For our last day
in the western side of Sabah we had a tour to the Tunkul Abdul
Park to visit Puala Gaya and Puala Sapi.
There was some
confusion at the docks in Kota Kinabalu, when our driver dropped us off and left,
but eventually our new guide turned up, and we loaded into a boat for a trip to
is the largest island in the marine park, with 10% of it outside the park with
a local water village on it.
We went to Gaya
for the excellent hiking and nature trails there. During the hour and a half
walk through the rainforest and mangrove trails we saw a small colony (half a
dozen) horseshoe bats under an overhanging rock just next to the trail, many
butterflies and skinks, and signs of wild boar, but no other animals. It was a
really nice island for walking.
After Gaya, we had a two minute
boat trip over to Sapi for snorkelling. The snorkelling off Sapi was fantastic,
with hundreds of fish just a metre in, including rainbow parrot fish,
pufferfish, tuna, discus and so on. When we took a piece of bread into the
water they swarmed up to us and ate out of our hands, even jumping out of the
water to get it. A little bit offshore there were a few soft corals (not many
though), including two that had pairs of resident clown fish (one pair had a
new brood with it). After snorkelling we had lunch, then a troop o long-tailed
macaques came down to steal whatever food they could. A small (maybe one metre)
water monitor also came out of the forest onto the beach.
As we left Sapi
in the early afternoon a storm started, but we were wet more by the spray form
the choppy ocean than the rain. Back in Rasa Ria we settled our bill (RM 1000,
or $400, not bad for all the meals and activities we had there over the past
eight days), and had an early night.