Tag Archives: fishing

Island Sunset Cruise off Kota Kinabalu City

sunset cruise

Sunlight can’t enter a room full of furniture, similarly, we need more spaces sometimes to light up our hearts. That’s why I like the sense of freedom in sunset cruise. The feeling of watching sunset from the vast open sea is very different. On the land, sunset is only a nice background to mark the end of day. On the ocean, you are like an audience standing on the stage of sunset for its magic moment.

our boat Hydian Way
Pic: our cruise boat, Hydian Way

Kota Kinabalu City (KK) has nice sunset and our beautiful islands are just a few Kilometers away, so all we need is a boat for the trip. For the New Year Sunset Cruise Gathering, Sabah Wetlands Conservation Society chartered a cruise boat which could accommodate up to 50 people.

closer look at Hydian Way boat
Hydian Way looks like a double-decker bus of the sea. It’s a 60-feet passengers cruise boat designed for short distance tour cruise. The lower and upper decks are flat surface with many chairs and tables, so passengers can carry out any activity and enjoy open view of the sea, exactly what we need for a leisure ride. Most area is sheltered from rain and hot sun, another plus.

double deck boat
Pic: lower and upper decks of Hydian Way. The toilet and bathroom are at the rear of lower deck.

We departed around 5pm from Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal and headed to the sea and islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman Park. Everyone was so excited onboard, we explored around as this was our first time experience on sunset cruise. The boat has an area of 1,500 square feet.

enjoying sea breeze and sunset view
Most seemed to like upper deck better, where we could see the surrounding on higher vantage point and enjoyed the sea breeze. Lower deck is more stable and suitable for those who are prone to seasick. Anyway, the swaying motion wasn’t strong when the boat was moving.

gathering on Hydian Way
I also walked around to find the best viewpoint. After a while, everyone was settling down and started their romantic or family time.

view of Kota Kinabalu city from the sea
Pic: our boat leaving KK and head to the sun!

cruise ship at Sabah Port
Pic: a cruise ship in Sabah Port. I wonder how it feels to see sunset from that huge ship.

relaxing on the deck
It had been raining in past few days, we didn’t know if the sunset view would be nice. The sky was cloudy, so I didn’t expect a spectacular sunset. As long as it didn’t rain, I was happy.

barbecue on the boat
Even if the sunset wasn’t nice, we still had nice food onboard. Yeah, check out that BBQ lamb, it’s the one of the highlight man.

upper deck of Hydian Way boat
Everyone’s spirit is high. For company annual dinner, you may consider organizing a sunset cruise party. Conventional dinner in hotel is just boring and everyone wants to leave after meal.

waiting for the sunset
Pic: the sunset is about to start. When the sun moved closer to the horizon, the sea water turned into silvery blue, an interesting color that only can be seen from open sea.

snorkelling at Sapi Island
Then the boat brought us behind Sapi Island, where we could snorkel (snorkelling gears provided onboard). It was a bit cool probably due to the recent rainy season, so only one person doing it. Just to let you know that you can have this activity, and the boat can take you to snorkelling spot far away from crowded tourist area. If it was a hot day, I would take a swim.

BBQ Satay and Chicken Wings
Our barbecue chicken wings and satay were ready, just in time for the sunset. With free flow of soft drink, it couldn’t be better.

Pic: satay for the sunset!

BBQ onboard
Pic: more BBQ food. Wish you were there.

family shot with sunset
We were so happy about the exceptional view of sunset. In fact, we thought of postponing the trip because of the possible bad weather, now we have no regret.

sunset view from the boat
Alex, the owner of the boat, was happy too. We were the only group on the open sea that day, this sunset view was exclusively for us.

sunset cruise
We were busy taking and posting sunset photos to our Facebook. Some even updated their profile photos with sunset as background. Bet these photos got many likes and made their friends envious.

looking at the sunset
Pic: the magic moment with the most intense colors, cloud and sea were painted with rosy colors but only lasted a few minutes.

fishing in open sea
After the sunset was over, our boat moved further and anchored in open sea for next activity, fishing. The crews had prepared fishing rods and bait for us.

red snapper took the bait

small grouper
We caught a few snapper and grouper. However, the fishes were too small, so we released them back into the sea after photo taking. If we were lucky, we would have BBQ fishes.

BBQ lamb

cutting barbecue lamb
Though we have no BBQ fish, there’s something better waiting for us. Our BBQ lamb is ready. We started second round of feasting. The lamb was roasted slowly, so the meat was kept juicy inside, very yummy.

buffet dinner onboard
For buffet dinner, we also had fried noodles, curry chicken, butter prawns, mixed vegetables, salad and sweet & sour fish. The BBQ just now was more like high tea lol.

karaoke onboard
Our eyes and mouth were satisfied, next it’s the turn for our ears. Let’s have some music. The boat has karaoke set in lower deck, so you can show your talent. Your voice will be broadcast to upper deck too, so nobody could escape from your performance, unless they jump into the sea. Sing as loud as you can, because there no neighbour will complain you.

KK city night view from the sea
We had fun until 8:30pm, then we had to go home at last. Watching night view of KK city is the last part of our trip. The bustling KK looks like a sleepy city from a distance.

night view of KK City
Instead of heading straight to the port, our boat cruised slowly along the shoreline of KK, to have closer look of KK city night.

cruising along seaside of Kota Kinabalu
To be honest, though lovely, the night view of KK is not as magnificent as big cities. Anyway, I don’t see this every day, so I still enjoy the moment.

Le Meridien Hotel and Night Market of Kota Kinabalu city
Pic: Le Meridien Hotel and Sinsuran Night Market are the brightest section of the KK night view.

Sinsuran Night Market
Pic: Sinsuran Night Market with busy hawkers and customers. Guess they didn’t know they were being watched.

Waterfront of Kota Kinabalu city
Pic: KK Waterfront Esplanade won my award as the most colorful night view of KK, haha.

Overall, this is a delightful trip and a luxury to me, who spend most of my time living and working in a world as small as an office cubicle and bedroom. I bet you will enjoy such tour.

group photo of Sabah Wetlands Conservation Society (SWCS) members
Pic: 40 passengers and 40 happy faces

Joining a Sunset Cruise

You can either join a tour or organize a party yourselves. The following are the packages and prices for tours by Hydian Way (as of Jan 2015). You can download their brochure for full details.

Type of Tour Activities Fee
Morning Cruise
Snorkeling, Fishing, Lunch with free flow of drinks RM249 per person (≈US$70)
Sunset Cruise
Night Cityscape, Sunset Viewing, Refreshments RM199 per person (≈US$56)
Sunset Cruise with Fishing
Fishing, Night Cityscape, Sunset Viewing, Refreshments RM249 per person (≈US$70)
Private Chartered Customized
Hydian Way can host up to 50 people (30 would be the most comfortable size)
Rental Fee: RM2,500 to RM5,000 (≈US$700 to 1,400) for 4 hours

For booking and enquiry, please contact Huang Long Travel & Tour (皇龙旅行社) at:
E-mail: info.hydianway@gmail.com
Tel:: +60 16-557-0211 (Terita – Marketing Manager), +60 13-863-1982 (Melessa – Sales Manager)
Address: Ground Floor, Premier Golf Center, Jalan Istiadat, Kompleks Sukan Likas, 88400 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.

More Photos

The photos in this article are small. You may browse my photo album for bigger and better photos:
Photo album of Sunset Cruise

Related Posts

I had tried sunset cruise with different types of boats too. You may check them out and compare the experience:

Photos taken in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

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Sepanggar Island (Pulau Sepangar), the new island destination of Kota Kinabalu

Pulau Sepangar

To enjoy a weekend on island, people of Kota Kinabalu city (KK) always visit Sapi, Manukan or Mamutik Islands. Though Sepanggar Island (Pulau Sepangar) is only 12 minutes by boat ride from KK, it was like a “nobody island.”

Sepanggar Island
Twice the size of Manukan Island, Sepanggar Island looks like a giant manta ray from the sky (see location map) and ten of thousands of motorists see it from the busy road along Tanjung Lipat every day, but most don’t even know the name of this big island.

beach of Sepangar Island
Pic: beach of Sepanggar Island

sandy beach of Sepanggar Island
Sepanggar Island has all the elements such as nice beach and swaying cocnut trees to be a tropical island destination. When the neighbouring islands get really crowded with tourists, Traverse Tours sees the potential, they develop Sepanggar Island into a new attraction and name it Mari Mari Sepanggar Island.

beach of Pulau Sepanggar
Now you have another choice of island, besides those in nearby Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. Instead of promoting Sepanggar Island as a cheap and mass tourist destination, this island is meant for visitors who want to stay away from the noisy crowd and chillax at a tranquil seaside.

kayak on the beach
You can laze around its white sandy beach and do nothing, or you can try scuba diving, discovery scuba diving (no diver license required), snorkelling, kayaking, fishing and jungle trekking. Sepanggar Island is a protected forest reserve and covered by thick tropical rainforest. The highest point is 160 Meters, where you can have a panoramic view of Likas Bay, Sepanggar Bay and Kota Kinabalu city. I haven’t explored their jungle but I think its undisturbed forest has interesting fauna and flora waited to be seen.

view of Kota Kinabalu city from Sepanggar Island
Pic: you can see Kota Kinabalu city from Sepanggar Island. The night view should be nice.

fishing around Sepanggar Island
Last month I was in a 1-hour fishing trip around Sepanggar Island in the morning. My travel agent prepared the fishing rod and bait for me.

sea at Sepanggar Island
Pic: the sea of Sepanggar Island is also a fishing spot for local fishermen. There are 8 dive sites near this island.

Kampung Sepanggar Island
Our boat passed by Sepanggar Island Water Village. The water was so clear and we saw a juvenile turtle swimming among corals.

Sepanggar Island Village
Pic: Sepanggar Island Water Village (Kampung Pulau Sepangar)

fishing near Sepanggar Island

our caught in fishing trip
We caught a few fishes about the size of a palm. You would get big fish if you are lucky.

enjoying lunch buffet on Sepanggar Island

my lunch on Sepanggar Island
We enjoyed our lunch buffet after the fishing trip.

Then we just relaxed at the beach side and felt the gentle breeze.

resting on hammock

tree shade at the beach of Sepanggar Island
Pic: from the beach, you can see Mt. Kinabalu at the left and Gaya Island at the right.

Sepangar Island activity centre
Pic: Dive Centre (left) and Activity Centre (right) of Mari-Mari Sepanggar Island. They also have proper toilet, changing room, lockers, activity hall and dining area for the guests.

Sepanggar Island dive centre
Pic: Forestry Department doesn’t encourage them to cut the trees so the centre is inside lush wood. Surprisingly there was very few mosquitoes during my visit.

building of Sepangar Island
Pic: for student group who wants to overnight on the island, there is a wide sleeping area to accommodate them.

Island Accommodation (Chalets)

The island has 1 unit of Beach Chalet (Double bed) and 5 units of Hill Chalets (3 units with Double Bed, 2 units with Twin Bed). All rooms are equipped with attached bathroom & soap dispenser, stand fan and towel rack/bar. Beach Chalet is near the beach and has great sea view. If you love to be surrounded by trees, you may stay in Hill Chalets on the slope but you need to take a short walk to the beach.

Beach Chalet of Sepanggar Island
Pic: Beach Chalet with nice sea and night view of KK city.

room of seaside chalet
Pic: Beach Chalet

All chalets can accommodate up to 3 people but it is a tight fit, so they recommend just 2 Adults + 1 Child for the Hill Chalet while the Beach Chalet can accommodate 3 Adults.

forest chalet on Sepanggar Island
Pic: Hill Chalet inside the forest

As all facilities depend on solar power, electricity usage is kept to a minimum and there are no charging options in the room. However, they have a charging station at the reception area where you can charge your electrical appliances safely.

Chalet promotion
Their Beach Chalets and Hill Chalets have opened and now available for booking. You may download the Pre-Summer Promotion package for details (valid from 11 May – 30 Jun 2015).

IMHO, Sepanggar Island is a suitable playground to organise small private beach party and group outing. You can enjoy BBQ and beer at the beach, watching sunset and KK city night view and then spend a night on the island.

Pulau Sepanggar

How to get there

The tour to Sepanggar Island starts from RM180 (≈US$57). To visit the island, below is the contact of the agent:
Company: Traverse Tours
(The tour operator has a counter (No.12) in Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal, where their boat departs to Sepanggar Island)
E-mail: sales@mantananiisland.com, mantanani@traversetours.com
Tel: +60 13-883 4921 (Hotline), +60 88-260 511, +60 88-260 522
Website: www.mantananiisland.com
Facebook: Mantanani-Kechil-Island-Sabah-Borneo

sea view of Sepangar Island
However (I wish I don’t need to mention this), I need to tell you that you will see rubbish on the sea and other corners around Sepanggar Island. Most of these garbage are from the water villages of Gaya Island. I hope the government will relocate those villagers ASAP to inland, to solve the littering problem once and for all, because it is also affecting other nearby islands and island resorts. Other than that, the service and location of Mari-Mari Sepanggar Island is great, so it deserves to be the next popular destination.

More Photos

You may check out album of Sepanggar Island for more photos.
Pulau Sepanggar

Photos taken in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

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