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Kota Kinabalu Island Hopping

The city of Kota Kinabalu is surrounded by small islands that offer rich marine life, clear water, sandy beaches, snorkeling experience, coral reef, scuba diving, water sports and more. These islands are part of Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park and a 15 to 20 minute speedboat ride will take you to these islands from the main city of Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia.The coral reef & marine life of these islandsare also protected by the local authorities.Some of the popular islands to cover in your Island Hopping Kota Kinabalu experience are listed below.

1.The Popular Manukan Island

One of the most popular, most developed and crowded island of the lot is Manukan Island. The island offers 1500 meter long sandy white beaches for tourists to unwind and relax. There are various activates a tourist can do on Pulau Manukan such as snorkeling, scuba diving, beach volleyball, parasailing, banana boat ride, jet ski, swimming, hiking & more. The island also offers accommodation to tourists in Manukan Island Resort.

There are shops and basic facilities available on the island for tourists. Perahu Restaurant, Arang Barbecue & Koktas Café will fill the empty stomach as these are the restaurants available at Manukan Island.

2. Gorgeous Sapi Island

Sapi Island or Pulau Sapi is one of the smallest islands in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. The island is preferred among tourists as it offers a rich marine life & snorkeling experience. Sapi Island is a preferred destination by tourists on their Island Hopping Kota Kinabalu tour. There are plenty of activities a tourist can do on Sapi Island that includes swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, parasailing, banana boat ride, sea walking & coral flyer.

Coral Flyer is a 235 meter fun ride that will take you from Gaya Island to Sapi Island in less than a minute. It is an island to island zip lining with an altitude of 45 meters above the sea and speed of approx 55 km/hour.

3. Enjoyable Mamutik Island

Mamutik Island or Pulau Mamutik is another island that is available for tourists in their Island Hopping Kota Kinabalu tour. The Mamutik Island is not as popular as Sapi & Manukan islands so you will experience fewer crowds & more privacy on the island. You can also view all the islands that form Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park from Mamutik Island. The island is just 3km away from the main city of Kota Kinabalu and tourists can see a great view of KK city from the island.

Mamutik Island offers snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming, water sports, grocery shop, camping & hiking trail facilities to the tourists. The island is also a training site for Borneo Divers, a Padi certified dive center in Kota Kinabalu. Read more about Mamutik Island below.

4. Luxurious Gaya Island

Gaya Island Kota Kinabalu or Pulau Gaya Sabah is the largest of the five islands that forms Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park in Sabah, Malaysia. Also refer as a virgin island because of rich and untouched coral reef, Pulau Gaya Sabah is 10 mins away from the main city of Kota Kinabalu and provides a unique experience to nature & marine life lovers.

Gaya Island Malaysia is also a home of best luxury resorts in Kota Kinabalu, so if you’re planning your honeymoon, anniversary or similar occasion, then a weekend stay in one of the resorts on Gaya Island is highly recommended. These resorts are not only five stars, but they also let you explore Gaya Island in great detail. You can choose to stay at Gayana Eco Resort, Gaya Island Resort by YTL or Bunga Raya Island Resort.

5. Adventurous Sulug Island

Pulau Sulug like other islands offer white sandy beaches, coral reef and clear water, thus making it ideal for swimming, snorkeling & . It is least visited island in the group so privacy on the island is guaranteed. To attract tourists to Sulug Island, there is no entry fee as compared to RM 10 entry fees for tourists on the other islands.

The island has a long sand-spit which is suitable for resting on the beach. You will also find sea shells scattered alongside the beach. The clear water lets you snorkel and discover the rich marine life, lying underneath the water. Keramat Reef & The Tyers are the two best diving spots located on the island.

Pulau Sulug Kota Kinabalu is less developed so you will not find kind of facilities available on the other islands like souvenir shops, grocery shops, snorkeling gears rental shop, restaurants & resorts. It sounds like an abundant island or a step brother of the rest of the islands in the group.

Not so many people are visiting this island so you might find a tough time getting a boat ride to Sulug Island.


How much does it cost?

The cost of the Island Hopping Kita Kinabalu tour is not much as compare to the experience. The cost depends upon the number of islands you want to visit from the Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal.

The cost for the speedboat round trip to Kota Kinabalu Island Hopping is listed below.

Two Islands – RM 33 (US $9) per adult & RM 28 (US $8) per children
Three Islands – RM 43 (US $ 12) per adult & RM 38 (US $11) per children
Four Islands – RM 53 (US $15) per adult & RM 48 (US $13) per child
Beside the speedboat fair, there is also a RM 10 (US $3) per person entry charges to the island. You can also charter a boat by paying RM 204 (US $55) for a round trip.

Facilities available on the Islands

As the islands experience great number of tourists & local so all the basic facilities are available on the island. There are shops & restaurants that offer quick snacks, lunch, drinking water, soft drinks, beach mat, insect repellent, beach slippers, hats & more. Tourists can also rent basic snorkeling & diving equipment such as fins, life jacket & masks from the island shop. Not all island have the facilities so please be sure to check before going.

Water Sport Activities

There are plenty of water sports activities available on these islands for tourists to have water fun. Tourists can avail these activities by paying minimal charges. The detail of some popular activities along with the charges is listed below.

Sea Walking – RM 250 Per Person (USD $70) – For 30 minutes

Scuba-Doo – RM 250 Per Person (USD $70) – For 30 minutes

Parasailing – RM 90 Per Person (USD $25) – For 15 minutes

Banana Boat Ride – RM 40 Per Person (USD $12) – For 15 minutes

Flying Fish – RM 70 Per Person (USD $20) – For 15 minutes

Jet Ski – RM 165 Per Person (USD $45) – For 30 minutes

Not all island have water sports so please be sure to check before going.

Tips to Remember
Below are some safety tips & advice to remember on your Island Hopping tour.

1. You might come across “Monitor Lizard” which can be found on these islands. If you do then don’t engage with them.
2. Only book your Island Hopping tour or other water sport activities from a tour operator and avoid dealing with friendly local individuals if they approach you.
3. Camping is allowed in most of the islands and you need to take permission from the island main reception. Camping tents are also available for rent which can easily accommodate up to four people. Manukan Island does not allow camping facility.
4. You must accompany children under water as there might be sudden 2 to 3 meters deep incline in some areas near the beach.
5. Take a note of departure time of the last speedboat which is usually between 4pm to 4:30 pm.

Kota Kinabalu Island Hopping is a must-do activity for tourists to enjoy rich marine life, snorkeling, scuba diving, water sports & more. Freme travel can create the dream vacation you have always dream of. For more information contact us @

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