Saturday, February 10, 2007

Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park

The Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park consists of five islands lying just off Kota Kinabalu, the capital city of Sabah, Malaysia. The five islands are Pulau Gaya, Pulau Manukan, Pulau Mamutik, Pulau Sapi and Pulau Sulug. They can be reached in 10 to 20 minutes by speedboat from Kota Kinabalu.

Two of the five island, Gaya Island and Pulau Sapi was gazetted as the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park 1974 to protect the natural enviroment, including the coral reefs, marine life, the fauna and flora. It was named after the first Prime Minister of Malaysia. The other 3 nearby islands, Manukan Island, Mamutik Island and Sulug Island was included in 1979.

Pulau Gaya

Pulau Gaya is the largest island at 15 square kilometre, and is closest to Kota Kinabalu. It is covered by dense tropical forest with trials that can be utilized by nature lovers and bird watchers. The main draw of this island is the Police Bay with its beautiful beach. This is an ideal place to picnic and to do a bit of snorkelling.

Pulau Manukan

This is the second largest island, which is frequented by locals as well as tourists because it has stretches of sandy, clean beach. The coral reefs here are well worth having a look. It is also the most developed with chalets, clubhouses and restaurants as well as a diving center with water, electricity and telephone services.

Pulau Mamutik

This is the smallest island at just 15 acres, but has good beaches and coral reefs, a jetty, changing rooms, toilets, picnic shelters, tables, barbecue pits, fresh water and electricity.

Pulau Sapi

Its name translated literally is Cow Island. It has one of the best beaches in the park, and is a popular place for snorkling and scuba diving. On the island are picnic shelters, barbeque pits, tables, changing rooms and toilets. The forest is inhabited by macaque monkeys.

Pulau Sulug

Pulau Sulug is the farthest island from Kota Kinabalu, so if tranquility is what you are seeking, this is the island to visit. The island also has patches of good coral reefs and can be an ideal place to snorkel.

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.
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.

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