Thursday, June 14, 2007

Sabah trip, Day 8: 3rd June, KK, Manukan Island

We stayed at Planet Kinabalu Backpacker's Lodge for our 2 nights in KK this time. Cheap and cheerful, we got an air-con room that sleeps 6 people and breakfast for all 4 of us for RM35 per night. Not bad! Charles the owner, insisted on making us breakfast whatever time we got up, including 4am on the day we left, and offered to drive us anywhere for no charge if it was under 10km. He also offers Astro and DIY laundry facilities, the latter of which was very useful!

We woke up on Sunday morning to find ourselves overlooking the colourful Sunday market.

We walked to Jesselton Jetty after breakfast to catch a ferry to Pulau Manukan, one of the five islands making up the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park just offshore. We found we had to pay a fee for stepping onto the jetty, another for the boat, and yet another for landing on the island, which seemed a bit much! At first they wanted to charge me RM10 for the landing fee, but after I asked in Bahasa Malaysia how much I would have to pay if I were a local, they let me on for RM3!

The jetty was a wonderful place to watch shoals of colourful fish, which were being fed chunks of bread by the newly arrived tourists.

This garfish didn't seem to be after the bread; perhaps it was more interested in the fish that came for the bread!

I took a walk along the jogging track that runs along one side of the island, hoping to see Tabon Scrubfowl, which is apparently active mostly in the early morning. I drew a blank with the scrubfowl, and with Mangrove Blue Flycatcher, though I did hear a number of blue flycatchers singing. Mangrove Whistlers, however, were common and easily seen.

I did see a couple of colourful skinks,this one, Mabuya rudis ...

...and even better, this one, Mabuya indeprensa

After drawing a blank on the scrubfowl, it was time to join the family on the beach!

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