Pulau Gaya Destination Guide
Pulau Gaya is only 10 - 20 minute speedboat ride from the city of Kota Kinabalu. The five islands of the Marine Park are characterized by shallow waters, sumptuous coral gardens and all boast splendid white sandy beaches.
The reefs lie in shallow waters with little current making it an ideal location for novice divers, however, the diverse and sometimes rare marine creatures also make it an interesting dive location for experienced divers and underwater photographers.
To dive in the marine park you must contact one of the local dive centers based in Kota Kinabalu who also offer a full variety of PADI courses ranging from Discover Scuba to Instructor.
Among the sandy seabed a good variety of marine life can be found such as Scorpion fish, Blue-spotted rays, cuttlefish, mantis shrimps and the occasional green or hawksbill turtle. At some locations, rare creatures such as the harlequin ghost pipefish and mandarin fish can be found especially with the help from local dive guides.
During the cooler months from November to February, plankton blooms attract krill which in turn attract whale sharks, the world's largest fish. At times, the density of the krill can be so thick in these murky conditions underwater encounters with these colossal animals can be exciting as they suddenly appear out of the gloom.
Non-diving visitors can still have as much fun in the islands with other optional activities such as snorkeling in Pulau Sapi and Manukan and seawalking in Pulau Sapi. Adventure lovers will also enjoy an overnight camping trip at Pulau Sapi and Mamutik. If water sport is your cup of tea, you may contact any local tour companies for more information regarding the water sport activities that are available.
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Getting to Pulau Gaya
The journey to Gaya Island will take about 15 minutes from Kota Kinabalu International Airport to the Sutera Harbour and 15 minutes by speed boat to the island jetty.