Island Hopping in Sabah

"For whatever we lose (like a you or a me) it's always ourselves we find in the sea."

Doesn't the beach just make everything better? I am seriously considering just upping sticks and moving to Bali…

I know I mentioned one island on my last post about the best beaches in Sabah but since then I have travelled to all of the main ones near Kota Kinabalu so I thought I would write an updated post about them!

Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park is comprised of 5 islands that are between 3km and 8km away from Kota Kinabalu. The islands are famous for their white sandy beaches, brilliantly clear water, and marine life. It is also an excellent spot for scuba diving.

I had already checked out Manukan with Praveena, leaving Sapi and Mamutik as the next two biggest islands to explore on my second island hopping adventure a few days later.

If you missed that post, Manukan is the only island where you can stay over night.

On my second island hopping trip, Harrison and I left bright and early so that we could squeeze in a full day of beach fun … tough life I know.

Our first port of call was Sapi Island…. Isn't it beautiful?

Sapi Island - photo credit Asia Heritage

We took advantage of the slightly cooler early morning temperatures and went on a hike around the island.

We had first thought this path would be a well used paved walkway going along by the sea….

Oh how wrong we were! Within minutes the sea disappeared as we ventured right into the middle of the jungle…

The path also disappeared and we got the feeling that nobody had been up here in a while…except of course for a few monitor lizards.

Right at the top we found a little hut where sat and chatted for ages enjoying being hidden for the sun.

Once we returned down the mountain (small hill) we were rewarded with this beautiful beach….

Not yet satisfied with our exploration efforts we wandered around the island in search of a treasure chest… or a good photo op.

I just can't get enough of this place!

When lunch time came we hopped on another boat and went to Mamutik Island, the closest island to the mainland.

The sun god had really ramped things up by this stage so in order to avoid turning into my usual shade of tomato red we found a shaded spot on the beach.

After a quick siesta in the shade I braved the sun and went snorkelling. I wasn't expecting to see anything major but I got the fright of my life when a blue spotted stingray passed by right in front of me!

Blue Spotted Stingray - photo credit Dive

After a couple more hours of swimming and relaxing on the beach our stomachs started rumbling so we jumped on a boat back to the mainland and finished off our day with some roti canai... perfect!



  1. Oh girl I feel like I'm island hoping with you. Just looking at these photos have me dreaming of a vacay soon. Beautiful post.

    Kia / House of KTS

  2. Amazing pictures!
    Have a nice evening!
    Angela Donava

  3. Oh wow, the pictures look stunning. I imagine it must have looked so much more amazing in person!

    Corinne x

  4. A beach can take away all worries and stresses. The beaches look breathtaking and beautiful pictures Lucy x

  5. Wow. Amazing adventures.
    Lovin the heart shape island-- looks so cool

    The Bandwagon Chic | Instagram | Bloglovin | Snapchat: bandwagonchic

  6. Its like I am island hopping with you!...As I look out my window to a rainy Ireland :(

  7. That place looks so dreamy! Would love to visit one day! :)

    1. It was lovely! I hope I can go back sometime :)

      Ash | Liakada

  8. Wow, a great set of mesmerizing islands around worth visiting once in a life.

  9. Amazing photos, that is a huge lizard

  10. Lovely shot of the lizard and how lovely it must have been to go island hopping like that

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

    1. It was really nice! I loved it :)

      Ash | Liakada

  11. The colours featured in this post are incredible - so many shades of blue!

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice

  12. Wow the beaches and waters look fantastic!