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“Amazing but also very touristy”
Review of Turtle Island Park

Turtle Island Park
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2-Day Small-Group Tour: Sandakan City and Wildlife Experience from Sabah
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3-Day Tour from Sabah: Sandakan Sightseeing and Wildlife Experience in Sepilok...
Reviewed July 28, 2013

Accomodation and food at turtle island is simple, but clean and ok. The number of tourists permitted on the island per day is limited, but the experience is, none the less, somewhat touristy. That said, seeing the hatcheries, the baby turtles hatch and return to the sea, the mother turtle lay its eggs and hearing about the work done at Seligan Island was an experience.

Not much to do during the day when waiting for the turtles, but the beach and the sea are beautiful.

Thank Mazzr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 27, 2013

This place is fantastic. The island itself is an absolute dream - even without the turtles it's a great spot, perfect sandy beaches, really amazing snorkeling, crystal clear water - perfect. The food was fairly good, the accom is basic but so what - you shouldn't be in there, you should be lying on the beach. We were lucky enough to be walking along the beach during the day and saw a whole bunch of baby turtles tumbling their way down to the ocean - pretty unforgettable stuff. Watching the mother turtles lay their eggs at night was equally amazing. If you come to Sabah, make sure you do this trip.

2  Thank Joel M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2013

We went to Turtle Island as part of a 5 day/4night tour with SI Tours (who are highly recommended- absolutely fantastic). We are not fans of tours, (nor basic!) but wanted to experience seeing turtles laying.
Arrived at the island in time for lunch, and then were left to our own devices until just before dinner when we were given a talk and shown a short video. Snorkelling was good, beaches beautifully clean and unspoilt. Extra towels beach mats and snorkelling gear are available for rent, at very reasonable prices.
After dinner we sat around chatting until the call came, and like a bunch of excited school children we followed our guide to the beach. We were fortunate enough to witness a greenback lay her eggs- a very moving experience. It turned out that she had chosen the same nesting place as an earlier mum, and out popped dozens of baby turtles- a rare occurrence apparently. This added to the excitement, for all ages.
The whole island is very carefully monitored, as are its guests. This is not a tourist resort, but a conservation area. There is an expected level of behaviour, especially on the beach at night (no videoing, no flash photography to distract the turtles, etc., and the guides are quick to enforce the rules, and rightly so.
The rooms were clean but very basic- don't expect bathroom supplies or matching towels- but you do not come here for luxury. The food was ample, and the staff helpful. There is a small gift shop/ drinks area, but like everywhere we visited on this trip, we were never under pressure to spend money.
This is a once in a lifetime experience, and if you get to watch a mother struggling to produce her large batch of eggs, and then help to release hatchlings back into the sea, who cares what the rooms or food are like? You are there for less than 24 hours- relax and enjoy!

2  Thank Barbara0957
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2013 via mobile

This trip was fantastic. We are backpackers so it was a big chunk of our budget. We do not regret it for one second. We were very lucky and got a cancellation the day before by going to the crystal quest office on the jetty.
To get to the jetty you need to take a local bus along Buli sim sim road and get of just before the mosque. We payd 570rm for two people (no guide) for dbl room, boat and meals. On the island we payd a further 60x2 + 10 for each camera. When we returned we waited by the road and a local bus picked us up for 0.5 rm each.
On the island we were met by a lovely lady called Pia, as we did not have a guide she took really good care of us and we are forever grateful to her for everything she did for us. Thank you Pia you are the best!!!

When you get to the island you have free time until the evening. You have dinner and then you wait for the turtles. We had 'turtle time' at 21:00. You get to see the turtle lay eggs, ranger bury the eggs and then for the finale you get to release baby turtles. All in all a fantastic experience.
Rooms are large and comfortable with AC and hot shower.
Thank you to everyone at turtle island and especially Pia ;-) Randi and Kevin

1  Thank RKrtw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2013

went wit kids (5,6,11). We saw the green back turtle lying eggs. right at the same time a nest 1 meter away came to life with 50 or more baby turtles coming to th surface of the beach. There was a mad scramble with the ranges asking all of us to collect the babies and put them in the bucket. later that night he kids got to let them go out to the ocean. The kids became mini turtle park ranges for the night. Unforgettable experience for the family.

Thank Chris H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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