Gaya Island is straight out of the travel brochures: white sand beaches, turquoise water and miles of virtually undisturbed tropical rainforest.

It’s part of Kota Kinabalu’s Marine Park, a cluster of amazing islands, just 20 minutes from the city.

Spend the day lounging on the beach or playing in the unbelievably-warm water. And when you’ve had enough sun, venture into the rainforest and do the 1.5 hour trek to Police Beach.

Look out for monkeys high up in the trees and, if you’re lucky, the huge lizards that appear out of nowhere and scarper up the mountainside.

Want to venture across to nearby Sapi Island? This can be reached via the longest island-to-island zipline.

How to get to Gaya Island

Purchase boat tickets from Jesselton Point in Kota Kinabalu City. A return ticket to Gaya Island costs 23 ringgit. If you want to do more than one island, you can buy a combination ticket:

1 island: 23 ringgit; 2 islands: 33 ringgit; 3 islands: 43 ringgit, 4 islands: 53 ringgit; 5 islands: 63 ringgit.