destination like Kinabalu park, the marine park and the butterfly park.
The place to stay at the paradise island called Mantanani island, located at the north west corner of Sabah.The West Coast of Sabah has seen tremendous transformation since achieving independence from the British Empire in 1963. Just take a look at Kota Kinabalu, for the past few decades, it has grown from a small town to one of the biggest cities on Borneo Island. But Mantanani Island, located on the north-west corner of Sabah and about 80 km away from KK, has remained pretty much untouched, and its forests remain intact. Washed by the waves of South China Sea, Mantanani Island is a grouping of three islands namely, Mantanani Besar, Mantanani Kecil and the very small caving island – Lungisan.