The Mantanani islands are a group of three small islands located in the South China Sea, 35km north of Kota Belud (Sabah). Pulau Mantanani Besar is the biggest of these three islands, extending 3.5km from east to west and 800m from north to south. It has beautiful white coral sand beaches and is surrounded by crystal clear sea. It is possible to walk once around the island in about two hours, for instance by starting at the Mari Mari resort and proceeding counterclockwise, then crossing the island through the forest once reaching the end of the northern beach.
At the moment Pulau Mantanani is only accessible through tours (daytrips and overnight trips), because there is no public boat service in Kota Belud. These tours are very expensive, considering that the accomodation at the Mari Mari resort is very basic. The seawater around Mantanani Besar is very shallow and it is possible to walk for 500-600 metres before reaching waters deep enough for swimming. A major nuisance on Mantanani Besar are blood-sucking sandflies.
When the sea is rough, Mantanani becomes inaccessible by sea and tourists on the island cannot leave the island.

01 Boats on southern beach 02 Beach 03 Beach 04 Boats on southern beach
05 Beach 06 Boats on southern beach 07 Beach with wooden jetty
08 Beach 09 Palm beach
10 Palm beach
11 Beach 12 Eastern tip of Mantanani 13 Eastern tip of Mantanani
14 Eastern tip of Mantanani 15 Northern beach
16 Beach at sunset 17 Beach at sunset 18 Beach at sunset 19 Beach at sunset
20 Jetty at sunset 21 Beach at sunset
01 Mantanani island
02 Panoramic view of Mantanani island
03 Panoramic view of Mantanani island
04 Mantanani island
05 Southern beach
06 Panoramic view of Mantanani island
07 360 degrees panoramic view
08 Mantanani island
01 Mari Mari Mantanani backpacker lodge 02 Mari Mari Mantanani backpacker lodge 03 Mari Mari Mantanani backpacker lodge 04 Palm beach resort
05 Palm beach resort 06 New resort beach 07 Jetty 08 New resort beach
09 New resort beach 10 New resort bungalows 11 New resort bungalows 12 Bembaran beach resort
13 Bembaran beach resort 01 Village with jetty and boats 02 People walking on jetty
03 Beach and boats 04 Village beach 05 Boat and houses
06 Small girls 07 Men weighing fish 08 Village 09 Village 01 Boats heading to Mantanani island
02 Arriving in Mantanani 03 Crystal clear seawater 04 Crystal clear seawater 05 Wooden jetty
06 Monitor lizard 07 Monitor lizard 08 Forest trail 09 Forest trail 10 Sea at sunset
11 Sea at sunset
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©Copyright Alfred Molon