Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park
Sapi Island Travel Blog› entry 150 of 658 › view all entries
People i met here, who contributed to and improved my trip: Julia (Russia)
On Monday we set off for Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, full of anticipation. We had decided against camping, so left Kota Kinabalu early, to do it as a day trip. We were met near the pier by a sales rep and told it would cost 17 ringgit for a boat ticket and 10 ringgit for snorkelling equipment. We were also advised that Sapi Island was the best for snorkelling and a real island paradise. Once we had bought our tickets we were hit with a 6 ringgit pier tax, then on the boat told that to rent the fins as well as the mask was actually 15 rinngit and and extra 10 ringgit to get an extra set of flippers. As we arrived at the island we were then stung with a 10 ringgit national park fee, making it a much more expensive trip than we had expected.
On the plus side we saw a big school of fish near the landing point and also the islands that we had stopped off at before, seemed over crowded and nothing special. Unfortunately when we got to the beach we were greeted by dozens and dozens of Japanese and Koreans fitted in their orange life jackets splashing around in the water, which was about 1m deep! Not wanting to be immediately put off, i donned the snorkelling gear and went into the water. First impressions were ok as i saw some fish quite near to shore, but it soon became apparent that the water didn't go much deeper than 2m for some considerable distance and by the time it did, there was no protection from the alcove anymore and the currents were pretty strong. The other problem was that there really was no coral at all and just as many fish near the shore as further out i.
We had already booked our return trip for 4pm and with very little to see snorkelling, i got stuck into Dostoevskys 'Crime and Punishment', which i found a really good read. Whilst i was digesting Rasklonikov's mental state at a picnic table, i heard some rustling in the nearby bushes and got the fright of my life when i saw a huge Monitor Lizard appear! I followed it for a bit into the island and got some pictures and when i got back to the beach, 3 more had appeared round the back of a cafe. It was really unexpected and a great surprise. So it turned out that the wildlife on the land was actually far more interesting than that in the sea.
In the afternoon i had another snorkel and ended up naming some fish that followed me around, colourful Clive was by far my favourite! I ended up wondering if i was losing my sanity so went back to my book to see if there was any mention of talking to fish, but there wasn't :) After a spot of sunbathing, 4pm eventually arrived and we were whisked back to the mainland, just before the daily rain come tumbling down. An evening of scrabble and internet completed a rather disappointing day.