Pulau Selingan Travel Guide

  • Green Turtle Nesting
    Green Turtle Nesting
    by DSwede
  • Green Turtle Tracks from the nest
    Green Turtle Tracks from the nest
    by DSwede
  • Lizards patrolling the hatchery perimeter
    Lizards patrolling the hatchery...
    by DSwede

Pulau Selingan Things to Do

  • Two Multipurpose Hatcheries

    There are two hatcheries on the island. These hatcheries are small plots of sand, with new transplanted nests being dug every night.These hatcheries serve multiple purposes.First, since the incubation period of the eggs is about two months, it is quite possible that other nesting turtles could disrupt or destroy other nests after they eggs have...

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  • Mating Turtles

    The next day, on my way back to Sandakan, our boat turned around just after we left the island. The tourguide had seen a turtle in the open water. As we turned around we could clearly see not only one, but two turtles moving heavily at the surface. They were mating. The guide told us that this was a very special spectacle to see, but of course it...

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  • The releasing of the babies

    After the baby turtles have dug their way out of the nest at the Hatchery, they are collected by the Rangers and are taken to the beach to be released. Before they let them go, the tourists are allowed to hold them for a while. It is amazing to feel the power that these little creatures already have. Hard to imagine how that will be when they are...

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  • The burying of the eggs

    After the eggs are taken by the Ranger and all counted, they are taken to the Hatchery. Here the Ranger buries all the eggs that are found on the island, in a fenced, protected area. Every "nest" is indicated by a net and a piece of wood that tells the date of nesting and the number of eggs that is found. Because every day new eggs are found and...

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  • The nesting

    The Turtle Islands Park has a strict policy that only one nesting a night can be observed by the tourists on the island. At this way they can make sure that most of the nestings happen completely undisturbed. Once the Park Ranger has seen a first turtle landing on the island, they will call the tourists to have a look. You will see the turtle (they...

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  • Information Centre

    After your dinner in the restaurant you will have to wait a while before the turtles show up. This can even take a few hours. That time you can use perfectly to get to know just a bit more about the creatures you are about to see in the Pulau Selingan Information Centre.At the first floor of the mainbuilding they have made an interesting exhibition...

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  • At the beach

    You will always arrive at Pulau Selingan at daytime. Way before the turtles will show up. There is nothing like a village where you can hang around, so hanging around on the beach is the only pleasant way to spend your time.The beaches are just like you would expect them on a tropical island: light sand, blue sea and all surrounded by palmtrees....

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  • The trip continues....

    So off we are to our next destination.... The trip continues.....The previous leg of my journey was a visit to Libaran Island, some lazy time at the beach, a excursion to the mangrove forest and finally an interesting walk through the islands village. And from the Turtle Islands park and Selingan Island I am heading to the Sepilok Orang Utan Cente...

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  • Excursions to Turtle Islands Park

    I went to Selingan Island as part of a round tour in Sabah. I booked the trip in Sweden through my travel agent, but the trip in Sabah was organized by Wildlife Expeditions. We travelled with a 'group' of only three people together with our great guide Redzuan (or more easily called by the nickname of 'One'). I guess we had a fantastic stroke of...

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Pulau Selingan Restaurants

  • Pieter11's Profile Photo
    Fried fish

    by Pieter11 Written May 8, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    With every stay at Pulau Selingan, the dinner and breakfast is included. Both of the meals are served in the mainbuilding, that is not only restaurant, but also reception, museum and cafe.

    The meals that are served are simple and of course always include fish and rice. You can buy your drinks at what is the reception at daytime. During breakfast the coffee and tea is free.

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Backpacking
    • Eco-Tourism

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Pulau Selingan Nightlife

  • The waiting game

    There is no nightlife on the island after dinner. Noise and lights may deter the turtles, so all guests must wait near the dining hall for the guides to signal when its acceptable to see a nesting.Other than watching the sunset, prime night activities include having a drink by the dining and reception hall, reading a book or playing cards. Cards...

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  • Nightlife forbidden

    You won't find any nightlife on Pulau Selingan, simply because it is forbidden. All tourists that stay on the island are not allowed to walk over the island individually from 6 PM until 6 AM. This is because otherwise they might disturb the turtles nesting. You can go to the mainbuilding to have a drink, but don't expect a happening place here...

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Pulau Selingan Transportation

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    To Selingan by boat 4 more images

    by Pieter11 Updated May 8, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Pulau Selingan is situated at about 40 kilometres from Sandakan, in the Sulu Sea. To get there, the only possibility is to go by boat. One important tip: DON'T GO THERE IF YOU GET SEASICK EASILY!

    The boattrip takes about one hour, what means that the average speed is about 40 km/h. On open sea in a small boat, that means it is a rough trip. The small boat is smashed into the waves over and over again, what sometimes makes you think the boat will break in two.

    But if you can handle that, and don't get sick, it is a fantastic trip. On the way to the island you can see countless little fishermens boats and several beautiful other tropical islands.

    Related to:
    • Sailing and Boating
    • Backpacking
    • National/State Park

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Pulau Selingan Shopping

  • DSwede's Profile Photo

    by DSwede Written May 22, 2010

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    There is a small gift store on the island, but it is poorly stocked and prices are inflated. It is best if you bring everything that you need from the mainland. For example, a small tube of suncream is nearly 2x that from Sandakan.

    There are a few snacks (crackers, cookies, etc.) also, but these are also 2x more expensive. If you are a person who likes to snack between meals, you should bring your own.

    There are also some stuffed animals, like the green turtles (in three different sizes). These same exact stuffed animals are available at the airport for ~10MYR less.

    Batteries are not available on the island, so best again to bring your own. There are some cheap flashlights that have batteries included if you are in desperate need.

    What to pay: about double that you would in Sandakan town

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Pulau Selingan Warnings and Dangers

  • A Rough Ride

    The boat ride to Turtle Island was very rough indeed. Our boat almost turned back as the weather was so bad and the sea so rough. We weren't ill as we had the foresight to take travel sickness pills before we left but others on the boat were very sick.Once you get to the Island, on the lovely beach, then see the turtles laying eggs at night, it is...

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  • Get plenty of sleep before you go!

    If you go to visit the Turtle breeding and conservation project you will generally have avery long night with not much sleep.The turtles lay their eggs at night and the tourists wait in the restaurant area after dinner while the guides watch out for turtles coming ashore. If you go to bed, there is a chance you will miss seeing the turtles so most...

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  • Watch out for snakes

    If you stay on Pulau Selingan you will probably be warned for its dangers when you arrive there. If not, it's nice to know that you shouldn't go to the very north of the island. In this area, without paths and buildings, snakes live that can be dangerous. So don't take the risk and stay away from there! Of course you can go on the beaches at the...

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Pulau Selingan What to Pack

  • Suntan oil, mosquito oil

    An island.... sea.... lots of sunshine! No need to say that you should bring some good suntan oil with you to protect your skin. A nasty surprise on the beach can be the sand flies! Eeks! They actually chased me off the beach as they were biting so much. So some mosquito oil is very much recommended over here!

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  • Torch

    Although the uses of torchlight is limited while on the beach with the turtles, it is a good thing to have with you!There is no light on the island, so it is very handy to have when trying to find your way back to your room in the evening. You are also allowed to use it while following the ranger on the way to the turtle, but you have to turn it...

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  • Under water camera

    Turtle Island means swimming and snorkelling. So an underwater camera might be a fun idea to have with you! I had fun using it and being able to make some pictures I otherwise never could have taken.

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Pulau Selingan Off The Beaten Path

  • Pieter11's Profile Photo
    Lizard 4 more images

    by Pieter11 Written May 9, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you make a walk around the island at daytime you might be lucky to see a great lizard like I did during my stay. As I walked along the southern beach of Pulau Selingan I met this beautiful lizard that obviously wasn't disturbed by my appearance, but instead calmly climbed the dead tree that lied on the beach. This one was about 60 centimetres long, but there are others that are even longer then that!

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Photography
    • Backpacking

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Pulau Selingan Sports & Outdoors

  • Pieter11's Profile Photo

    by Pieter11 Written May 9, 2006

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    If the weather is good, and there is not too much wind, Pulau Selingan is a good place to go snorkeling. Not far from its coastline at the northwest of the island you can find corals and fish. You can take your own gear with you, but it's also possible to rent it on the beach.

    During my stay there was a lot of wind and the water was too muddy, so snorkeling was useless.

    Related to:
    • Diving and Snorkeling
    • Backpacking
    • Eco-Tourism

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Pulau Selingan Favorites

  • Hawksbill Turtle

    The Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) is the second species that land on Pulau Selingan, though not as often as the Green Turtle.The Hawksbill turtle or Penyu Karah is called after its hawk-shaped mouth. It is an endangered species because its shell is very popular for souvenir and jewelry trading. It is much smaller then the Green Turtle's...

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  • Green Turtle

    The turtle species that appear most often on Pulau Selingan is the so called Green turtle (Chelonia mydas).This Green turtle or Penyu agar gets its name because of its greenish body that feels soft. The Green turtle is also known as Soup Turtle, because it is often used in dishes that are very popular. The Green turtle is born being a carnivour. It...

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