Assalamualaikum and Hi everyone,
Last 3 months of our final year as undergraduate, we went off to conquer some amazing islands in Sabah. Since Semporna is known for its amazing island hopping experience, we would not want to miss the opportunity while we are studying not far from Semporna.
The first trip was Sibuan Island and Bohey Dulang (Mantabuan was canceled due to low tide and we couldn’t get to the land). And the second trip was to Mabul, Gusungan and Kapalai Island.
In this post, I will share about all of the 5 islands that we have visited.
Sibuan was our first destination on our first trip in October. Initially the plan was to hike Bohey Dulang Island, but it was raining heavily the night before therefore we had to go to Sibuan (and Mantabuan) Islands first. It took us roughly less than an hour to get to Sibuan Island.
Sibuan is a relatively small island. Surprisingly, there were a group of locals lived there. However, the population was not big enough to build school for the children. The security was secured as well since the marine was there 24-hour to ensure the area is safe for visitation.
What I like about this Island was that its colour of the sea water. The after rain weather was amazing that morning, we got to play around the island without having to bother about the heat. In fact, it was chilly and windy. The wave was a bit strong therefore we were told not to snorkel far off the beach. As newly island hoppers, we possessed sadly lack of experience in snorkeling. We swam just a little over 5 meters away from the beach and there was nothing to watch underwater except for our own feet and the white sand. Should we snorkel a little bit further we would have the chance to see some corals and fish.
The view was breathtaking nevertheless. We had so much fun taking pictures and videos.
2. Bohey Dulang
Bohey Dulang Island is not an island for snorkeling. Instead, it was the only island offering people for hiking opportunity for a clearer and amazing view on top of the Bohey Dulang hill. It took us about 20-30 minutes to reach Bohey from Sibuan. It was almost noon that we arrived. Already a few boats were ready to load visitors after their hike. No fees needed to hike the hill nor do we need to register our names as that was done earlier at the Sabah Parks station in the mainland of Semporna Town.
The hike took us roughly about 30 minutes but you could reach sooner or later than that, depending on your stamina. The 600m trail to the peak was slippery and a bit of a struggle if you are not used to hiking. A-must-needed-shoe hike. Really challenge your cardio and your quads as well. But always, the view on top was more than worth it. To avoid wasting, make sure to bring your own drinks as the beverages sold on top were 2-3x higher than the average.
GUSUNGAN! The smallest island I’ve ever seen in my entire life. The area is roughly about 2 or 3 times larger than a futsal field. Shockingly there were people that lived there! We were shocked to see the place and we did not ready to be approached by the kids and teenagers upon our arrival. I feel a sting of pain to see them as there was nothing we could offer for them. We decided to leave and continue to our next island destination.
I wondered how their daily activities are. Learning that the place was so small and there were only two living trees lived there. There certainly a good lesson learned at that time.
When you ask me, which islands has the most of everything, this is it, Mabul Island. Not only it was truly a great gateway heavenly looking sea water, it was also the perfect location for coral and turtle hunters. From snorkeling to diving, Mabul has it all. Ranging from backpacking hostels to the most exclusive bungalows, one has the best option to choose from, depending on your liking.
Mabul is known for its Maldives-looking after Sipadan Island. We had the chance to tour Mabul, both around one of the bungalow resorts to the local homes that lived there. From Semporna, it took us more than an hour to reach, after we stopped by Gusungan Island.
The current was a bit strong when we snorkeled. Adding the limited experience being in the sea, we were carried away from the coral area where we could find amazing corals and turtles to the pitch dark area of the sea underneath. Not knowing how to swim in the sea, I was mad careful of my insecure life jacket therefore most of my time in the water was to juggle between holding on tight to the zip from getting loose to trying to swim to shallower area. It was a funny experience. I did not have the chance to really snorkel, maybe a need of my second call to this island.
5. Kapalai Island
The sad truth about our trip to Kapalai was that we did not take any photos whatsoever hence, no photos. Firstly, we were wet and most of us were using smartphone to take photos so there was limitation there. Secondly, the same smartphones we had were out of battery charge because already a lot of photos were taken during our tour around Mabul Island.
A little bit of information for you, the resort does not allow outside visitors to have a tour on the resort. You can only stay on the boat and snorkel the area. Sadly, the wave was too strong that it was scary to get into the water. We could have had the chance to find some corals and fish if it was not for the sea wave being mad at us.
Thank you for reading,
Have a great 2017.