Pulau Sapi @ Tunku Abdul Rahman Parks

Before I proceed to my write up on Pulau Sapi, let me do the duty to carefully explain to you why there are so many people talking about so many islands at the mention of the word, Sabah. Reason why I'm doing so is because whenever people visit KK City, they have very limited time in exploring most of the natural gorgeous attractions, and sometimes ended up just moving around KK City. And when one does that, people would usually end up asking, why are there so many mentions of islands when we get to experience none? 

As you can see from the previous Matthew Paul map below; Sabah is situated close to top north of the Borneo Island. That said, it's a privilege to say that tons of islands are under the local towns and cities surrounding the shores of this particular part of Borneo island. From Sipitang (look out from South left), imagine yourself  "walking" from the Sipitang's shore / beach walk up slowly to Menumbuk, Kuala Penyu, Pulau Tiga, Kota Kinabalu, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, Layang - layang, Mantanani, Langkon, Kudat Pitas, Lankayan, Berhala - keep walking until you reach (probably) the last step of Sabah, say maybe a land in Tawau.

As you are walking (by the Borneon line), imagine how easy it is when you can simply ask what are the nearest islands to that town or city, that is Sabah for you. Different from other states say maybe something that is right smack in the middle of peninsula, it is difficult to associate an island (unless a private one) to the state. You'd either have to drive out (PD or East Coast of Terengganu) or fly out. Sabah is blessed with a beautiful location and it's natural resources that are circling it. That said, if you are right smack in the middle of Sabah, you too need to spend time and cost on travelling to go to the nearest shore. 

So today, I ventured into 1 out of 97837482 Sabah's island/ attraction. Pulau Sapi.

Firstly head to Jesselton Point (which I will blog another day), to get through any tickets because they have tons of boat or package operators there.

Jesselton Point
Pulau Sapi is listed under the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park. Among others are, Pulau Manukan, Pulau Mamutik, Padang Point/ Pulau Gaya and Sulug. 

Growing up as a kid, dad used to bring us to Pulau Manukan a lot. Back then it was a really famous spot, now not so much - maybe because it is poorly maintained, or there are lesser fishes and corals (no food). So I kept hearing good things about Pulau Sapi, and the fact that it was a half an hour boat ride from home is no excuse I shouldn't check it out myself.

Pulau Sapi is known as it is now is because the shape of the island, seen to be similar as a cow's head. Sapi is the Malay term for Cow.

So what's in Pulau Sapi?

People. Lots and lots of people. It's not an issue if you can still find a quaint little place for yourself to relax, and it wasn't an issue for me cause I got myself a nice spot next to super hot Japanese men /thumbs up/. And what about the water if you may ask? Crystal clear. The better compared to Manukan.

By 11AM - the beach gets really packed
And even when Sapi has to accomodate so many people, the beach was still super clean. Perhentian Kecil was even more dirty in fact (the surroundings only), but the waters still proved crystal clear. 

Likewise, Sapi's water was beautiful.

So what did I do? Or what would one do? 

Snorkel! Diving! Water sports! Any sun and fun! 

At one point of swimming around I was swarmed by these fishes I got a super freaked out. Thinking they'll probably start munching on me, I started vigorously swimming away from them /phew.

Sea Walking perhaps?
Sand Turtle :) 

Among other attractions in Sapi besides a bit of hiking is this massive lizard! I think they rare them because there were 4 massive lizards walking like a boss in the island. Of course everyone couldn't help but snap loads of pics with it. I was no exception :P

It didn't struck me that I brought the randomest of items to Pulau Sapi until my brother told me that my bag was massive. I was like, eh. Yeah. And decided maybe I should dissect it and share it with everyone what on earth I bring around most of the time. Besides the Dumbbell (this is my gym bag), I've been bringing everything else in there around me most of the time.

Could you guess what they are just by looking at the first photo?

I know, I wasn't sure either :

At the thought of coming to Sapi, I figured I needed to play around with a certain budget for a day trip to Pulau Sapi. I look at value of things depending on what I can do with the money in terms of travelling, moving around and experiencing certain attractions. (E.g when my brother told me he had to fix his speaker for RM 3K, I nearly died because it would worth 20 return flights to Manila for me). 

That said, I told myself that my budget shouldn't burst RM 50 for the day. 

Here goes, 

RM 23 - Return Boat Transfer

Island*Fare per pax/boat
Adult (return)Children (return)
Manukan IslandRM23RM18
Mamutik IslandRM23RM18
Sapi IslandRM23RM18
Sulug IslandRM25RM18
Two island hopsRM33RM28
Three island hopsRM43RM38
Four island hopsRM53RM48
Boat charter for one islandRM204
Boat charter for Malahom BayRM204
Boat charter for Police beachRM204                                                                                  From Blog Malaysia 

RM 7.20 - Fee Terminal (compulsory) 

RM 3.00 - Conservation Fee (something like for maintenance and management of the beach)

RM 7.50 - Mixed Vegetables with Rice

RM 10.00 - Snorkeling Mask and Life Jacket 

Total: RM 50.70 

Okay so it burst of more than RM 0.70. But let me tell you how slick I was in getting cheaper deals with the Snorkeling mask and Life Jacket. A guy from the operator I bought the ticket from actually told me to loan the jackets from someone working there who can specifically give me RM 10 for both Snorkel Mask and Life Jacket (usual is at RM 15). The moment I reached Sapi, I started scouting for this one dude (name written on a piece of paper like he's got my next clue or something) and eventually got it for RM 10. Good way to save some money :)
Upon arriving the terminal back from Sapi after a long day of snorkeling, sun and fun, I decided to burst it even more, something for myself :) Two scoops of Gelato ; Nutella and Chocolate Chips flavour = RM 8.90.

So all in all, I spent about RM 59.60 for an entire day of beach, snorkeling, lunch, relaxing and self indulgence. While to some these means two jugs of beer, a blouse, or even a book, I converted the value to a day of beach, equally good! :D 

Here's where I strongly recommend you to save more on your budget. Get your own Snorkeling and Mask equipment. If it comes with Flippers, better. It is economically better in the long run. After last weekend, I realised I'm getting more and more in love with snorkeling (water activities), I ought to get myself the equipments myself. And last but not least, bring your own food! The only reason why I didn't bring my own food was because I wanted to try it out myself and account it in my a traveller's day trip budget.

Some local boys actually chatted up with me, making sure I was okay (since I came alone) - they were really friendly, I love the people I meet while travelling or moving around. They're really genuinely nice. Other eye candies would be the hot Japanese men seating next to me. /phew/ God bless them all! 

So if you're around KK and have a day to spare?

Get your ass up early say around 8am, and boat up to Pulau Sapi. Bring Frisbee, bring beach balls, bring bikinis, bring books, bring nothing - it's all up to you to make do of how your beach day should turn out :)  

Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.


Anonymous said…
Very helpful jaqckie! Keep it up! :)
Anonymous said…
Jackie...do we need to follow agencies to go to sapi island...or we can go by ur own...
Anonymous said…
What about the accomodation...is it ok if we stay per night at the island...or just take a tour and go back to KK to sleep....suggestion pls...coz it my first time to go there and i really confuse..nervous...tq
Jacqkie Rowena said…
Hi there,

Once you reach Jesselton Port, you need to buy tickets from the tour tickets so they will have to arrange your requests accordingly. Prices are firm around, and if they're not make sure you pay for the ones that are competitive.

As for the accommodation, I recommend you to come back to KK (very near the island, 15 minutes drive only) as there are no accommodation and probably just camping site.

Hope this helps!
AiLeng Lee said…
Jacqkie, thanks for the infor! It is so useful! Btw, is there any renting service of snorkelling equipment there? Thanks.
Jacqkie Rowena said…
Sorry for the late reply AiLeng, I am travelling at the moment. Yes there is rental service for snorkeling there :)

Have fun!
Queenie霓 said…

can u share with us, who or which counter shall we looking for to get RM 10 for both Snorkel Mask and Life Jacket?

we can easily find food in island sapi???
tomorrow i'll be going too as lone ranger huhuuh...


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