I do not know where to begin to tell you about Pulau Manukan. So, can I just tell you to just GO THERE YOURSELF! If I live in KL, I will probably fly to Sabah at every opportunity when Air Asia offers cheap flight.
I have been to Redang, Perhentian and most of the islands here in West Malaysia. It is a hassle getting to those island. However, getting to Manukan is such a breeze. The jetty is in Kota Kinabalu. Grab a ticket, hop on a boat and you are heading to one of the beautiful islands in Sabah. The boat trip is around 45 minutes, I think. I should write this much earlier but I keep postponing and now, I have forgotten the fare and time.
This is Manukan island. The beach is not exactly powdery soft as it has lots of corals and rough sands. However, the water is clear. You can go scuba diving or snorkelling.
The journey begins at Jesselton Pier. Once you get there, a few boat operators will be calling out to you to buy their tickets. It is rather noisy and confusing to me with all of them shouting at their loudest voices. We got our tickets from one operator who calls themselves SOB! LOL.
This is what I love about Sabah. You can get to the nearest mountain, beach, island in just a few minutes. You can see the crystal clear water of Pulau Manukan from the below photo.
There are other islands but we chose Manukan because it seems to be the nearest. My children had a good time there, feeding fishes, playing in the sand, getting sunburn and running around.
I have forgotten the name of this thing. It is sort of like scuba diving. You get into that glass capsule and sink down to the bottom of the sea to see the corals. The tank of oxygen will provide you air and they also provide you with a guide. If I remember correctly, the chap there offered two of my older sons a trip for RM300 for two persons. My good kids decided to save me the money. I dare not ride because I have problems with tight spaces and will probably die in that little class capsule. Sort of reminds me of that classic tale of dunno-how-many leagues below the sea?