Turtle Island Park
|| Turtle Island, Sabah, Malaysia
The Turtle Island Park is also known as Pulau Penyu National Park. It comprises of three islands;
Pualau Selingan, Pulau Bakkungan Kecil and Pulau Gulisan. The park gained its popularity from the
green and hawksbill turtles which lay their eggs on the beaches of the islands. All the three
islands are protected within marine parks on both sides of the Malaysian and Philippine borders.
The turtles lay their eggs all year round but are more common between July and October when the
seas are calmer.
The Selingan Island which is also known as the Turtle Island is the largest island among the three and has
been developed to accommodate the park's headquarters, the visitors' center, basic tourist facilities and a
turtle hatchery. The turtle landings usually take place after dusk and luckily, the park has a sensible policy
of allowing visitors to watch only a landing per night. Thus, while waiting for the evenings' highlight, all
there is left to do here at the Turtle Island Park is snorkeling and lazing and tanning on the beach.
The west side of the island is the best place to do both these activities. The beach here is clean and quiet.
It has some interesting coral and marine life to offer. While lazing on the beach, you will be surprised how
many turtles have landed in the last few days as you will see many tracks on the beach which remain in the
sand for a few days. The visitors' center is also highly recommended but it is only open later in the evening.
You will get to learn more about sea turtles as well as the different parks in Sabah and its unique nature.
The park also ensures that these turtles do not go extinct by ensuring their eggs are not eaten by wild
predators such as monitor lizards. Thus, once the eggs are laid, they are placed at the hatchery.
The Turtle Island Park is a magnificent place to visit. There are three fully furnished chalets on
Selingan which is able to accommodate only up to a total of 20 persons per night. Other attractions in
the eastern region include the Orang Utan Rehabilitation Center, Forest Reserve, Australian War Memorial
and the Kinabatangan River which is the best place to see a wide array of wildlife. With so many attractions
in the eastern region alone, imagine what Sabah has to offer. Do consider a longer stay here in Sabah.
Accommodations in Sabah are plentiful, so do not worry about that.
You can get to the Turtle Island Park by getting on a boat from Sandakan town. There are no
public boat services. You will need to go through the Parks office or arrange a visit through your
tour company. From Sandakan Town to the island will take about an hour by speed boat.