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Islands of Malaysia

Islands of Malaysia

There are hundreds of beautiful islands within Malaysia, most of them can be visited during your travels but not all offer a place to stay overnight. The islands of Malaysia are divided in the islands at the western peninsula, the eastern peninsula and the islands around Borneo. All are equally stunning, though there enough differences between each island. Most popular islands are Langkawi, Penang, Perhentian, Redang and Tioman. Around Borneo you have Lankayan, Selingan, Mataking and of course Sipadan.

Mount Kinabalu Summit Trail

A 4095 meter tall mountain

Mount Kinabalu is the tallest mountain in Malaysia and the 20th tallest in the World. Mainly because of the biological diversity the mountain is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Climbing the mountain is not an easy feat for the untrained; though it will absolutely be one of the best experiences ever. Watching the sun rise in the early morning will definitely make you forget all the hardships you had to endure during the hike up.

Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park

Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park

TAR Marine Park is the perfect place to enjoy scuba diving, snorkeling and light jungle treks. The marine park is made up of five small islands: Gaya, Manukan, Sapi, Sulug and Mamutik. The best beaches and probably also the best corals can be found around Gaya island; the biggest of the five islands. The marine park is only a 20 minute boat trip away from the city of Kota Kinabalu.

Mulu National Park

Mulu National Park

Mulu National Park is the biggest national park in Sarawak. The park is best known for the amazing caves. The Sarawak Chamber is the world's biggest cave chamber. It is said that 40 Boeing 747 aircraft's fit in the cave. Clearwater Cave is one of the top ten longest caves in the world with a length of over 189km. The caves aren't the only highlights at Mulu NP. The amazing pinnacles at Mount Api are absolutely stunning to witness. A visit to Mulu NP will bring your holiday in Malaysia to new heights!

Kinabatangan river cruise

Kinabatangan river cruise

One of the most popular destinations in Sabah is the Kinabatangan River. This river has a length of 560 kilometers and stretches through half of Eastern Sabah. Alongside the riverbanks there is an abundance of wildlife. During a river cruise you will have a chance to spot the rare orangutan, the pygmy elephant, proboscis monkeys and saltwater crocodiles. During night cruises you might spot the leopard cat, numerous sleeping birds, wild boards, snakes and many crocodiles.

Mataking Island

Mataking Island consists of two islands, the bigger Mataking Besar and the smaller Mataking Kecil. Mataking is located to the southeast of Sabah, close to the Philippine border. It is the ultimate destination for honeymooners (you can even have your wedding at the island). The only resort on the island is located at Mataking Besar. You can walk around the whole island in about an hour; it is only 3km by 1,5km. During low tide you can even walk from the big island to the small island. The whole island is surrounded by house reefs, where you can easily do some fun snorkeling. From May to August, you may be lucky enough to spot Green turtles and Hawksbill turtles laying their eggs on the beaches. There’s a dive school that offers great dives at numerous nice sites in the area, mainly around Mataking itself and around neighboring islands like Pandanan, Bohayan, Buhai Dulang, Kelapuan, Timba-Timba and Pom Pom.

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Diving around Mataking Island

Map dive spots Mataking

Dive enthusiasts will have a splendid time around Mataking, as there are well over 30 dive sites in the area. Dive conditions are usually great, with good visibility and almost no currents during the dives. Popular dive sites are Frog Fish Farm, Sweet Lips Rock, Stingray City, Shipwreck Post, Turtle Playground, Eye Candy and many more. The best time for diving around Mataking is from April to June, with visibility above 30mtr and up to 50mtr. The monsoon season is around December and January, but doesn’t really affect the diving conditions around Mataking.

Mataking Island  

Accommodation at Mataking Island

There is only one resort at Mataking Island; the Reef Dive Resort. Be prepared to pay high prices for your stay at Mataking, as the Reef Dive Resort is a very luxurious resort. Prices for one night start at RM1.235 per person; your stay gets cheaper if you stay more days. The package includes an airport pickup, the road trip to Semporna, the boat ride to the island and all meals. Snorkeling equipment is available for RM30 per day. Of course most of the travelers visit this wonderful island for its endless diving possibilities. They choose the dive package, starting at RM1,415 per night. This package includes 3 dives per day at numerous wonderful dive sites, but not at Sipadan as this ultimate dive spot is located too far away from Mataking, though it is possible to arrange a boat trip to dive there.

 

How to get to Mataking Island

To get to Mataking Island you first need to take a flight to the coastal city of Tawau. There are daily flights operated by Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia from Kuala Lumpur (and Kota Kinabalu) to Tawau. From Tawau Airport you can either get a taxi (around RM100+) or a bus/minivan to the coastal village of Semporna. At Semporna harbor boats to the neighboring tropical islands depart (like Mabul, Sipadan, Kapalai and Sibuan). The speedboat ride to Mataking takes about 45 minutes.

If you make reservations at The Mataking Island Reef Dive Resort, then your package includes an airport meeting service by resort staff, the trip from Tawau Airport to Mataking (via Semporna, including the boat ride).

 

Map of Mataking Island

Below you can see the exact location of Mataking Island on the interactive map (in the middle).

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