Day Trip to Tunku Abdul Rahman Park
Kota Kinabalu Travel Blog› entry 10 of 11 › view all entries
Arriving at the jetty entrance, I walked into the building where you purchase tickets for boats out to the islands. I had no idea there were 6 or so different companies, so I just went over to the first one I saw. I ended up paying 56 RM for a trip to two islands plus 6 RM for the jetty fee and another 10 RM once I arrived at the first island for a park maintenance fee. The woman at my hotel told me I shouldn't pay more than about 35 RM but by the time I realized it, I had purchased a non-refundable ticket.
The ride over to Pulau Manukan took about 10 minutes. On the island there is a hotel with bungalow type accommodation and a restaurant. There was also an all you can eat buffet for 105 RM but I passed that up for the 6.50 RM rice, veggies and omelete. I was getting picked up at 2pm for a transfer to another island so I had 4 hours to lay on the beach and snorkel. The snorkelling is hardly what I would call first class but not much is going to impress me after Sipadan. The other tourists in their life jackets in 3 feet of water seemed to be enjoying themselves. You can see some fish from the jetty but they are mostly non-descript white or grey fish although I did see one parrot fish and a couple confused looking trumpet fish (not a turtle in sight).
I walked around the end of the island to get away from the crowds on the beach and found a picnic table by the water where the "beach" is a bunch of rocks. There I was undisturbed except for the sighting of a rather large lizard. My view was of palm trees or if I turned my head left I saw turquoise ocean. Life is good!
There's quite a bit of confusion at the jetty since the boats aren't very well marked (and by not very well, I mean not at all) so you don't know which boat you should be getting onto. I recognized my driver and hopped on. I was the only passenger so I had deluxe service over to Palau Sapi (I love the name).
I had two hours at this island. When I arrived they were cleaning up from lunch and there was garbage everywhere (kind of like everywhere I've been in this country).
Arriving back at Jesselton Jetty I was majorly craving ice cream. A minute later I was standing in line for a gelato. I ordered Oreo but it tasted nothing like Oreo or cookies and cream but it was still ice cream-ish tasting and hit the spot. Oh what I would give for a pistacio and hazelnut gelato in Italy right now!
In the evening I met up with two guys from South Africa at the Cock and Bull bar down on the waterfront for some beers. I had met Roscoe earlier that evening and he invited me to join them. Before meeting them at the bar, I went looking for something to eat.
I met the boys at the bar and we proceeded to drink a large amount of Tiger Beer. Around midnight we decided to go to a dance bar which was next door. The venue had a big stage where there was a band with three girls singing in the front. They were quite good. When we walked in they were singing “Right Round” by Florider and then “California Dreamin’” by the Mamas and the Papas and then they’d switch to house music. It was quite the mix but made for some good times, aided slightly by shots of tequila and vodka :)