Just offshore and visible from Kota Kinabalu, Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park is a cluster of five islands, Pulau Manukak, Pulau Gaya, Pulau Mamutik, Pulau Sapi and Pulau Sulug, all of which offer good snorkelling. With the exception of Pulau Sulug, nature trails offer rewarding walks.

Pulau Gaya and Pulau Manukan are well developed and provide quality accommodation for those seeking something more substantial than an excursion.


Heading south along the coast from Kota Kinabalu is the beach of Pantai Manis, by the town of Papar, surrounded by paddy fields. A good day to visit is on a Sunday, when Kadazandusun people bring their goods from the surrounding hills to trade at the Tamu.

Offshore and further along the coast, the island Pulau Labuan, is a tax haven and business centre, which is also developing as a resort.

On the northern coast above the capital and beyond Tuaran, a small town renowned for its local cuisine, is the Water Village, a Bajau estuarine sea-gypsy stilted village, which can be viewed and paddled around in a kayak. Further along are the luxurious beach resorts of Pantai Dalit and Karambunai.

Slightly inland from Tuaran is the Kiulu River, which provides for an interesting water-rafting excursion and is a good alternative for those who may find the rapids of Padas Gorge intimidating.

Close to the northeast tip of Borneo, near the fishing port of Kudat, is Kampung Bavanggazo, where you can visit the Rungus people and their longhouses, sample their local food and wine, observe their crafts, and be treated to their traditional tribal dances.

Kudat has some long stretches of beach and nearby Sikuati has some pleasant lagoons at the beaches of Pantai Kelambu and Pantai Terongkonga.