Getting to know Mataking Island
Mataking Island actually consists of two islands separated by a long sand bank during high tide. The Mataking Kechil or “Small Mataking” and the Mataking Besar or “Big Mataking”.
The only resort in the island is The Reef Dive Resort located at Mataking Besar. Mataking Island has a grandiose white sandy beach with waving coconut trees, dancing plants to the beat of the cool breeze of the wind and the sound of the water as it moves along the shore. Both islands are surrounded by a vast variety of coral reefs from knee deep to about 80 meters. The Reef Dive Resort is an exclusive and a pampering place covered with the majestic pleasures and natural warmth perfect for holidays, vacations, adventure, honeymoons and the like. The resort is designed in traditional architecture offering elegant, simple, and peaceful environment.
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There are more than thirty (30) dive sites around Mataking Island along with its surrounding islands of Timba-Timba, Pandanan, Bohayan, Baturua, Mantabuan, and Kalapuan. Divers can experience a combination of wall and slope diving (with complete gears) wherein different species can be found underwater. Various underwater creatures living in these areas include trevallies, giant clams, Spanish mackerel, schools of Barracuda, ribbon eels, gobies, eagle rays, mandarin fishes, giant frogfishes, different species of shrimps plus the rare pygmy seahorses and the famous in the island the ‘Orang Utan’ crab which are occasionally found on reefs.
Malaysia boasts an all year-round sunshine exposure from approximately 21°C to 32°C with the humidity of 85-95%. In Mataking Island and the surrounding islands’ temperature varies around 28°C to 34°C during daytime and drops to up to 22°C during night time. Mataking Island’s sea water temperature ranges from 25°C to 29°C. Rainy season is usually expected between the months of November and February with recorded annual rainfalls around 2,000mm to 2,500mm. Being two islands, it has a cool sea breeze that makes the high humidity level of 85% to 95% pretty pleasant.
For tourists and guests from different countries, the main gateway to Malaysia is through Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). From KLIA tourists and guests can hop on to airlines service routes (specifically Air Asia) which flies to Tawau twice a day. The main international entry point to Sabah, Malaysia is through Kota Kinabalu (KK) which is its capital. From KK, Tawau is accessible by road and by air. Travelling by land takes about 8 hours. For a faster alternative, the flight from KK to Tawau takes only 45 minutes. The common route to Mataking Island is a direct flight from KLIA to Tawau Airport where tourists and guests are picked up by a mini air conditioned van going to Semporna (a fishing town) that takes about an hour and half drive. From Semporna, a fiber glass speed boat will take the guests to The Reef Dive Resort on Mataking Island. The journey, wherein the guests can have a nice view of the beautiful environment and scenic place of the island, takes about 40 minutes.
The major language spoken by the people of Malaysia is Malay (Bahasa Malaysia) among the four official languages Singapore. The other three languages spoken in Malaysia are English, Tamil, and Chinese (Mandarin). In Mataking Island, the staffs speak Malay, English and Mandarin for convenience among tourists and guests since most of them comes from other countries.
Q: How do I get there?
A: The best way to get to Mataking Island is through Kuala Lumpur International Airport then a trip going to Tawau. In Tawau tourists and guests are fetched by a minivan going to Semporna wherein a boat ride will take you to The Reef Dive Resort.[spoiler effect=”blind” show=”Read More” hide=”Hide”]
Q: How do I get reservations?
A: You can contact the resort for your reservations and so they can arrange the ride from Tawau to the resort.
Q: What are the things needed for us to experience diving?
A: There should be a permit and complete proper gear. For non-divers there are diving lessons in the resort.