Island Hopping: Pulau Tiga (Survivor Island), Kuala Penyu

Hello everyone!

It’s my first post of the year and we’re already in the second month. How’s your year so far? Have you give in to your goals? I hope not. Whatever your goals are for this year, I hope you’ll keep on working on them. Don’t give up! Sure, some days we feel demotivated and defeated, but that’s just a reminder that you’ve been working hard and need to step back and breathe. So do that and come back stronger. You got this! Okay?

For my first entry of the the year, I’d like to share our Pulau Tiga experiences. We planned this trip about one month before the actual date. But the funny thing was I only knew we were going to Kuala Penyu two days before the trip. I even confidently told my friend that we’re going to take the boat at Jesselton Point. Hah! That’s what happened when you don’t Google your destination.

Moving on, Tiga Island is also known as the Survivor Island because the first season of Survivor was shot there. Though, admittedly, I never watched the show and never took interest to watch it. However, this island is actually less known compare to the islands around KK and Semporna. There are also less people there.  So if you want to escape from the crowded beaches then Pulau Tiga is just perfect for that.

Our boat set off from the Kuala Penyu mainland at around  8.30 in the morning. It took about 40 minutes if I’m not mistaken to reach our first stop, the Sandspit. It was a inhabited island with white sand where you can take loads of pictures if you wish to. If I’m being honest, you actually can skip this island and spend more time for snorkelling or do other activities. This time, my snorkelling experience was more exciting since I had more confident and didn’t depend on guide to assist me like in Mabul. We saw more fishes here. Way too many fishes that it got us super excited.

After snorkelling, we then went to Pulau Tiga. Checked in, settled down before we proceeded with another activity. Floating on the volcano mud! From our hostel, we need to walk for about 30 minutes I think, to get to the volcano mud. At first, I was a bit reluctant, thinking ‘what if I get drown? It looks deep’ over thinking always gets the best of me. But the moment I felt myself floating on volcano mud, I couldn’t help but to smile and a sense of relieved wash over me. I had a good time floating!

The highlight of this trip for me was witnessing the sun set. It was utterly beautiful. Pure bliss. If you’re in Pulau Tiga, you should not miss the sun set. But let’s just hope the weather permit. At night, we had barbecue and played some games. Sang songs. It was a good time.

We spent only a night there, so we left the island around ten in the morning. It was such a short trip but wonderful nonetheless.

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Till next post 🙂


Island Hopping in Semporna: Gusungan, Mabul & Kapalai

Though the post title indicates that we went to three places, you’ll read and see photos of Mabul more than the other two places since we spent the majority of our time there.

Gusungan Island & Kapalai

Gusungan Island is basically just a small island with only two or three trees and inhabit by the Sea Gypsies. While Kapalai is actually a resort where you’re not allow to enter unless you’re staying there (that’s what we were told by the boatman/guide). You’re only allow to snorkel around the resort area and from what I heard Kapalai is where you can see more turtles. However, due to strong current we didn’t see any turtle in Kapalai though. We were only there for about 30 minutes I guess.

Mabul Island

Mabul is just as beautiful as you imagined it to be.  I fell in love with the island the moment I set my eyes on it. A love at a first sight! It took my breath away with its crystal clear water and by far the bluest sea I’ve ever seen. You need to see it yourself! We were literally ‘wowwing’ the whole time we were there. There’s a bungalow resort where you can walk around freely while you’re there. But I’m sure the cost to stay there will definitely make a hole in your pocket. But it’s a nice place to explore.

And while you’re there, you must go snorkeling. Or diving. It was a great experience to see the turtles, the corals, the fishes and the the starfish. Ahh, I can still remember all the details clearly. If you don’t know how to swim and afraid of water like me, it’s time to challenge yourself. I had no single regret and definitely will do it again.

After Kapalai, we went back to Mabul. This time we didn’t snorkel. Instead, we went around the island. Which was also my favourite part of this trip. If you come to Mabul you should not miss out on exploring the island and see the life of the people there. My friend said to me that seeing people who live life different than the life we used to was an eye opening. She was right. These people were happy people despite their living conditions. I was truly humbled by this experience.


Gusungan Island



Till next post 🙂

Island Hopping in Semporna: Sibuan & Bohey Dulang


Tun Sakaran Marine Park was gazetted in 2004 as Sabah’s seventh park. It consists of eight islands. Pulau Bodgaya, Boheydulang, Tetagan, Selakan, Sebangkat, Maiga, Sibuan and Mantabuan.  This marine park presented one of the best view in the world.  With that in mind, I was so eager to go for an island hopping in Semporna so when my friends agreed to go I was thrilled.

We started our journey from Tawau to Semporna at around 6.30 am and reached our destination at around 7.30am. Our boat set off from the Jeti Awam at 8.30am. We were supposed to go to three islands. Sibuan, Mantabuan and Bohey Dulang. However, due to low tide the boat couldn’t get to Mantabuan. So we only went to Sibuan and Bohey Dulang. At first, we were to hike Bohey Dulang but due to the heavy rain early in the morning we were told that we’re going for snorkeling first in Sibuan island.

Sibuan Island

This island was our snorkeling destination. We paid RM15.00 for a set of snorkeling equipment. Because of the strong current we were told to not go farther into the sea. I was frustrated as I didn’t get to see much. There were only few fishes and that was that. I didn’t see any coral though. From what we were told, we need to get farther to see the corals. However, the stunning view made up for my disappointment.

One thing I noticed beside the  beautiful beach with white sand was the rubbish there. I was disturbed by the fact that people came to the island and left their rubbish behind. If you can’t make the commitment to take care of the place you visited then you better stay at home. Let’s be a more responsible visitor. Take care of our nature.

If you don’t know, Sibuan island is the most photograph island after Sipadan. Can you imagine what will happen to the beach if we don’t take good care of its environment?


Semporna’s Jetty



The weather was gloomy the whole time we were there

Bohey Dulang Island

Like I mentioned earlier, we were supposed to go to Mantabuan but because of low tide we couldn’t get in. We then went to the next island, Bohey Dulang. Usually people go to Bohey Dulang for a hike. The hike to the peak is 600M and the trail is quite challenging for some people. But the view you get once you reached the viewpoint is so worth it and you’ll thank yourself for not giving up halfway 🙂 The hike took me around 30 minutes.

While up there, I was so hungry and kept on thinking about the lunch we packed for this trip. Luckily we packed ourselves some lunch if not we would have to wait till we get to the main land to fill our hungry stomach. Some tour provide lunch but if you’re like us then you definitely have to bring some food and water.

You can read details about Bohey Dulang HERE



The breathtaking view from the peak of Bohey Dulang


Hiking in Bohey Dulang and seeing the colour of the ocean during the boat ride were the highlights of this trip for me. We even saw turtles swimming freely in the ocean.

If you really want to go to these islands, you should definitely go.


Let’s look at our cost as I’m sure this is a frequently asked question.

There are so many boat operator you can find on the internet. Do a comparison and pick the one that suits your budget or preferences.

Our cost per person are as shown below:



RM550/ 10 = RM55

Other fees:

Conservation = RM3

Jetty = RM 2

Snorkeling = RM15

Gas = RM10 each

Total budget per person= RM85


Till my next post!

Have a good day 🙂