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Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park: Coral Reefs and White Sand Beaches

Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park is a group of five islands protected as a eco-park since the 1970s. The large park encompasses 4,929 hectacres, and two-thirds of the area is water.

The five islands all have white sand beaches and easily accessible coral reefs full of colorful fish and marine life for divers and snorkelers to enjoy. The lack of a strong current make the park a great location for beginning swimmers. Or, if you’re not into traditional watersports, try Seawalking, where you wear a helmet connected to the surface with an air tube (so you can wander around underwater with no air tank required).

Two of the islands, Gaya and Sapi, have lush jungles inland, with many hiking trails to explore.

Where is it? Malaysia, off the coast of Kota Kinabalu. Fly to Kota Kinabalu International Airport (check prices).

Where to Stay? At the area’s newest resort Gaya Island Resort, slated to open July 1 2012.

What Else Should I Know? The entrance fee is RM10 per person (around $3; see for current conversion rates).

Who’s it For? Snorkelers, divers, underwater photographers.

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