Mataking Island is a diamond-shaped island consisting of the main island (Mataking Besar) and a small islet (Mataking Kecil).
Located in Sabah, East Malaysia, it is home to the country’s first ‘Underwater Post Office’, one of only a handful in the world.
Such is the beauty of the area that several popular television shows have been filmed here, including Expedition Robinson, a Swedish survival show also filmed in Pulau Pom Pom, and Donnavventura, an Italian travel reality show.
Accommodation & day tours
The exclusive Reef Dive Resort (check pricing on Expedia) is the only place to stay in Mataking.
The resort is also the only one in Sabah that employs a full-time Marine Biology and Eco Conservation team, who manages their turtle hatchery and tagging program.
Things to do
Underwater post office
In March 2006, a 40-foot wooden cargo ship was sunk to create an artificial reef and serve as a unique underwater mailbox.
Visitors may post their mail underwater by placing it in a waterproof vacuum bag. All letters and postcards are marked with a special rubber stamp to commemorate this one-of-a-kind postal service.
During turtle nesting/hatching season, visitors get to witness turtles laying eggs on the beach and baby turtles being released into the ocean from the island’s hatchery.
The island has its very own peacock sanctuary, a popular attraction among visitors.
Snorkeling & scuba diving
The island itself shares the same, 100-meter deep Alice Channel as its famous neighbour Sipadan, offering just as much underwater marvel and splendour.
Dive sites to be explored here include the Eel Garden, Coral Garden, Nudibranch Garden, Turtle Playground, Lobsters Lair and Hump Head Point.
The waters here are inhabited by exclusive species of corals including staghorn and brain corals. Rainbow runners, leaf fish, sweetlips, gobies and the occasional whale shark on their migration route roam the waters here.
Diving trips to Sipadan (RM1400 per boat of 7 people) and other islands, including those in Tun Sakaran Marine Park, are organized daily.
The island is one of several in the area that offers ocean kayaking as an activity.
Mataking Besar and Kecil are connected by a scenic, sandy beach that runs towards the north of the island.
During your time here, taking a 20-minute leisurely stroll on the beach between the two islands is a must-do.