Sabah is a relaxing and peaceful state to visit – if you know where to go. One of the recommended destinations in Sabah for romantic getaway and underwater exploration is the Mataking Island located in Semporna. The island is definitely a great getaway for visitors, with the combination of the three most important elements one can find in a relaxing place – crystal clear sea water, white sandy beach, and a comfortable and top-class resort. Thus, if you are looking for a place to get rid of the frustrating stress and pressure you are experiencing from work, Mataking Island is one of the places in Sabah you must not miss.
A Diver Paradise
With more than 30 dive sites surrounding Mataking Island, it is a perfect place for visitors to dive here. There are a lot of different sections which you can explore such as the Nudibranch Garden, the Hump Head Point, the Coral Garden, the Lobster Lair, the Eel Garden, and the Turtle Playground.
There are a great diversity of fish species and sea animals living in these areas such as schools of Barracuda, Spanish Mackerel, Trevally, Ribbon Eel, varieties of Goby, Giant Clams, Eagle Ray, Mandarin Fishes, Giant Frogfish, Shrimps, spiders, Pygmy Seahorses and much more. The ‘Orang Utan’ crab is one of the must see here where it can be occasionally be seen at Mataking’s Reef. The untouched soft and hard corals surrounding the reefs is also another attraction for divers diving in Mataking and the nearby islands, a paradise for underwater macro photographing.
A Relaxing and Cultural Getaway
If water activity is not your type, you can also find some non diving activities on the island. You can join the local people with their batik painting, which in the same time, you will also obtain the chance in learning more of the local techniques used by the locals in producing such amusing batik clothing and accessories. Or you can also head on for some jungle trekking while exploring and learning more of the flora species in the state which some are not found in any other countries. After a whole day of expedition, you can then head on to the Jamu Spa to spend a peaceful time and to wash away all your tiredness, better preparing you for your adventures in the next few days to come.
Early in the morning, you can walk along the beach of the Mataking Island, enjoying the jaw-dropping sunrise atmosphere as well as the soothing feeling you get when you step on the warm and soft sand on the beach. You can also go up to the observation tower to get a good view of the whole island while catching a glimpse of the first ever underwater post office in Malaysia.
Where to Stay in Mataking Island
Accommodation in Mataking Island is rather limited with the Reef Dive Resort being the only resort operates in both the Mataking Island and Mataking Kecil Island. The resort features deluxe rooms, chalets and the brand new beach villas that are designed to provide a luxury and romantic retreat for the honeymoon maker. If you love to be pampered with relaxing activities, you will definitely love the onsite spa and Jacuzzi service offered by the resort. The beach is top notch and you will sure to enjoy the tranquility and calm it has to offer.
Where is Mataking Island and How to get in
Mataking Island is located in the Celebus Sea off the coast of Sabah and can be reached via Tawau. Visitors can take a domestic flight to Tawau from Kota Kinabalu or Kuala Lumpur with Air Asia or Malaysia Airlines and arrange with the resort for a pick up from airport to Semporna. Alternately, visitors can also book a taxi or hop on to the mini bus from the Airport and transfer to Semporna. The boat ride from Semporna will takes about 1 hour to reach Mataking Island, a pre arranged boat ride from Sipadan Island or Mabul Island is also possible.