Mantabuan Island is the smallest island in Tun Sakaran Marine Park, with an area of ~10 hectares or 0.1km².
Pulau Mantabuan is inhabited by a small, friendly community of Sea Gypsies (Bajau Laut), who live in houseboats or stilt houses built over coral reefs. Over here, it is not uncommon for visitors to be invited into their homes for a fresh coconut or two.
The Malaysian army operates a military base on the island, and if you’re lucky, you may get the chance to snap a photo inside the army outpost that comes complete with artillery and sandbags.
There are no motor vehicles or fancy commercial developments here, and visitors to the island are far and few in between.
Accommodation & day tours
There are no major hotels or resorts on Pulau Mantabuan, or any of the other islands in Tun Sakaran Marine Park.
Things to do
Snorkeling & scuba diving
Pulau Mantabuan is a hot spot for snorkeling and diving activities. Featuring 3 major dive sites, Black Coral Garden, Stingray Alley Way and Star Point, Mantabuan is best known for sighting groups of manta rays, eagle rays and devil rays, especially when the currents pick up.
Other marine life commonly found in the area include sea turtles, blue-spotted stingrays, crocodile fish, puffer fish and the rare black coral.
See above for snorkeling and diving day tours to Tun Sakaran Marine Park.
Bajau Laut (Sea Gypsies) village
There is a small, friendly community of Bajau Laut living in and around Pulau Mantabuan.
Mantabuan Island is in fact a sand cay formed from the eroded remains of surrounding coral reefs, with an elevation of about 1-2m above sea level.
The islet is flat with a sandy beach running all the way round.