Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park

The marine park is a cluster of islands comprising Pulau Gaya, Pulau Sapi, Pulau Manukan, Pulau Mamutik and Pulau Sulug, all only 10 - 20 minute speedboat ride from the city of Kota Kinabalu. The five islands of the Marine Park are characterized by shallow waters, sumptuous coral gardens and all boast splendid white sandy beaches.

The reefs lie in shallow waters with little current making it an ideal location for novice divers, however, the diverse and sometimes rare marine creatures also make it an interesting dive location for experienced divers and underwater photographers.

To dive in the marine park you must contact one of the local dive centers based in Kota Kinabalu who also offer a full variety of PADI courses ranging from Discover Scuba to Instructor.

Among the sandy seabed a good variety of marine life can be found such as Scorpion fish, Blue-spotted rays, cuttlefish, mantis shrimps and the occasional green or hawksbill turtle. At some locations, rare creatures such as the harlequin ghost pipefish and mandarin fish can be found especially with the help from local dive guides.

During the cooler months from November to February, plankton blooms attract krill which in turn attract whale sharks, the world's largest fish. At times, the density of the krill can be so thick in these murky conditions underwater encounters with these colossal animals can be exciting as they suddenly appear out of the gloom.

Non-diving visitors can still have as much fun in the islands with other optional activities such as snorkeling in Pulau Sapi and Manukan and seawalking in Pulau Sapi. If water sport is your cup of tea, you may contact any local tour companies for more information regarding the water sport activities that are available.

The Tunku Abdul Rahman Park is open daily from 8.30am to 5pm.

Getting there

The Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park is accessible via 15 – 20 minutes speedboat ride from Kota Kinabalu. The departure and arrival point for the boat transfers is at the Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal, situated next to the Malaysia Royal Custom Department. Boat transfers to the islands are available daily from 7.30am to 5pm.

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