Tunku Abdul Rahman park is located in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah and consists of 5 beautiful islands . Most of the visitors would put this park in their go-to place list when they plan to travel around Kota Kinabalu. The stunning scenery of the vast blue ocean accompanied with crystal clear water and a bunch of activities can be done are among the reasons that make Tunku Abdul Rahman Park a sensational holiday spot. Here are the 10 guides before you go for island hopping in this park.
1. Book for boat at the Jesselton Point ferry terminal
You might wonder where to start off your island hoping journey. Don’t worry because you can find all the boat in Jesselton Point ferry terminal. It’s close to many hotels in Kota Kinabalu city, so if you are staying in one, it’s easy for you to reach the terminal. However, try to come early so you don’t have to wait in a long line to buy a boat ticket because there will be tons of people trying to get a boat before lunch hour . It is recommended that you be there around 8am-9am.
2. Island hopping fee
There are five islands that you can choose from. They are Manukan, Gaya, Sapi, and small islands of Mamutik and Sulug. You can opt to visit 1 or 3 islands only but it is possible to cover all 5 of them in one day. It costs MYR 23 (adult), MYR 18 (Children below 11 years old) for 1 island, with one-time payment of terminal fee for MYR 7.63(adult), MYR 3.82 (children below 11 years old). If you plan to visit more islands, you will need to pay extra MYR 10 for every additional island hop. Also, once you arrived at the first island, you will have to pay MYR 3 (Malaysian), MYR 10 (Non- Malaysian) for conservation fee. It will cover all the other islands you will visit so you only have to pay it once.
3. Activities you don’t want to miss
In Tunku Abdul Rahman park, there are plenty of things you can do to enjoy your day. For example, if you are doing researches or simply want to learn about marine lives especially its preservation, you can head to the Marine Ecology Research Centre in Gaya Island. If you like adventure sports, there are a range of water sports activities like diving, snorkelling, banana boat riding, and parasailing. For those who don’t prefer any of the activities mentioned above, you can still enjoy your day by going for a nature walk on the trails in jungle or just relax and picnic around the beach.
4. Be cautious of giant lizards
You will see a lot of these reptile creatures around the island and swimming out of the ocean especially on the area where the beaches are rocky. They are usually are not a threat to the visitors unless you irritate them. So be careful since their bite contain venom .
5. Put on your sun screen
From all the best activities mentioned above, for sure you will be under the sun most of your time. Therefore, to avoid getting a bad sunburn effect, you better apply your sun screen. This way, you will not have to put up with terrible skin peeling and redness.
6. Bring food, drinks and mats too
The thing about island is, everything that they sell will be more expensive than in the KK city. This is based on my own experience. You can go to any stalls on the island and found the price for a can of soda drink is doubled. The same thing goes to when renting stuffs like mat. So, you will surely save a lot if you bring your own food and drinks and equipment like mats, towel or sandals. (You can bring as many food and drink as you want because there’s literally no limit to that as long as you clean up your trash)
7. Be alert of the time
Yes, you are supposed to enjoy your moment but if you are not being aware of the time, you might miss the last departing boat and have to stay overnight on an island unless you really plan to do so. Take note that the last boat may departs at 4 pm. This is also important when you visit more than one island as there’s a scheduled boat arrival to transfer you from one island to another.
8. Don’t miss out the best Sunset view
You might feel exhausted from all the fun times spent exploring the islands, but don’t end your day yet and leave so soon because if the weather is good, you will have the chance to catch the sunset at around 6 pm at the rooftop bar in Le Meridien or Grandis Hotel. You can also head to KK Waterfront to see the panoramic view of sunset as it slowly sinks. Don’t miss it out, Kota Kinabalu is definitely has one of the best sunset views in the world.
Overall, islands hopping is an interesting thing to do whether you are a foreign tourist looking for the last activity to enjoy before you fly back to your own country or you are a local who just want to enjoy your weekend or a public holiday with your friends. Be sure to learn the tips and tricks before you go for your islands hoping journey.