Mataking Island Review

Mataking Island Sabah

Over the years, I have been to many islands around Malaysia, but Mataking Island in Sabah is one of the best islands that I have visited and here is my review. While you may think most of the islands around Malaysia are like Penang, Langkawi or Perhentian, you will be in for a huge surprise as little did many know that there are in fact a few islands around Malaysia that are equivalent to those that you see at the Maldives. 

Yes, Mataking Island is one of those islands that have similarities to the Maldives, in terms of quality service, powdery white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, world-class spa and a magical undersea paradise for divers or snorkelers. And the best part, you are not paying in US dollars but in Ringgit Malaysia. The trouble with us Asians is that we always want to go far to places like Bali or the Maldives for our beach holidays, without even knowing what we have in our own country, therefore this article is to let everyone know that we do have some pretty amazing places in Malaysia. 

Beach at Mataking island
Outdoor view from the bar 
Overall, I spent a good three days there doing a resort inspection and also a dive inspection. Before I go on, where is Mataking Island? I was so excited writing this, I almost forgot to mention exactly where this stunning and beautiful island is located. Mataking is located about one hour boat ride from the east coast town of Semporna in Sabah. If you know where Sipadan Island and Mabul Island is, then it is near there. 

The island is so private that there is only one resort there, The Reef Dive Resort, a 5-Star luxury resort which caters to scuba divers and also general island lovers. Only 40 acres in size, there is nothing else but pristine beauty and one resort, in other words, just perfect for that romantic holiday you have been planning all this while. Not only that, the resort also caters to island weddings where you can book out the entire island just for your wedding. 

Mataking Resort Beach Villa Room
The beach villa unit bedroom
Offering beach villas, beach chalets, king chalets and garden view deluxe rooms. Depending on the nature of your visit here, you can choose from the most luxurious to the most simple. The is also a spa here which is of international standards called the Jamu Spa and I highly recommend you try this when you visit Mataking. 

Facilities include a full serviced restaurant, a bar with indoor and outdoor areas, a pool table, a turtle hatchery and a number of non-motorised water sports. Snorkeling and scuba diving are the main attractions here. For lovers or couples, you will find that time becomes a standstill here as you absorb in the tranquillity of the beauty here. On a side note, if you are that person who constantly needs the internet or loves checking your Facebook and Instagram, it is best not to come here. Just go to Langkawi or Penang.

Mataking Reef Resort Staff
Staff welcoming guests to Mataking Reef Resort 
Photo of Mataking Island
The crystal clear waters of Mataking Island
As for food, the restaurant here serves food throughout the day so all meals are provided in your Mataking package. Breakfast comes in continental and also Asian while for lunch, there is a buffet or if you prefer, ala-carte. Dinner is pretty nice with a selection of seafood, western and local dishes. For those who constantly need a food supply, there is room service available while I recommend yo bring your own snacks too. 

Romantic table setting can be requested by the veranda of the restaurant complete with candlelight. If you are here for your honeymoon or wedding, the resort will take care of everything so that it is perfect for the couple. Other special arrangements can also be made - proposals, surprises and so on, but you need to double check with the resort too.

Diving at Mataking Island
A shipwreck during my dive at Mataking 
Underwater Post Office Mataking Island
The famous Mataking 'Underwater Post Office'
The island is catered for anyone who wants to escape commercialised tourism where you can just go back to basic and just chill out without having to worry about life, work or the traffic jams. When I was here, I personally indulged with my 'me time' and shut off my smart phone and laptop. I took time to walk and explore the island, did a bit of scuba diving and most importantly, try our the spa which was one of the best I have tried in years.

As for scuba divers, this is one of the must-dive locations in Malaysia as one of the dive sites here features the worlds only underwater post box where you can actually post a postcard or letter to anyone around the world. I wrote a postcard to some friends and actually went to try this out. Quite intriguing and fascinating if you ask me. 

Check out the Mataking Island Video I made with all the photographs that I took when I was here. I found that it looked nicer in the video compared to putting all the photos here. The video is below;

Mataking Island Video

In total, there are about 37 luxurious villas and chalets here where most of them are just steps to the white sand beach here. Another bonus is that when the tide goes down, you can walk on the white sand bank to the smaller Mataking island which is a few hundred meters away. This is one of the most popular spots for photography too. In the main complex, there is a souvenir and gift shop where they sell t-shirts and some snacks, but that is all. So if you need all your personal stuff or snacks and so on, you best get it in Semporna town before taking the boat here. 

Finally, in my style of reviewing, I do not like to go into too much detail as it would spoil the fun so I suggest the next time you want that Maldive holiday, look no further as you can do it here at Mataking Island for less than half the price you are going to pay over there. Oh yeah, there is WiFi at the lobby area too. 

Mataking Kecil Island
Mataking Kecil seen from the main island
You can also check out my other article on islands to visit in Malaysia for 2015. as I personally visited all those islands in the last two years. Malaysia offers all kinds of tourism where a number of exciting outdoor, romantic and adventurous tourism can be found in Sabah and Sarawak Borneo. After the Visit Malaysia Year 2014 campaign ends, the following year will be the Malaysia Year of Festivals 2015 or MyFest 2015 and it will be a great time to visit Malaysia for anyone who has never been here before. 

If you are interested in Malaysia or planning to visit here, you can follow me on social media platforms where I have my Malaysia Asia Facebook, Twitter and Instagram where I constantly update travel and tourism about Malaysia. Hope you liked this article on the Mataking Island review and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask me in the comment below. 

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