Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park
Enveloped by the turquoise waters of the South China Sea, Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park is a mesmerizing marine park located off the coast of Sabah in Malaysian Borneo. Named in honor of Malaysia’s first prime minister, the park encompasses five idyllic islands: Gaya, Manukan, Sapi, Sulug, and Mamutik, strung out like emerald beads across the crystal clear waters.
The park, spread over just 49 square kilometers, including both land and water, is celebrated as a sanctuary of biodiversity. It boasts a lush array of tropical flora that includes dipterocarp trees, mangroves, and a vibrant selection of jungle vegetation, which are a heaven for botany aficionados.
For wildlife lovers, the park is home to macaques, bearcats, monitor lizards and an astonishing variety of birdlife, offering boundless opportunities for nature-focused exploration. The sparkling turquoise waters surrounding the islands are teeming with multi-colored coral reefs, providing eye-catching underwater vistas and fascinating marine life that include tropical fish, sea turtles, and occasionally even sharks.
All of the islands in Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park are ringed with beautiful white sandy beaches and offer flourishing coral gardens that are perfect for snorkeling and diving. Hikers will find Gaya Island particularly enthralling, with its web of jungle trails and a hilltop viewpoint for panoramic vistas.
Accessible within a 15 to 20 minute boat ride from Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah, these lustrous islands still preserve their unspoilt charm despite being a popular day-trip destination. Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, with its rich biodiversity, enthralling scenery, and a spectrum of recreational activities, truly is a must-visit Malaysian jewel for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and underwater enthusiasts.