Happiness is a stage of a moment, not a final goal of life. Find happiness at each moment complete our life piece by piece. On that note, heaven is a place on earth, frankly in all of us. Like Mariah Carey would say, ‘a hero lies in you‘ and a place called heaven is too, I believe.

When I hit Pulau Mamutic, this song was repetitively playing in my head, seriously! No, not ‘Hero’ that would be terrible, ‘Heaven is a place on earth-‘ by Bangles (I like Bangles version). The song is not about beach but I secretly agreed her in my head every time she said ‘Ooo- heaven is a place on earth’.

Get to the island is pretty convenient. It’s one of the top things to do in Kota Kinabalu (or KK, like everyone calls it). Package deal is easy to find and even negotiable. In fact, everything is negotiable in South East Asia and you should make a deal. We picked a company who does RM 30 for a snorkel equipment, a life jacket and a boat ride for two islands, Pulau Mamutik and Pulau Manukan. Sapi is also another popular destination. You can just buy a ticket for a boat ride, if you don’t feel like snorkelling. Entrance fee and using fee is extra.




Another island and a resort on the way. Trekking path would be wonderful there, walking through all the trees.


This is an entrance of Pulau Mamutik. Yes, the water was GREEN and see-through. These fish will be right in front of you when you dive in with a snorkel mask. But remember – Don’t.feed.the.fish. Water was perfect. Warm, clear, and green. Two island were very different though. I saw a lot of fish in Pulau Manukan. Actually, they were using a walkway as their path! I was wondering where all the fish go while I was under water. And when I approached to a wooden walkway where I walked on to enter the island, and there they were! Lining up, one by one, rushing to somewhere important. I just wanted to give them a teeny tiny briefcase in their fin or something. It was really cute.

However it got more diverse in Pulau Mamutik. Coral watching was a highlight. All different kinds of corals were shining just under the water where I could clearly see. Say hi to Nemo and Dory, and even to Gill (Moorish Idol look-alike). Watching document live, I felt. At some point, I encountered with a cliff. I was too much fascinated by all the beauty underwater and there it was, a total darkness, and there was a line of sunshine came from the surface. Just like a scene from the underwater document film I am watching. And I’m pretty sure that’s the limit of the safety line. The darkness scared the bejesus out of me but it was worth to experience.


Ooo- Heaven is a place on earth.
Ooo- Heaven is a place on earth.


I don’t know this guy, but he made a great scene for me. I didn’t even notice he was sitting there. But anyway, thanks red-shirted dude!

It was a peaceful beach. Both Pulau Manukan and Pulau Mamutik were great but I liked Pulau Mamutik better. It was more relaxing and less hectic of people, somehow. No music required, no fancy food needed, no pressure to look good – well, it’s inevitable because you know, I’m a girl, but it was way less than any other situations, really. I was happy lying on my beautiful orange Malaysian sarong, reading, feeling squirming sand under my back, enjoying the sunshine comes and goes on my leg.


Whoever this guy is..




Ooo- Heaven is a place on earth.


Spending few hours on two islands was a great way to spend a day. In fact, what could be better? Reading on a beach, eating apple, taking photos of a gorgeous beach, taking a nap a little, and snorkelling. And I got appropriate amount of tan, which makes me happy. But I got a ridiculous looking tan line on my forehead because I was wearing a headband in the morning. My laziness created a memorable tan line, bravo.

Time really flew that day with all the relaxing. Though, I wish I camped there for a couple of days. Me and ocean, simple life, simply enjoying each other. Some day. I have a strong feeling that I will go back to Borneo. I will camp then!


Check out Runaway Juno Flickr album to see more photos from Kota Kinabalu.


15 thoughts on “Ooo- Heaven is a Place on Earth”

  1. This looks beautiful! I’ve always wanted to go to Borneo. Parts of the Philippines look similar (Palaway, Coron) and also have fantastic snorkelling!

  2. Juno, beautiful beach and colors! Looks like a great place to visit! I’ve done a little bit of snorkeling in Hawaii and the water and fish look similar!

    As for “Heaven is a place on earth” – it was Belinda Carlisle (from the Go-Gos) and not the Bangles who sang that song. 🙂

    1. oh, but mine says ‘Bangles’. No? I should find the right one. Anyway, still the story applies!
      Hawaii is one of my dream destination, for ocean, for night sky.

  3. The TAR Islands National Park was incredible for me too (I visited Manukan and Sapi) … KK’s food is also worth the trip, tonnes of amazing restaurants and food courts in and around Jalan Gaya!

    1. Yes, I enjoyed Jalan Gaya as well! Walking along water front was amazing. I miss that place so much. KK’s night market was great too.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top