With over 200,000 visits annually, Manukan (Pulau Manukan) is the most frequented island by domestic and international tourists. It is only 15-minute away by boat ride, almost a no-brainer choice for people who want an island day trip near to Kota Kinabalu City (KK). Manukan Island is the second largest island in the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, Malaysia's first marine national park. It is located in the East Malaysian state of Sabah, just off the coast of Kota Kinabalu and is easily accessible by boat. Manukan is the most popular island with Kota Kinabalu residents. Manukan has some good stretches of beaches on the southern coastline.
The best beach is on the eastern tip of the island. Offshore of Manukan are coral reefs, which is ideal for snorkelling, diving and swimming.Out of the five islands making up Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, Manukan features the most developed tourist facilities that includes 20 units of chalets, a clubhouse, and few restaurants and a diving centre. Recreation facilities include a swimming pool, football field, Volleyball and Sepak Takraw courts. Infrastructural facilities include support-water, electricity, desalination plant, sewerage system, and even a solar public telephone. It is covered in dense vegetation and has hiking trails. Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal in downtown Kota Kinabalu is the ferry terminal for those heading to the islands in Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park. This ferry terminal is also the departure point for patrons staying at the Manukan Island Resort.
If you are traveling by air, nearest airport is the Kota Kinabalu International Airport
(IATA: BKI, ICAO: WBKK), an international airport, which located in the city of Kota Kinabalu, the state capital of Sabah. The airport is in Kota Kinabalu, about 15 minutes from the Kota Kinabalu City Centre.
The main public transportation to the island is by speedboat from Kota Kinabalu to the island jetty for about 20 minutes. Speedboats leave from Kota Kinabalu Ferry terminal (Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal) and services run from 8.30 am to 4.15 pm.
If you like jungle and have time to spare, you may go to Sunset Point in western edge of Manukan Island. Day trip tourists have to leave the island before 5pm so most of them don’t bother to walk 1.5 KM to Sunset Point that has no sunset. I’m not sure whether that can motivate them, if I tell them two rare mangrove trees, which are critically endangered and only 200 of them left in the wild, are found at Sunset Point. There are two ways to reach Sunset Point, one by rugged and unpaved jungle trail and another one by jogging track. Do you love bugs and birds? If it’s a BIG yes, take the jungle trail, otherwise follow the jogging track. The bonus of exploring jungle trail is a chance for sighting of Philippine Megapode, a chicken-like bird with red face. If you are the first one entering the jungle trail in the morning, you would spot this elusive bird.
The Manukan Island Resort is a luxury private island resort. This serene retreat offers exquisite accommodation, sophisticated cuisine and unparalleled watersport activities in one of the most pristine corner of the world. The Manukan Island Resort near Kota Kinabalu City is a hideaway that is one of the five tropical islands that comprise the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park. Manukan Island is surrounded by a protected coral reef, and the island boasts a pristine rainforest and beautiful white sand beaches. From the moment you arrive at Manukan, greeted by our friendly Sabahan staff, you will completely be immersed in the peace and tranquility of the natural beauty of tropical island life.