Couples at Kapalai Island Resort

Top 10 Islands of Sabah

Who can resist the allure of tranquil seas and pristine white sandy beaches found on tropical islands? Sabah, often dubbed the “Maldives of South East Asia,” boasts numerous scenic islands ready to enchant tourists. Below, we present the top 10 islands (not in any order) in Sabah. Each island possesses its own unique features and beauty, showcasing the remarkable diversity of landscapes these islands offer.

1. Sipadan Island

Sipadan Island is one of the top diving sites in the world. As the only oceanic island of Malaysia, it has garnered significant recognition, having been featured multiple times in National Geographic and Discovery Channels. Diving enthusiasts are in for a treat, with the opportunity to spot over 10 sea turtles on a single dive.

  • Snorkelling at Sipadan Island
  • Sea turtles are everywhere around Sipadan Island
  • Thousands of jackfish swimming under our feet
  • School of Barracudas
  • Bumphead parrotfish
  • Sipadan Island (Pulau Sipadan)

However, the real thrill lies in witnessing the barracuda tornado. Divers exploring the hanging garden dive site are greeted by a breathtaking array of colourful soft and hard corals. Read More or Book a Tour (Use Promo Code MYSABAH for Special Discount)

2. Kapalai Island

Nestled in the Celebes Sea off the coast of Semporna, Kapalai Island is a true gem. Its remote location lends it an otherworldly charm, making visitors feel as though they’ve stumbled upon a hidden paradise. One of its most enchanting features is its “magical” beach, which only emerges during low tide, adding to its mystique. It’s no wonder that the water bungalow resort on this island is consistently fully booked during peak seasons.

  • Kapalai Island Resort
  • Snorkelling with starfishes at Kapalai Island
  • Kapalai Island at night
  • Coconut beach of Kapalai Island
  • Jumping into the sea of Kapalai Island
  • Sunset at Kapalai Island

During the day, visitors can relax on beach chairs, soaking in the stunning sea views. As night falls, a magical scene unfolds beneath the boardwalk, with turtles and various sea creatures foraging, providing an unforgettable experience for those lucky enough to witness it. Read More or Book a Tour (Use Promo Code MYSABAH for Special Discount)

3. Mabul Island

Situated closest to Sipadan, Mabul Island boasts a rich tapestry of coral and stands as one of Malaysia’s premier muck diving sites. Underwater photographers will find themselves in paradise, with an abundance of sea critters such as nudibranchs and flatworms, some of which are yet to be named. Encounters with turtles, giant groupers, sharks, and rays are commonplace in these waters.

Tour package to Kota Kinabalu
  • Water Bungalow of Mabul Island
  • Morning walk on Mabul Island
  • Aerial view of Mabul Island
  • Sunset of Mabul Island
  • Oil rig repurposed by Seaventures as a dive centre

Accommodation options on the island cater to a diverse range of travellers, from budget lodges to luxurious 5-star water bungalow resorts, ensuring that there’s something for everyone, whether it’s honeymooners, scuba divers, or backpackers. Read More or Book a Tour (Use Promo Code MYSABAH for Special Discount)

4. Boheydulang

Dubbed the “Pearl Island,” Boheydulang boasts some of the most breathtaking sea views in Sabah. Situated within the Semporna Islands Park, renowned for its rich marine ecology, Boheydulang is the remnant of an ancient volcano that erupted 2.5 million years ago. The sea villages surrounding Boheydulang serve as favourite photography spots for world-renowned photographers, adding to the island’s allure. Read More or Book a Tour (Use Promo Code MYSABAH for Special Discount)

  • Enjoy the panoramic view of Tun Sakaran Marine Park on top of Bohey Dulang Island
  • These islands were used to be part of an ancient volcano rim
  • Jetty of Boheydulang Island
  • The jetty of Bohey Dulang Island
  • The water village of Sea Bajau people

5. Lankayan Island

Well-known for its whale shark sightings and turtle nesting grounds, Lankayan Island offers a slice of paradise. Stay in the sea-facing chalets, and wake up to the sight of numerous fishes, turtles, and baby sharks gracefully swimming in front of your balcony each morning. A short walk leads you to the inviting beach, perfect for a refreshing swim. As a private island, Lankayan ensures a tranquil holiday experience, free from the disruptions of noisy strangers. Read More or Book a Tour (Use Promo Code MYSABAH for Special Discount)

  • Holiday on Lankayan Island
  • Releasing turtle hatchlings
  • Kayaking on Lankayan Island
  • Room of Lankayan Island Resort
  • Balcony with sea view

6. Selingan Turtle Island

Turtles, among the oldest and most captivating marine creatures, find their sanctuary on Selingan Turtle Island. Each year, hundreds, sometimes thousands, of sea turtles embark on remarkable journeys spanning hundreds of miles to return to the very island where they were born—a testament to Selingan’s significance in turtle conservation.

  • Turtle nesting on the beach of Selingan Island
  • Nice beach of Selingan Island
  • Baby turtles in basket
  • Turtle hatchery on Selingan Island
  • Sunrise at Selingan Island

Here, visitors have the unique opportunity to witness mother turtles laying eggs up close and even participate in the adoption of the hatchlings, offering an unforgettable experience steeped in nature’s wonders. Read More or Book a Tour (Use Promo Code MYSABAH for Special Discount)

7. Mataking Island

Mataking Island is tailor-made for a romantic island getaway, making it a sought-after honeymoon destination for Europeans. This picturesque tropical paradise boasts white sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, breathtaking sunsets, and luxurious resorts. Couples can choose to exchange vows underwater or in the charming island chapel, adding a touch of magic to their special day.

  • Mataking Island is one of the best island destinations of Sabah
  • Swing on the beach of Mataking Island
  • Honeymoon couples at Mataking Island Resort
  • Sea view of Mataking Island
  • Underwater mailbox of Mataking Island

For scuba diving enthusiasts, don’t miss the chance to send a postcard from the underwater postbox, a unique experience offered by Mataking Island, home to the deepest mailbox in the world. Read More or Book a Tour (Use Promo Code MYSABAH for Special Discount)

8. Mantanani Island

Mantanani Island, often referred to as the Mermaid Island, owes its nickname to the presence of a friendly dugong residing in its waters. As visitors approach the turquoise sea surrounding Mantanani, they are immediately enchanted by its dreamlike beauty. Whether lounging in the island resorts or lodges, snorkelling, fishing, diving, or simply strolling along the beach, there’s no shortage of activities to enjoy. Who knows? You might even catch a glimpse of a mermaid. Read More or Book a Tour (Use Promo Code MYSABAH for Special Discount)

  • International tourists on Mantanani Island
  • Sea of Mantanani Island
  • Lungisan Island of Mantanani
  • Mantanani Island
  • Snorkelling on Mantanani Island

9. Pulau Tiga

Pulau Tiga gained fame as the filming location for the first TV reality show, “Survivor.” This island stands out as one of Sabah’s most unique marine parks, boasting a mud volcano and Snake Island among its attractions. Yet, its true allure lies in the untouched, snow-white beaches of Sands Spit Island.

  • Beach of Pulau Tiga Island
  • Snorkeling on Pulau Tiga Island
  • Sands Spit Island (Pulau Kalampunian Besar) of Pulau Tiga Marine Park
  • Mud volcano bath on Pulau Tiga
  • Sea snake of Snake Island (Pulau Tiga)

The main island, cloaked in dense forest, teems with diverse wildlife. Hikers can uncover hidden coves and secluded beaches along the network of nature trails, promising delightful discoveries at every turn. Read More or Book a Tour (Use Promo Code MYSABAH for Special Discount)

10. Sapi Island

Just a 15-minute boat ride from Kota Kinabalu City, the capital of Sabah, lies Sapi Island. Despite its modest size, this island boasts crystal-clear waters and an abundance of marine life, surpassing its neighbouring islands. While tourists may initially feel a tinge of apprehension at the sight of harmless wild boars and monitor lizards roaming the island, they quickly come to cherish such authentic encounters with nature. Read More or Book a Tour (Use Promo Code MYSABAH for Special Discount)

  • Sapi Island of Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park
  • A secret cliff behind Sapi Island
  • Stand-up Paddleboarding on Sapi Island
  • Sunset cruise around Sapi Island
  • Corals of Sapi Island

Other Islands of Sabah

Sabah is home to nearly 400 islands, each with its own unique charm, but only a select few are developed for tourism purposes. Below is a list of other islands that travellers can explore:

These islands offer diverse experiences ranging from pristine beaches and vibrant marine life to cultural encounters and outdoor adventures, making them ideal destinations for travellers seeking unforgettable experiences in Sabah.

3 thoughts on “Top 10 Islands of Sabah

  1. saya Suryono 35 tahun dari surabaya,Saya mau mengucapkan
    terima kasih yg tidak terhingga, serta penghargaan & rasa kagum
    yg setinggi-tingginya kepada ki Jagad saya seorang kontraktor yang terbelit masalah hutang
    piutang ratusan juta, parahnya lagi, sisa uang juga sudah ludes
    kalah bermain saham,sudah lama saya mengetahui blog ini,juga sudah
    lama mendengar nama besar beliau, tapi saya termasuk orang yg
    tidak terlalu percaya dengan hal ghoib,jadi saya pikir ini pasti
    kerjaan orang iseng yg mau menipu.tetapi kemarin waktu pengeluaran 1817, saya benar-benar sulit percaya,
    angka yg diberi Aki tunggal 1817 ternyata betul-betul
    tembus,awalnya saya coba-c0ba menelpon Aki,saya bilang saya
    sedang terbelit masalah hutang hampir 200 juta, jika dalam minggu
    ini tidak dilunasi,maka saya akan dilaporkan kepihak berwajib,Aki
    bilang,kalo saya mau, si Aki ada angka anunaki hasil ritual ghoib
    4d tunggal,tapi syaratnya harus ditebus dengan mahar 20 juta,
    karena cuma ini jalan satu-satunya untuk mendapatkan uang secara
    cepat, maka setengah kurang yakin saya usaha cari pinjaman hutang
    kesana kemari, dapat pinjaman 21 juta, langsung saya transper
    kerekening Aki, besoknya saya di beri angka tunggal 1817, mulanya
    saya tdk percaya,mana mungkin angka ini keluar,setengah putus asa
    saya pasangin kali 200 lembar di 2 tempat bandar berbeda,dengan
    perasaan cemas dan hati dag dig dug saya menunggu pengeluaran sore
    harinya, badan saya lemas & hampir pingsan,…ternyata meledak….!!!
    seumur hidup baru kali ini saya mendapat BLT 500 jt, uang ini
    bisa buat melunasi hutang, sisanya bisa buat buka usaha baru,
    sekali lagi terima kasih banyak Aki, seumur hidup saya tidak akan
    melupakan kebaikan Aki. Demikian kisah nyata dari saya
    tanpa rekayasa,hanya ingin berbagi pengalaman dengan teman-teman
    senasib. salam kompak selalu..!!

  2. my favorite islands are Kapalai and Sipadan. I’ve been diving in Sipadan especially in Barracuda Point. View down there so amazing! Sipadan has very good visibility and so much to see. I will never forget the experience of having black tip shark swims closely only meters from me.

  3. When I first saw Kapalai, it really looked like a dreamy destination. I also can’t forget how stunning it was to see turtle clearly about 20 under the water from the surface.

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