Tetagan Island

Tetagan Island

The Sea Gypsies of Tetagan.


At about 30.25 hectares in size (0.30km²), Pulau Tetagan is the second smallest island in Tun Sakaran Marine Park, after Mantabuan.

Tetagan Island is connected to Bodgaya by a shallow channel, and is considerably lower, with a maximum elevation of about 80m.

There used to be a flourishing village of around 200-250 Bajau living here, whose economy was mainly based around fishing and farming. However, most have left the island, taking advantage of government resettlement schemes.

The island’s slopes rise fairly steeply and the shoreline is rocky in many places.

A narrow beach runs along the northwest of the island, which extends into a sand spit towards the northern tip of the island.

Accommodation & day tours

► Tun Sakaran Marine Park day trip – Book today >>

There are no major hotels or resorts on Pulau Tetagan, or any of the other islands in Tun Sakaran Marine Park.

Nearby hotels and resorts with day tours to Tun Sakaran Marine Park

Things to do

Snorkeling & scuba diving
See above for snorkeling and diving day tours to Tun Sakaran Marine Park.

Sea Gypsies village
Most visitors to Pulau Tetagan come to see the Sea Gypsies living in and around the nearby Pulau Bodgaya and Pulau Bohey Dulang.

Getting here

Tetagan Island is located ±35 minutes by boat from Semporna, ±20 minutes from Pom Pom, ±30 minutes from Mataking and ±1.5 hours from Mabul.

More info

There are 3 possible derivations for the name of the island. One meaning of ‘tetagan’ in Bajau is interconnecting. This could relate to the fact that the island is lying adjacent and connected to Bodgaya.

Another meaning for the word in the Bajau language is ‘hospitable site’, which may refer to its suitability as a site for settlement.

However, according to legend, the word Tetagan comes from the word ‘Tetag’, meaning ‘to slash’. This is based on a story of a fierce man who lived on the island and would slash any visitors.