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Darvel Bay, Malaysia, in the Coral Triangle

4.6N 118.4E

May 29th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Darvel Bay, Malaysia - May 12th, 2009

Darvel Bay, Malaysia - May 12th, 2009

Darvel Bay or Lahad Datu Bay is a bight (large bay) on the east side of Sabah on the island of Borneo, Malaysia. It is the largest semi-enclosed bay on the east coast of Borneo and faces the Sulawesi Sea.  The bay, and indeed the entire area visible here, is part of the Coral Triangle.

The largest island on the south side of the bay is Timbun Mata Island, at over 26 kilometers long and almost 10 kilometers wide, with an area of 114.97 km². The south side of the island is only separated from the mainland by a shallow channel known as the Trusan Sigalong.

Timbun Mata Island is mountainous. Its highest point is Mt. Tannabalu, at 620 m, a conical, extinct volcano in the island’s center.

Before the year 2000, Timbun Mata was densely wooded with teak forests. However, inroads by illegal logging and land clearing has greatly reduced them.

A number of other islands can be seen off the coast. Those on the far right, Sitangkai and Sibutu, are part of the Philippines. Sitangkai is called the ‘Venice of the Philippines’ due to the use of boats as primary transportation, although footbridges connect one house from another. The major sources of livelihood are fishing and farming, although there is very sparse agricultural land available.

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