Mantanani, also known as the Mermaid Island, is said to have presence of the ‘dugongs’ (sea cow). On its rare sightings, dugongs were said to be seen grazing on sea grasses around the island.
There is a disclaimer though, as they are already endangered, seeing them is not guaranteed. With the serenity offered by the island, I don’t actually mind not seeing dugongs at the time of our visit.
Must Read: Kota Kinabalu Island Hopping for Php 6,200
From Manila, Kota Kinabalu is only a plane ride away and we did just that by flying via Cebu Pacific since we previously secured a ticket during one of its popular seat sales.
But please do note that you can try your luck with AirAsia as well since they also offer routes going to Kota Kinabalu and vice versa.
If coming from KK city center, going to Mantanani Island will take an hour and a half by land and a 45-minute boat ride from Kuala Abai Jetty.
WHAT WE DID
It was already past 10 am when we reached the island. We just put our things down and an orientation was done by the tour guides. They spoke in Chinese and too bad, we were the only ones who speak English.
Fortunately, a very nice tour guide approached us and explained everything to us. Guess who got generously tipped after the tour?! Eh di si mabait na kuya!
Snorkeling before lunch. Kapagod!
The clarity of the water was superb and glad to say that it was clean! I was surprised myself. Who would’ve known kasi diba?
I was just happy that during my KK itinerary research, I was able to come across an article about this place. It was like an accomplishment of finding places that not many tourists flock onto.
Maybe next time, try not to go to the usual spots. Explore more and be surprised of the results.
Mantanani Island from afar.
WHERE WE STAYED
We stayed at Goldenhill Hotel Sabah which is located just 10 minutes from the airport. You may also want to take advantage of their free airport transfers.
Fried Prawn in Salted Egg – Yep, we tried a salted egg dish way before it was sensationalized here in Pinas. And we didn’t have to break the bank to taste it. Kahit dati pa, masarap na talaga siya!
Braised Ostrich – We just honestly ordered this out of curiosity. There’s not much difference with the taste of the beef, I must say.
• It is better to avail a group tour package for this instead of doing a DIY. It’ll be cheaper that way.
• Don’t forget to hydrate and put some suncreen at all times.
Special shout out to the people who helped us make this trip possible. In behalf of my travel crew, maraming salamat po. Sa uulitin!
TRAVEL EXPENSE SUMMARY
KK Islands with City Tour