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“Blue sky and great place for snorkeling”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Mantanani Island

Mantanani Island
Ranked #54 of 191 things to do in Sabah
Attraction details
Kuala Lumpur
Level Contributor
41 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Blue sky and great place for snorkeling”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 September 2013

I was lucky as the boat ride is smooth and the weather is great. 1 day trip is a bit too rush but you get 2 snorkelling session. trip start by pickup at 7.30 am and the trip end at about 7pm drop off at the hotel. my trip report is here. http://ilovesabah.info/2013/09/12/mantanani-island-the-mermaid-island/

Visited September 2013
2 Thank AdamLai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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113 reviews from our community

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Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia
Level Contributor
35 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Relaxing, beautiful and most importantly, NOT CROWDED”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 September 2013

My husband and I took a day tour package from the hotel @ MYR300 per pax, inclusive of a 1hour 45 min drive to Kota Belud from our hotel (Le Meridien KK), a 45 min boat transfer to the island itself, 2 snorkeling trips in the middle of the sea, snorkeling gears, lunch and tea break. Although slightly pricey for us, we thoroughly enjoyed it, because it was so beautiful and most importantly, it wasn't crowded like the other islands nearer to KK as it wasn't that easily accessible. I'm not even sure you could go there without a tour package. Everyone we saw on the island was part of our tour. There were like only about 100 of us on the island (on our side). We got to travel offshore in boats to selected spots to snorkel (or dive, if you join the diving team) twice - once in the morning and once in the afternoon. No doubt it was hot but mostly the view underwater was worth it. The guides were very friendly as well. We even had a child on board and the guide took her around in the sea on her (float?), while her mother waited on the boat - haha very funny sight actually, but the guide was so nice he even made boat sounds to accompany her ride. In contrary to what another reviewer mentioned, we were allowed to go without life jackets, ONLY if you can swim and have snorkeled before - this the guides made sure before we jumped in. Other than that, they made sure newbies and 'commoners' were safe in the life jackets. So it was really quite safe, as they themselves were in the water overlooking the activity the whole time.

If you take the package like ours, do not expect the lunch to be luxurious, just normal food. They also had beach chairs and hammocks for you to relax on after lunch, and the sandy beach is clean and smooth enough to play in. It's just too bad that they don't have other water sports. But the beach itself was so beautiful my husband and I just sat there enjoying the view and the sea breeze. One word of caution though - HOT! So lather on LOTS of sunscreen.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank EmmC48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
97 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Day trip from KK”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 September 2013

We went on a day trip from KK. The bus/boat trip was too long and the snorkeling not enough and slightly disappointing. For a first time experience it is OK but if you have been snorkeling before you will probably want something better. I believe the diving is good here but didn't do this.

Being part of a larger group didn't help and I felt like cattle by the end of the day.
On all other snorkeling trips I was able to swim without life jacket and pretty much do my own thing (within reason. I don't go crazy). But on this trip everything was geared to the lowest common stupid person denominator.

However, I went with a party of 4 which included 2 teenagers who hadn't been snorkeling before and they had a really good time and want to do it again.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank MartynC_HK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
32 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Beautiful island, chilled out, worth the trip”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 July 2013

We bought the 3D/2N package from Mari-Mari (the only accommodation on Mantanani for tourists - don't be confused, the Sayang hostel is all part of the same place). Snorkelling is fantastic - way better than anywhere else near Kota Kinabalu or Sandakan. Great chilled out atmosphere, hammocks, beach chairs, relaxed dining area, not crowded, cows wandering through. Food really nice, asian and western options, little shop to buy drinks etc, fairly expensive but not silly prices. Staff young and a bit wayward at times but fun. Awesome colour sea. Shame that there's some rubbish washed up on the beach but they make a decent effort to clean it each day - and a gap-year project next door are involved in doing a kind of eco-project that helps too. We had brilliant views across to Mt Kinabalu one morning. Stayed in one of the dorms for 6 (our family of 6) - basic but fine. No air con anywhere just fans, and there is only electricity 6pm to 6am. So a laid back vibe, not a lot to do (rightly) other than snorkel, dive (we didn't) and generally chill out. The boat ride back was fairly hairy - one and a half hours cos of high seas, lots of up and down, but no real problem. A great and unusual trip. Highly recommended, even at the price.

Visited July 2013
12 Thank revieg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“An amazing place with beautiful cyrstal clear water”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 July 2013

We went on a day trip to the island for snorkeling. The package price was a bit expensive but its all worth it. The island is very beautiful with stunning view of crystal clear water. While snorkeling, we could see lots of colourful fishes, underwater corals, etc. There were two snorkeling sessions. The first one was before the lunch and the second one was after the lunch. Must not miss this when you visit KK.

Visited July 2013
5 Thank MissAisha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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