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Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park

Thanks to the rising of sea levels at the end of the last ice age, what were once sandstone mountains connected to the mainland are now a collection of five tropical islands left piercing the surface just off the coastline of Kota Kinabalu. Comprised of the islands of Manukan, Gaya, Sapi, Mamutuk, and Sulug, these five forested islets make up Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, conveniently located an easy 20 minute speedboat ride from downtown Kota Kinabalu.

Though the reefs of the marine park aren’t quite as vibrant as those found down in Sipadan or Mabul in the southeastern corner of Sabah, the waters of Tunku Abdul Rahman nonetheless still teem with marine life such as blue spotted stingrays, mantis shrimp, and the occasional Hawksbill turtle, making them the most convenient options for Sabah visitors looking to snorkel or scuba dive the shallow waters directly off of Kota Kinabalu. Though Sabah is dealing with growing amounts of rubbish and marine debris, classifying the area as a national park and making efforts towards conservation are steps in the right direction for an area that, when combined with the white sand beaches, has tremendous potential for being one of the better regional excursions.

Pulau Gaya is the largest of the islands in the national park, and along with Manukan and Mamutik offers overnight eco-accommodations for visitors looking to escape the city for a night. Though the park headquarters is located on Pulau Gaya, it, too, is home to some downtrodden stilt villages which are considered unsafe by KK locals and visitors alike. Nonetheless, thousands of people annually make daytrips or overnight excursions into Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park and leave satisfied with the tropical simplicity found within such a short distance of the thumping industrial capital.

Tours & Tickets

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PADI Scuba Diving in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park from Kota Kinabalu

Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park (TARP), located off the coast of Sabah, is an ideal place for beginning scuba divers to learn the basics and explore ocean ...  Read more

Location: Sabah, Malaysia
Duration: 6 hrs

From USD $141.25

Manukan Island Day Trip from Kota Kinabalu

Boomerang shaped Manukan is the second largest Island of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park which has good stretches of beaches on the southern coastline. Manukan is ...  Read more

Location: Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Duration: 6 hours (approx.)

From USD $118.00

Private Tour: Gaya Island Hike and Zipline Adventure from Kota Kinabalu

Go hiking and ziplining through Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park on this private eco-adventure from Kota Kinabalu. Boat to Pulau Gaya (Gaya Island) and trek ...  Read more

Location: Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $62.50

2-Tank Dive in Tunku Abdul Rahman Park

Dive into the tropical paradise of Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park (TARP) and explore some of the finest dive spots off the coast of Sabah on this 6-hour dive ...  Read more

Location: Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Duration: 6 hrs

From USD $141.25

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