My name is Javier Oliva. I’m a landscape and travel photographer originally from El Salvador. Welcome to my travel guide on Bohey Dulang Island.
When I was 15 years old my Mom gifted me a point and shoot camera for Christmas. I was immediately hooked. Growing up in El Salvador meant my lens was primarily fixated on beaches and volcanoes. A few years later, I migrated to Buenos Aires in Argentina to major in psychology at university.
A few months after arriving, I embarked on a trekking trip through Patagonia. That was the moment when I knew that I wanted to make travel photography my full time job. I wanted to set off on a lifelong journey to capture the magical corners of earth like Bohey Dulang Island.
Inspiration to Visit Bohey Dulang Island
I discovered Bohey Dulang Island when a sun bleached photo caught my eye on a tour stand near the Batu Caves. I asked the guy on the stand about this island and all he could tell me was that it was an island off the coast of Borneo. It turns out there are zillions of islands near Borneo.
Luckily, a few days later, I came across the same photo at a tour stand but this time it had the name: Bohey Dulang Island. After some planning I traveled to Semporna in Borneo and from there took a boat to the island.
I arrived at a long pier immersed in crystal-clear waters, corals and a lush green mountain towering over the landscape. The only signs of civilization were a couple of tin shacks on the shore. I had arrived in paradise.
Incredible Day Trip to Bohey Dulang Island
Bohey Dulang Island is part of a marine park so there are no hotels, homestays or any type of accommodation on the island itself. If you want to travel here you need to stay in Semporna, a small fishing port village.
The only inhabitants near the island are a nomadic tribe of sea gypsies who live on the water in small wooden shacks. I had the pleasure of visiting Bohey Dulang Island for a full day. Wanting to get a panoramic view, I hiked around 30-45 minutes to the very top of the island.
The views were some of the most epic I’ve ever seen. From the top you can see how the island sits beside an extinct volcanic crater that has now formed a lagoon with a million different shades of blue. After the hike, I visited a clam hatchery and learnt the ins and outs of seaweed farming.
In the afternoon I took to the sea and spent many hours snorkeling in the colorful reefs. I saw hundreds of species of colorful fish, sea anemones and two massive sea turtles. It was the most epic day and I will cherish it forever.
Favorite Places and Experiences on the Island
My favorite place on the island was definitely the top with the lookout. The views were breathtaking. The coral gardens were amazing too – so full of life and color. I think these experiences are the two must-do’s on the island.
Even if you’re not into hiking or snorkeling, the sheer beauty of the place is enough to make you fall in love with visiting. My day trip to Bohey Dulang Island was also educational in that I learnt about giant clams, sea gypsies and seaweed farming. It was an amazing day of adventure and learning.
Where to Stay when Visiting Bohey Dulang Island
As mentioned before, there are no places to stay on the island itself. I stayed in the fishing town of Semporna and I recommend coming here to do the Bohey Dulang Island day trip. However, there are other islands where you can find accommodation such as Sipadan or Mabul islands.
Sipadan island looks like a cool place to stay. Honestly, I wish I did more research about the nearby islands and their accommodation. Semporna was good for the daily boat tours plus they have a sea market.
What you Need to Know Before you Go
Bohey Dulang Island is pretty remote so getting there is an adventure in itself. First you have to get to Borneo, then travel to Semporna and finally take a boat to the island. I would recommend bringing the following items:
- Good shoes for hiking to the top of the island
- Snacks to keep your energy levels up during the day
- Mosquito repellent to keep the mosquitos away
- Cash so you can purchase what you need on the island
- GoPro camera or waterproof camera for photos and video
This is a must-see destination if you’re into diving, snorkeling and discovering untouched nature. Thanks for reading my guide on Bohey Dulang Island! Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.