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All reviews mother turtle turtle laying her eggs an amazing experience basic accommodation turtle island newly hatched turtles once in a lifetime turtle watching si tours one night monitor lizards air con laid eggs twin beds spent the afternoon baby turtles into the ocean amazing night
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Reviewed 13 November 2013

Turtle Island was great for having the whole turtle experience from the turtle laying her eggs on the beach, to the ranger burying those eggs in the hatchery, to watching turtles hatch and then releasing them into the ocean. We had a smooth trip out to the island (1 hour boat ride on a covered 35 foot boat). (November to January the water can be so rough it takes 3 - 4 hours to get to the island - or the trip could be cancelled altogether.) As others have stated, very basic accommodation (at least the rooms have A/C). Pack an overnight bag and leave the rest of your bags in Sandakan. There is a no shoe policy in the dining hall and the floor is pebbled concrete - very painful to walk on (I kept a pair of hotel slippers handy to slip on). Bring a beach towel and hang out on the beach or swim/snorkel during the day. Dinner was at 7:30 pm and then you stayed in the dining hall until you were called for "turtle time", so bring something to keep you occupied. Group 1 had their "turtle time" from 9 to 10 pm and group 2 from 10 to 11 pm. Breakfast is at 6:30 am and we left the island at 7 am.

Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
1  Thank Lori C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 October 2013

My boyfriend and I travelled to Selingan recently as part of a tour in Borneo and we are amazed at the mixed reviews of this wonderful island! We won't go into too much detail about the turtle watching as it has been accurately covered in many other reviews. The island itself is beautiful- a white sand, turquoise water, deserted paradise.

Walking around during the day being able to snorkel, visit the hatchery and sunbathe on the gorgeous beach is truly amazing. This is before you even get to the main attraction which is of course witnessing the turtles laying and releasing baby turtles into the sea. It's all done really well with an informative documentary, a small museum and knowledgable rangers on hand!

Yes, the chalets aren't the Ritz, nor is the food Michelin starred. However, they are comfortable, clean and air-conditioned and the food is tasty and filling. We couldn't recommend the experience highly enough and would go back tomorrow!

Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
4  Thank BeccaLouise89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 October 2013

Seeing the turtles was an amazing experience. We saw the turtle at 9.15pm she laid 70 eggs in 10 minutes ! We then watched them being buried before they will hatch in 60 days. We saw babies being released into the sea to start their new life. Yes the accommodation is basic but for what you pay & the amazing experience it is well worth it. Fantastic a must if travelling to Borneo.

Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
3  Thank 2013sue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 October 2013

Selingan is all about the turtles. The accommodation is very basic - the most basic we stayed in during our entire tour of Sabah - but it's only for one night and you're here to see the turtles. You'll arrive before lunch after a speed boat transfer which takes about an hour. The island is beautiful as you arrive with turquouise blue water and white sand. You get to spend the afternoon relaxing on the beach or snorkelling. There were quite a lot of sand flies so being in the water was preferable! Then at 6pm you meet for a video briefing and dinner and then wait for "turtle time". We got the call at 10:15pm to go and see the green mother turtle laying her eggs. You need to go quickly when the call comes so that you don't miss out and you get chance to get to the front to take your photos. Once you've seen the eggs being layed, you'll watch the being transferred to the hatchery, before you go and help the ranger release baby hatchlings into the sea. We were lucky enough to see a natural nest hatching on the beach as well which was amazing.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank 195Lou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 October 2013

First, please know that the rooms are worse than summer camp. But, you aren't here to sleep.

What you get to see is a turtle laying eggs and then turtles swimming out to sea. This is what you are paying for and it is a great experience. Yes, the food is not so good either, so what!

All of my family loved it!

Hint, bring something to do in the evening. You may wait for 4-6 hours for a turtle to show up. Many families played cards.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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4  Thank Karen G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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