Borneo, the third largest island in the world, is shared among three nations - Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. The capital of the Malaysian state of Sabah, one of the two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo, is Kota Kinabalu (formerly known as Jesselton). Kota Kinabalu has many amazing dive sites which are a close boat ride from the mainland.
This includes the five islands collectively known as Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, which are all within a half an hour from the mainland. Tunku Abdul Rahman Park has many sites which are ideal for both snorkeling and scuba diving. The islands are characterized by white, sandy beaches; its protected corals home to an abundance of fishes. All in all, there are more than 25 dive sites in Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, which comprises Sapi Island, Manukan Island, Gaya Island, Mamutik Island, and Sulug Island. Manukan Island, Sapi Island and Mamutik Island have food and beverage facilities ranging from a-la-carte menus to BBQ buffet seafood lunches.
The tropical climate In Sabah means that it is hot every day of the year. However, it is becoming harder and harder to predict the weather. Rain can come as a surprise even on the hottest days. However, like the old folks like to say, "We are not made of sugar. A little rain won't kill us".
Whether you are traveling alone or in a group, purchasing tickets to visit the islands is very convenient. This can be done at the Jesselton Jetty located in Kota Kinabalu city itself, or by engaging a local travel agent who offers island hopping, snorkeling activities, sea sports activities and more. Snorkeling equipment such as masks, snorkels and fins can be rented in Tunku Abdul Rahman Park itself so you don't have to worry about bringing your own.
There is no harm doing some research before you head off for snorkeling activities. Proper planning and sufficient information lets you avoid having an unpleasant holiday. Here are a few important and useful tips to make your snorkeling activity fun and safe:
• Bring along some sea sickness pills in case you are affected by the boat ride
• Choose a mask that fits well and is comfortable; snorkeling with a loose or leaky mask may fog up and blur your vision while snorkeling
• If you are not a good swimmer, use a life jacket while snorkeling
• There is no harm bringing a bottle of vinegar or other handy remedies to prepare for the risk of getting stung by jellyfish
• Avoid stepping on corals and fishing
• Keep the island litter free and help conserve the environment and the ecosystem
• Snorkel within the island perimeter and adhere to warning sign