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snorkeling trip plan suggestion

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snorkeling trip plan suggestion

Hi,

I am planning a 4D/3N snorkeling trip to KK. It's my first time to the area. Based on my own research, I think those islands near Tawau is too overkill for snorkeling, and I don't think i will have enough time flying from HK. So i am mainly tossing up between two options:

1. staying at the city and join the day trips by the local operators to go to the nearby snorkeling spots...

2. stay at a hotel where you can do snorkel just off the hotel's jetty/reefs. Based on my research, Gayana Eco Resort is an option but the reviews are quite mixed. I am also considering a very new hotel called Gaya Island Resort but there is hardly any information i can find on the web. Any other water bunglows type of hotels near KK?

I am of course open to other suggestions. Thanks for your help in advance.

Kuala Lumpur
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223 posts
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1. Re: snorkeling trip plan suggestion

Hi,

The best snorkeling spot near KK would be the TAR Marine Park.

sabahtravelguide.com/mapguide/default.asp…

All the best!

Turin, Italy
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234 posts
8 reviews
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2. Re: snorkeling trip plan suggestion

There's little reason to stay on the islands if cost in an issue. Boat rides to TAR Marine Park are only 30mins or so. That means you may opt to stay at any of the city's hotel (such as Hyatt) or full-fledged resorts like the two Shangri-las, Nexus Karambunai, etc. But if cost is no issue & you are willing to contend with the mixed review of Gayana Resort, you may explore this option.

Ok now, snorkeling / diving are quite decent but certainly not a world-beater. Popular snorkeling spots would be Pulau Sapi ( malaysia-islands.com/html/…sapi.shtml ) and Pulau Manukan ( malaysia-islands.com/html/…manukan.shtml )

Good luck with your choice.

SG
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198 posts
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3. Re: snorkeling trip plan suggestion

coolcatbear, i actually had the same intention as you. i wanted a short snorkelling break off somewhere, and also didn't want to go off to bunaken, etc. (In fact, there seems to be a very nice resort near Tawau called Pom Pom Island that seems to be very beautiful and has been on my snorkelling list for some time).

I thought that Gayana Eco Resort would be quite a good balance because its only 15 mins from KK, and the jump-off point, the Jesselton jetty, is only 20 mins from the airport. So all in all a very short arrival time, and you can just spend the next few days snorkelling inches from your villa, right? Better than staying at KK and taking the snorkelling trips to the far marine park islands.

Well if snorkelling is your main goal, I would really "anti-recommend" GER. There is little to snorkel at GER itself (I spent two afternoons there searching), technically i would say there is no reef, although they are growing some of it back at their "coral gardens", the water is murky (and dirty green), and while there is some colourful marine life, as the others have mentioned, the overall experience is terrible (the worst snorkelling i have ever had), and nothing like Sapi Island in the marine park (which i ended up visiting anyway), or I assume, some of the other islands in the marine park. if you decide that you want to go to the marine park islands, GER will charge you 250ringgit per return boat trip, so it might actually be better to stay at KK and take the snorkelling trips from there.

all the best with whatever you decide.

Kota Kinabalu
Destination Expert
for Sabah
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2,264 posts
113 reviews
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4. Re: snorkeling trip plan suggestion

Hi Travelers,

You can consider Usukan Cove for snorkeling, it has just been re-open on 1/8/2012. Its a great place for snorkeling, 1hour off by road from Kota Kinabalu City. There are also accommodation at Usukan, so you could stay and snorkel around all day.

Yes, Pom Pom Island is wonderful. Consider the newly opened Pom Pom Celebes Beach Resort, reasonable opening rate is on-going now. For a night stay, for a non-diver single traveller, it is cheaper to travel from Kota Kinabalu to Tawau & stay overnight in Celebes Beach Resort than to stay 1 night at GER.

Have fun snorkeling!

Nickie

Tokyo, Japan
11 posts
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5. Re: snorkeling trip plan suggestion

HI,

I would really like to check out Usukan Cove for snorkeling.

Couple of questions, if I may:

Is a taxi the best way to get there? Approximate price?

Is there an easy way to do some fishing/kayaking/snorkeling all in a day there?

Like... does "only" the Usukan Cove Lodge take care of all these activities?

Looks fun!

Singapore
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291 posts
43 reviews
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6. Re: snorkeling trip plan suggestion

Personally, I'd recommend Mantanani for the best snorkeling because the reefs are shallow and the water quality is really good. Exotic Borneo do it as a day trip, along with a couple of other operators.

Kota Kinabalu
Destination Expert
for Sabah
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2,264 posts
113 reviews
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7. Re: snorkeling trip plan suggestion

Hi mcfraser99,

Going by taxi would be expensive. It could easily cost RM150-200 per way.

Yes, you could do all snorkel, fishing & kayak in 1 day, just take up the snorkel & fishing package. This includes return transportation from Kota Kinabalu.

The easy way would to take a package that includes all the mention activity. No fuss.

Usukan Cove Lodge runs the activities but you could book these package from any local agents.

Have fun!

Nickie

8. Re: snorkeling trip plan suggestion

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