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Leisure - Island

Our Adventure to Pulau Tiga (Survivor Island)

By Yolanda Huijts & Melina Molukun

Pic courtesy of Sipadan Dive Centre Sdn Bhd, H.S. Harun, and Sabah Tourism

Survival, finding food and stranded on a deserted island. These were our first few thoughts about our trip to this island. Pulau Tiga also reminded us of the American television show Survivor which first brought the island into the world's attention. We could imagine ourselves on the beach with sand flies biting our feets while trying to search for food. Luckily however, our trip to Pulau Tiga did give us a chance to spend time as castaway adventurers as the island's Pulau Tiga Resort offered us a more comfortable overnight option!

Pulau Tiga lies about 48 km (30 miles) south of Kota Kinabalu in Kimanis Bay on the West coast of Sabah. To get there, you can either be adventurous like us and take the two hours car journey from Kota Kinabalu to the jetty at Kuala Penyu and followed by a half-an-hour boat cruise to the island, or you can charter a boat from Kota Kinabalu straight to the island. For us the journey to Kuala Penyu was a scenic travel with views of the typical Malaysian "kampong" (village) houses on stilts with the background of Sabah's beautiful natural landscape.

The boat trip to the island only took about 15 minutes, which was a pleasant ride that gave us a nice view of the coastline. Upon arrival to the island, it took another 5 minutes' walk in the shade of trees, to get to the famous Pulau Tiga Resort. We welcomed the sight of the resort's comfortable chalets and especially the porch where everyone dreamed of enjoying a drink or a meal while enjoying the perfect view of the beautiful beach. Later in the evening this dream was realised as, together with our colleagues, we sipped our drinks and watched the sunset.

As soon as we placed our luggage in our rooms and after having freshened up, we decided to explore the island. From the resort, you can enjoy a fifteen minutes hike on a scenic nature trail to the inner parts of the island to the Mud Volcano. Here you can soak in the mud, said to be very good for the skin. Pulau Tiga was formed (and still is) from the eruption of several mud volcanoes. As a result, the island has its own collection of plants that cannot be found on any of the nearby islands or even on the mainland.

The mud volcano was an interesting phenomenon to see and it was indeed pleasant to soak our bodies in it. After this, we soaked in tthe sea, to clean ourselves off the mud. It was an unforgettable experience! We must have looked funny, but we did not care because after the soaking our skin looked younger, healthier and fresher! After our muddy experience, we enjoyed the relaxing island atmosphere and we especially enjoyed the beautiful beach! When visiting Sabah, we recommend you to take a trip to Pulau Tiga to make the most of your travelling experience!

For further information, please contact Sabah Tourism at tel. no. 6-088 -212121 or Sri Pelancongan Sabah at tel. no. 088 - 232121. Alternatively, visit our website at

Source: Sabah Tourism Bulletin - Sabah Malaysian Borneo, August 2002


Survivor Island - Mudcaked on Isle of Mystery



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