I have just returned from a ‘celestial kingdom’ yesterday i.e. the Mantanani Island 美人鱼岛 in Mandarin. In order for me to deliver accurate information about this, still for the time being in it’s paradisaical stage for the islands in Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia; I refer to trusted sources online then I would write down my first hand experience about this beautiful island. I made this trip also because of my determination of wanting to be part of making this destination to be included in Visit Malaysia Year website one day like other famous islands in Malaysia that are listed in the website.
From Wikipedia: The Mantanani Islands form a small group of three islands off the north-west coast of the state of Sabah, Malaysia, opposite the town of Kota Belud, in northern Borneo. The largest island is Mantanani Besar; the other two are Mantanani Kecil and Lungisan. It is a popular site for recreational diving as there are three nearby dive wrecks dating from the Second World War, as well as being known for its dugongs.
I went to Mantanani Besar Island with my tourism friends in a group of 8, they are Dawi, Francis, Herman, Dabalun, Donny and a couple I newly met. It is amazing after years, these friends from Sabah tourism industry, some of us were colleagues, some of them were brought into tourism line out of the blue, but we are now all running our own companies with the same passion i.e. hoping to make our living from the carrier we are interested in, some are into sales and marketing like me myself and Francis, the rest are more to operation, guiding and field works; yet to be able to accomplish good job, our very own first hand experience is crucial and product knowledge is needed to be updated from time to time. So yesterday, we made our way there together eventually!
It was an awesome trip led by Francis. We were literally REUNITED at Jesselton Point before we embarked Star City Ferry transfer. This service is fairly new in schedule. I personally really grateful for the operator to include Mantanani Island into their business schedule for I would not go there without this ferry service. I have had an unforgettable scary experience that cause me post-traumatize-Mantanani-Island-phobia for the past 4 years. My second trip to the island via a small 10-sitter boat was caught in a horrible storm and scary wave. A 30 minutes boat ride from the island to Kuala Abai shore turned out to be 3 hours plus scary journey.
Let’s forget about it since I am literally healed from this awesome trip, thanks to Dawi’s encouragement and titanically stable cruise – the Star City Express! We boarded the cruise at 8:30 am, and the cruise embarked to it’s destination at around 9 am after all guests were settled. It took 2 hours from Jesselton Point to Mantanani island. We arrived at 11 am. Those 2 hours was passing easily really, for I forgot to bring my sea sick pill (so won’t feel terrible due to my vertigo) so I slept it through to and fro the entire journey, using my ‘sleeping kungfu‘ that I have practiced over the years travelings. We traveled across South China Sea, wave is of course as expected but as I slept through the journey, I felt like arriving at the destination via time travel machine, I know this is crazy but I did feel that way haha… as we approached the island, friends woke me up, I was excited seeing the floating jetty, I couldn’t wait to hop on it asap.
and… time to depart… we did feel sad and lost a bit but… I would be back ^_^
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