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Tunku Abdul Rahman Park in Sabah PREVIOUS

Coral reefs fringe all the islands and are exposed during low tide. The best reefs are around Manukan, Mamutik and Sulug islands. Excellent reef patches are found between Pulau Sapi and Pulau Gaya. These living organisms are carnivorous animals feeding on plankton floating in the sea. The different species form coral of different shapes and are named accordingly - stag horn, mushroom, cabbage, brain and so on. They come in a variety of colours and shades - yellow, green, blue and purple. Coral reefs are home to many kinds of fish, molluscs, the giant clam, scorpion shell, sea cucumber, feather starfish, cowry shell, black and brilliant blue sea-urchins. The coral fish include the butterfly, parrot, clown, dragon, soldier - in all their brilliant colours. Bigger fish, like the red carp, grouper, baracudda and catfish, and occasionally shark, can also be found in the deeper waters.

This 51-acres boomerang shaped island is the second largest of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, Manukan has good stretches of beaches on the southern coastline. The best stretch is on the island. Ideal for snorkeling, diving and swimming. 20 unit chalets, a clubhouse, restaurant, souvenirs and diving centres and recreational facilities, such as a swimming pool, football field, squash and tennis courts, and infrastructure support water, electricity, desalination plant, sewerage system, and even a solar powered public telephone are provided.

Visitors who wish to stay overnight at the chalet can make their bookings through local tour operators.

Its 15-acres make it the smallest of the 5 islands of the Park. Rich coral life surrounds the islands. It has a jetty, a 3 bedroom resthouse for rent and staff quarters for Rangers stationed there. Facilities include changing rooms, toilets, picnic shelters, tables and barbecue pits. Fresh water and electricity are available.

ACCOMMODATION: Visitors staying at the resthouse must bring their own food, as there are no canteen facilities on the island.

Farthest away and relatively undeveloped is the 20-acres Sulug Island. The shoreline is mostly rocky. It is popular with foreign visitors who prefer the quiet and abandoned atmosphere. Good reef patches lie on the southern end. Changing rooms and toilets, picnic shelters and tables are provided. Supply of fresh water is available.

PULAU GAYA: Gaya Island is the largest island of the Park. It derived its name from the Bajau word "Gayo" which means big. Several ridges, rising more than 600 feet and peaking at 1,000 feet, from the backbone of the 3,665 acres Pulau Gaya. It has 16 miles of shoreline with beaches ranging from fine white sandy to pebbly, and mudflats, mangrove and sandstone cliffs. The major beach area in Police Beach, a quarter mile of fine white sand sloping gently into the bay making it ideal for swimming in usually crystal clear water. The coral reefs along the entire coast of the island are in excellent condition.

A small island of 25 acres, Sapi Island has one of the nicest beaches in the Park - its clean white sand and crystal clear water and coral reefs fringing the shoreline makes it ideal for swimming, snorkeling and diving. Day use facilities include a jetty, picnic shelters, barbecue pits, tables, changing rooms and toilets. Camping is allowed, with the permission of the Park Warden.

Tunku Abdul Rahman Park is a State Park created to protect the natural environment, including the coral reefs, marine life, the fauna and flora. Notice boards are posted prominently on all the islands, and visitors are advised to read these notices before proceeding with their individual pursuits.

When you are there, there are certain rules and regulations that you need to follow. These are the DO and DON'T.


1. Observe the rule and regulations of the Park.
2. Keep the place clean during your stay and when leaving the Park.
3. Contact Park Rangers on duty for assistance and information
4. Please bring along your towels and personal toiletries.

Don'ts: It is forbidden to:
1. Hunt or carry firearms, poison, spearguns and dangerous weapons within the park.
2. Harm or disturb any plants, animals or other living things
3. Pick, cut or collect plants, insects, corals, shells and any other material dead or alive
4. Write names on rocks, trees or shelters
5. Bring pets into the Park.

GETTING THERE: There are daily boat services to the islands from Kota Kinabalu main center jetty.
Departures are at 9.00, 10.00, and 11.00 in the morning, and pick-ups are in the afternoon at 1.30, 2.30, and 3.30.
During weekdays, boats must be chartered.
Most boats accommodate up to 12 passengers.

Courtesy of Sabah Tourism and Tourism Malaysia.

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