Friday, January 11, 2008

Manukan Island

10 days before last Christmas, a small reunion among my ex-Uni friends was held at Manukan Island, just 15 minutes boat ride from Sutera Harbour KK which cost around RM40/per pax for return trip. Manukan is one of the islands in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park which consists of Sapi, Mamutik, Gaya and Sulug Islands.

Sailor’s Boats at Sutera Harbour

Ticket’s counter

There are few counters there that own by various companies at the harbour but only one open when we arrive there around 8.00 a.m which is quite early. I think you can get cheaper price for the boat rides in the other counter if you wait for a while or if you want super cheap, you can try at the Jesselton Point.

Banana boat

I’m quite satisfied with the boat that we took as they made it compulsory to wear safety jacket and they put maximum limit to the no of peoples who can ride the boat in one time.

In our way to Manukan

We pass by the Mamutik Island in our way to Manukan. Mamutik is a small island compared to Manukan but I saw the water there is quite crystal clear and suitable for snorkeling. Maybe can go there next time. I heard you can do barbeque there also.

Mamutik Island

Finally we arrive at the Manukan after such enjoyful boat ride. The scenery of the islands really takes our breath away and I can’t wait to explore the island.

The jetty

I wonder what those floating balls for? Is it some sort of border?

The Manukan beautiful beach

The end of the jetty connected to the Sabah Park Visitor Registration Counter where we as Malaysian only have to pay RM3/per pax for adult and for children below 6 years old is FOC.

The fees

Bad news for ‘kaki pancing’, fishing is not allowed here. All the fishes here are protected by the Sabah Park.

The Sabah Park also has listed all the type of fish that you can found at Manukan. Let me see if Firana fish is inside the picture…hehe!

Fishes at Manukan

Souvenir Shop

The first thing we did when we arrived at the island is to look for a nice and quiet spot for our little picnic. There are even remnants of the World War II at the island.

When we find the spot which is at the very end of the picnic area, the next thing we do is eat, drink, catching up with each other and enjoying ourselves. Thanks to Ani for preparing the most delicious home made Nasi Lemak ever. Thinking about the Nasi Lemak now is so suffering man! Yummy!

Eating time

Endless foods & drinks

Having your meal outdoors is very refreshing and everything you eat feels so appetizing. With the beautiful surroundings, breathing the fresh hot ocean air and having good companions, feels like all your everyday lives hectic seems far away.

Kota Kinabalu City with Mt Kinabalu as the background from afar

Mamutik Island from Manukan point of view

Usually after eating, what a normal human being like me would do? That would be sleeping of course.

Sleeping underneath the coconut tree with full yet satisfied belly and the hot yet refreshing wind from the South Chinese Sea feels like I’m really close to heaven.

But with kind of friends that you have like mine would not leave you in peace even 5 minutes. Where the hell she got the snake and the lizard…ohh goodness!

Sleeping time has to be deleted from the list due to unforeseen circumstances. So we moved to the next activity which is SNORKELING. Before snorkeling, we went to survey the area first. Just to make sure that it is safe…

Lots of people snorkeling…

Life guard mini tower

Okey it’s safe!

First, safe from jelly fish as there are so many people snorkeling around. Those jelly fish won’t come near as they scared that their bodies will be crushed by human beings. As preparation from the previous experience, I keep vinegar in my bag. Of course, lemon is the best remedy against jelly fish sting.

Lastly, safe from drowning as there life guards around and they provide life jackets some more.

**Please take note that I just made my own conclusions in order to motivate myself towards positive thinking in doing this activity. :-D

For the snorkeling equipments, you can rent the equipments needed at the rental shop.

Rental shop

Rental fees for our equipments:

Snorkeling Mask = RM20 per piece
Life Jacket = RM20 per piece
Deposit = RM70 for three (3) of us

After getting ready everything, we are on our way to the most anticipated adventure in the year end of 2007…

1st Phase: Feeding the fishes

You can bring your own breads and biscuits to feed the fishes there. They are quiet friendly and I’ll tell you, they love breads and biscuits especially Gardenia bread and Biskut Marie. First class fish man!

You’ll sure love it when the fishes eating from your hands as it makes you closer to the nature. Sometimes you can feel their small teeth but don’t worry. Your hands or your body would not go anywhere unless you feed a shark which I think cannot be found at Manukan.

Manukan fishes are so beautiful with their various colour and shape. You’ll be amazed!

One of my friends who can’t swim at first suddenly know how to swim like Formula One when he saw a sting ray during snorkeling (you know the type of fish that had killed the famous Steve Irwin). Hahaha! Swim for your lives man!

2nd Phase: Resting and collecting energy before the next phase.

The beach is full of small and big rocks. It’s quite painful sometime if you’re not careful with your steps. But the rocks are good in terms of massaging your feet after the tired activities in the sea.

3rd Phase: Finding Nemo


One of the island guides bring us to the deeper part of the sea to watch the fish which it’s called Nemo in one of the famous cartoon animation. Actually the scientific name for this fish is:

Other than finding Nemo, we also found star fish, beautiful corals and saw different types of stunning fish.

It’s really an unforgotten experience for us and we wish to repeat that moment again next time. Go snorkeling at different island, diving, etc.

Emm except maybe me! Think twice first next time. Honestly among us, I’m the chicken. Kokokok! When we getting near and near to the Nemo place, the sea also getting deeper and deeper. And my heart is beating faster and faster. And I’m keep saying to them…”ok guys time to go back to the shore!” But everybody seems like deaf. Or they just pretend to be deaf. Hmmm!

Then the guide asks us “Have you guys seen the Nemo?” Everybody just nodded their head. Except one! She asked “Is it the yellow one?” Then from seeing their look on their face, you know that they really want to drown her there. The guide has to bring them all back to the spot and show the Nemo again to this girl. This time the guide shaked her shoulder quite roughly and pointing his fingers to the famous fish called Nemo. Okey! Okey! I saw it! So I quickly raised my two thumbs up to him before he threatens to drown me there. Hahaha! Sorry guys…I’m just too scared till caused me temporary fish blind!

I like this picture most. Seem like we are the famous Hollywood celebrity and paparazzi was taking our picture. Cool!

Thank you Mr Guide! You really have patient in showing us the Nemo especially me even you nearly getting high blood pressure.

And of course my gratitude also goes to everybody hands…I hold them dear like my own life depends on it…hehe!

A Korean little girl playing at the beach

Other than snorkeling, you can try also the activity called ‘Scubby Doo’. It’s where you’ll be inside this tank look alike astronaut thing and you’ll be like walking at the bottom of the ocean. There will be one experience diver accompanying and showing you around. Your tank would be connected to the Oxygen tank at the beach thru a very long hose. It’s quite expensive; cost you few hundred Malaysian ringgit.

Scubby Doo

After less than 4 hours in the sea and under the hot nice tropical sun, I’m sure now I’m darker than my cooking pan at home. But all my sacrifice for my skin is so much worth for the beautiful experience that I have just encounter.

Sadly, after all those adventurous thingy, it’s time to packed our things and go back to the main land. Our boat departed from Manukan at 3.00 p.m.

Geng keras Uni! Sadly the other 3 missing in action. (The kid is our bodyguard!)

Me and the rest of the clan would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Ani for organizing this reunion with full of exciting adventures and for cooking the most delicious nasi lemak ever. Thanks to Claire & Lina also for giving your full support and helping with the photography. We have so much fun didn’t we! So gengs…what’s our next activity? How about Finding Turtle…hehe!

From this trip, I just realized that we as Sabahan are so fully blessed to have so many beautiful islands like Manukan just in front of our doorsteps. These unique islands are just waiting for us to explore and appreciate them as one of the magical place that we should protect forever.

Sayonara Manukan! Till we meet again! We’ll miss you!