Manukan Island Kota Kinabalu or Pulau Manukan is one of the most developed and second largest islands in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park in Sabah, Malaysia. The park, which consists of five islands; Gaya Island, Manukan Island, Sapi Island, Mamutik Island & Sulug Island.
About Manukan Island Kota Kinabalu
Manukan Island Kota Kinabalu is only 10 km away from the main city of Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia. A 20 mins speedboat ride will take you to the island from 8 am to 4 pm. Pulau Manukan has the vast stretch of beaches (approx 1500 meters) which are always crowded with the tourists enjoying sandy beaches, clear water & warm sun. There are plenty of activities await tourists on Pulau Manukan, including snorkeling, scuba diving, beach football, frisbee, parasailing, banana boat ride, jet ski & more.
Things to do on Manukan Island
Down below we will outline some of the best things to do at Manukan Island Kota Kinabalu:
Manukan Island Kota Kinabalu has the vast stretch of beaches so there is plenty of space for snorkeling. You will experience rich marine life, variety of fishes including some known one like Mandarin fish, Scorpion fish, Blue Spotted Rays, Cuttlefish, green turtle & coral reef. You can also find Nemo on Manukan Island. You don’t need to go deep underwater to experience all this so if you’re not a swimmer, you can still witness colorful fishes near the jetty area.
You can carry your snorkeling gears or you can rent from the shop on the island.
Tip: The best location for snorkeling on Manukan Island is known to be in the deeper water on the left side of the jetty.
If you want to experience more marine life deep down the water, there is no other better spot in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah then the Manukan Island. A scuba diving trip will cost you less than US $100 and you can have two dives. There is much to explore for scuba diving lovers in Manukan Island Kota Kinabalu.
Related Article: Best Scuba Diving Spots in Kota Kinabalu
Enjoy Water Sports
You can enjoy a number of water sport activities on Pulau Manukan since it is more developed than the rest of the islands. The activities that you can enjoy on the island include Banana Boat Ride, Sea Kayaks, Parasailing, Flying Fish, Sea Walking & Jet Ski. The cheapest of all is Banana Boat Ride which is available for RM 40 (USD $12) for 15 minutes.
The detail of few activities that you can enjoy on the Manuakn Island along with the charges & duration are listed below.
- Sea Walking – RM 250 Per Person (USD $75) – For 30 minutes
- Scuba-Doo – RM 250 Per Person (USD $75) – For 30 minutes
- Parasailing – RM 90 Per Person (USD $27) – For 15 minutes
- Banana Boat Ride – RM 40 Per Person (USD $12) – For 15 minutes
- Flying Fish – RM 70 Per Person (USD $21) – For 15 minutes
- Jet Ski – RM 165 Per Person (USD $50) – For 30 minutes
Spend a day at the beach
The beaches at Manukan Island Kota Kinabalu are longest & widest so you can relax all day on the white sandy beaches on the island. The eastern side of the island has the best beach & the view. Besides relaxing on the beach you can also play beach volleyball & Frisbee. The fun is guaranteed even if you want to relax and lay down on the beach.
Related Article: Best Beaches in Kota Kinabalu
Stay at Manukan Island Resort
This might be a good idea if you’re planning a honeymoon or spending a weekend with your loved ones. You can spend a dream night at one of the single or double story chalet at Manukan Island Resort. The room and chalet prices range from USD $150 to USD $450. If you will book a room with Manukan Island Resort then they can also arrange a boat transfer to the island from the Kota Kinabalu main city.
Tip: Hill Side Chalets has the best view of the Sea so consider booking it if it falls within your budget.
Enjoy Food on Manukan Island
For foodies, the island offers all kinds of cuisine from seafood to BBQ, fried noodle to nasi lemak, sandwiches to coffee and more. Some of the known restaurants on Manukan Island include Perahu Restaurant, Arang Barbecue House & Koktas Café. The later offer the cheapest food on Manukan Island within the USD $5 price.
The Arang BBQ house offers lunch buffet from 11am to 2pm. The price for the buffet is RM 86 per person. Perhau Restaurant offers beer and alcoholic drinks along with their food menu as well.
Hike to Sunset Point
This activity is typically recommended if you are staying overnight at Manukan Island Kota Kinabalu. It is a 1.5 kilometer hiking trail which will take you up to the Sunset Point. You can witness a fabulous view of the South China Sea from there and you can also see rare species of Mangrove Trees. Less than 200 trees of this kind left in the world.
How to get to Pulau Manukan
The most common route to reach Pulau Manukan is to board a speedboat from Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal. The return ticket to Manukan Island is about RM 23 (US $6) per adult & RM 18 (US $5) per child. You can also opt for the island hopping trip, which will let you visit minimum two and maximum four islands in a day. For more information, please read Island Hopping Kota Kinabalu.
The boarding time starts at 8am on the weekdays and 7:30am on the public holidays & school holidays. The last speedboat from the island usually departs at 4:15pm. You can always confirm the departure time from the speedboat crew.
There is a minimal entry fee to the island for the tourists. For an adult, you need to pay RM 10 and for child (below 18 years), you need to pay RM 6 per person.
Facilities on Manukan Island
There are plenty of facilities available on Manukan Island to facilitate tourists. Aside from accommodation at Manukan Island Resort there are plenty of food outlets on the island, snorkeling gears rental shop, life jackets rental shop, grocery shop, restrooms, showers & more.
Safety Tips & Advice
Below are some of the safety tips & advice for a perfect tour of Manukan Island.
- Camping is not allowed on Pulau Manukan so don’t bother to carry anything for camping on your trip.
- Do not welcome any local approaching you for a snorkeling or diving tour. You can book one for yourself from the shops at Manukan Island.
- Make sure to start packing before 4pm if you’re not planning to stay overnight at Manukan Island.
Manukan Island in Kota Kinbalu or Pulau Manukan is no doubt a fun place if you’re a beach clover, snorkeling, clear water and rich marine life. Let us know your Manukan Island experience by adding comments below.