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Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park

Listed under National Parks in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.

  • Photo of Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park
  • Photo of Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park
  • Photo of Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park
Photo of Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park
Photo by flickr user thienzieyung
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Two thirds of this national park are ocean, under which grown long ribbons of coral reef. The other third is the land that makes up five islands. The reefs are colourful, but not as colourful as the marine life that inhabits them – pink and green parrot fish, bright blue moon wrasse and the colourfully named butterfly and clown fish – and there is exceptional diving and snorkelling off the white beaches of each island. The nicest shaped beaches are on the protected eastern and southern sides of the islands, alternating with mangroves and rocky cliffs.

Gaya is the main island and the closest to the mainland – most people arrive by ferry – and covered in virgin rainforest. Hiking trails wind across the island from the various lovely white beaches to the Five Star resort.

Manukan is the second largest and also popular with visitors – its accommodation is more affordable and there are more facilities for visitors including a pool and squash courts?

Pulau Sapi (Cow Island) has some of the nicest beaches in the park and more pristine diving and snorkelling conditions. The water is very clear and inhabited by colourful fish who peck in a surprising way at the feet and legs of unsuspecting visitors – they're just eating shreds of your dead skin... And there are monkeys that live on the island and are more than happy to steal your lunch if you give them a chance. This is one of the quieter islands, people generally come for the day and only a few people stay overnight – the accommodation is limited and the facilities more basic.

Written by  Kat Mackintosh.

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Islands are some of the most beautiful in SE Asia I thought.

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