Mabul, Mataking and Kapalai are a few famous islands that tourist from all over the world land in Semporna for, and I a fellow Sabahan has never set foot in these islands, regrettably. BUT I did manage to go 2 not so well known but equally beautiful island last week as part of the YMM Tawau Installation package.
1. Bohey Dulang
I know half of Malaysia population has not even heard of this island and truthfully, even I, has recently learnt this name through an enthusiastic-22-year-old-who-still-believe-she's-five (thank you theotheo). Surprisingly, this island is not for snorkeling/swimming. Why? because of this:
Okay, may be you cant really see it through this picture but it's actually filled with sea urchins. lots and lots of them! Save to say that no one with an IQ higher than 10 would want to risk their safety getting to know them...physically.
So what we do here is hike. Yes, hiking. We need to get our asses up there.
Some things you should know/prepare before making this trip:
1) It's a 600m trail, ETA to the top: 20 minutes
2) MUST wear covered/sports shoes, the authorities will stop you from going up if you don't have proper footwear. They rent kampung adidas for RM5 per pair.
3) You are only allowed 15 minutes at the peak (which honestly is more than enough time to take your solo album shots to last for 360 days)
4) Drinks are sold at the peak for RM5 per can
5) 30-45 minutes boat ride from Semporna to Bohey Dulang
So.. to the peak we go!
Oh and Bohey Dulang is actually a conservation site and I guess due to the kidnapping cases lately they really did tighten the security.
2. Sibuan Island
Sibuan, the island that was on the news a few months back because a bunch of tourist from China has decided to strip trying to make a statement or something. I don't think I can ever understand that, god knows what they're trying to prove by being naked.
Anyway, the first thing you notice about Sibuan is the lack of forest, it's just palm trees and white sandy beaches. It took about 15-20 minutes to arrive at Sibuan from Bohey Dulang.
I didn't take much picture on this island because it was so so so hot, all I felt like doing was either to look for a shade or jump into the sea. In this island we swam and snorkeled and swam some more, not much things to see, barely any corals but when there is a coral (singular, one big lonely coral) there'll be different varieties of fish near it. To be honest, I wasn't very impress with Sibuan, it's very pretty, the water is very clear, blue-green yes, but there's barely anything to see which reminds me a lot on that last island I went when in Krabi.
RM 100 for both island inclusive of transportation to Semporna from Tawau, lunch and the transportation from Semporna to the islands.
ps: all pictures taken using Iphone5, not filtered and not edited.