Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mataking Island,Sabah

So the beau's family invited me to join them on a trip to Sabah and I was really shocked and surprised they even invited me because we were still at the early stages. So the beau told me that we were going to stay at Mataking Island for 2 nights then 1 night in Tawau. I was like 'Mata-what?'. Never heard of it before so did some googling and the pictures were like this.

Hard to believe because no way you can find an island in West Malaysia with a sea this blue.

So I googled for reviews on Trip advisor and such and there were mixed reviews. They said since they transfer clean water from the main land to the island, water must be used sparingly. So I was worried about having no water to bath or to flush in the island.

But I was excited that I am travelling to East Malaysia for the first time and Mataking is close to Sipadan island so it should be as pretty as the pictures on Google.

It was my first time flying with Air Asia too!

I don't like the sandwich cause there was not enough filling and sauce.

So once we got to Tawau, the Reef Dive Resort which is the only resort on Mataking Island has a personal bus that will take you to the jetty in Semporna and they have their own speedboat to bring you to the island.

We didn't know that the Sulu issue started the minute we got to Mataking. So after we left Mataking, there were police checkpoints everywhere in Tawau then we searched the news online and found out about the Sulu thing.

We didn't know because Digi didn't follow me to Mataking so I couldn't tweet pictures or call or message or even update about the awesomeness.

Semporna's sea was polluted and yucky but the sea got bluer as the speedboat heads further away and this is what you see once you get to Mataking. Where can you get 3 different shades of blue sea in West Malaysia? Only in East Malaysia!

So beautiful that it literally took my breath away! The boat ride was 45 minutes of bump hitting but it was so worth it! You could practically see fishes and jellyfish in the sea without needing to strain your eyes. I was so excited to jump into the sea already! We had welcome drinks and we were brought to the only restaurant in the island, Simply 'Enak' Restaurant for lunch before checking in.

The food was a downer because there wasn't much variety, mostly Asian cooking and I think it's because the resort practices marine conservation, you can't get much seafood to eat. Only prawns and sometimes fish. Some dishes were repetitive, as you stay there longer. Since we were starving, anything was good for us at that time.

After lunch we were shown to our rooms. The staff helped us to carry our luggage to our rooms and was very friendly! We stayed at the King Chalets so beau and I got our own chalet and the rooms were huge!

 Meet Rainbow, my Pillopet! :) My travelling buddy that helps me to sleep better cause he's so soft....

There's a shower too! For some reason the water drains out really slow. I think that's how they are trying to save water but even so, this is sort of a 5-star resort, so shouldn't they already have a good plumbing system? And also a water filter system that will provide clean water instead of getting water from the main land.

During the day when there's low tide, we can actually walk to Mataking Kecil Island too!

All geared up in my Roxy bikini and ready to walk over! Sadly, we didn't because no one was there and the staffs were talking in walkie-talkies in every step we take and the resort's speedboat was also following us so we chickened out. Like what's with the hush hush operation?

 Then we found out from one of the staff that Mataking is only 15 minutes away from Philippines so I guess that's why security is tight on this island. There's a police shack too. At night, you can see soldiers carrying guns patrolling the island.

On the next day, we rented a boat for RM250 for 4 hours and we went island hopping to Timba-Timba Island, which is one of the small islands which can be found around Mataking Island.

This dog who lives on this island was so cute and friendly! She greeted us the moment we arrived on the island and she was guiding us too!

She likes to dip into the ocean too!

Her fur was so nice because of the sea water and if we could bring her back we would but too bad she guards the island with the other guards who lives on that island.

Then after walking around a bit on this island, we were brought to 3 different snorkeling sites!

Ok so while I was getting off the boat at one of the snorkeling sites, I was grabbing onto this bar but as I jumped off the boat, I forgotten to let go of the bar so my left fingers were stuck in between them. The pain was bearable but still thank god, beau's dad noticed my agony and helped to get my fingers out. Thankfully I can still move my fingers but it was bruised really badly.

Beau also so worried but I still can smile for the camera and went to snorkel a bit more.

THE BEST SNORKELING EXPERIENCE I HAVE EVER HAD! I even saw a turtle at one of the sites! So many beautiful corals and fishes!

So awesome until I didn't notice that my face was inches away from a jellyfish too. Thankfully, I didn't get stung.

Came back to the hotel then we saw this dude here lazing around in the diver's pool. He was huge and fat! Saw a lot of little ones around the island too. Don't know what they are but they are one of the island's inhabitants.

I'm more surprised that there are peacocks on the island when there's so many lizards around the island but they are in a cage so nothing much to worry there.

We were waiting for the sunset but it was taking ages so I asked the beau to take some silhouette shots!

There's a watchtower on the island too and it was a really long climb up but the view on top was beautiful!

Turtle hatchery! Too bad that we came at the wrong season. Turtle season is on October.

The Jacuzzi outside of Jamu Spa which is the only spa place on the island. I heard that you can to book it if you wanna use it.

That's the watchtower!

The Dive Centre!

The bar.

The Simply 'Enak' Restaurant.

Baby Sharks!!!! XD So cute!!!

I miss this beautiful place already! I miss the sea and the beach and the fishes and the dog and snorkeling. :(

It's definitely a place that I want to come back to. We stayed in Tawau for a night and beau's dad's friend brought us to eat yummy food!

You know those crispy kuey teow noodles with the egg sauce that we get in KL, well this one is Sabah's version except with thin vermicelli noodles and they fry the egg with the noodles!

OMG THIS WAS SO GOOD! The soup/ sauce was omg so good and I don't know how they keep the noodles moist even though it is fried together with the egg. This AWESOME noodles is found in Papa's Kopitiam, Sabah.

Then at night he brought us to eat seafood! Too bad that during that time there was the Sulu incident and most of the shops are closed so we had to eat at an expensive seafood place. But it's still good! :)

I want to go back to Sabah to eat that noodles again though and of course to visit the other islands too!

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