Semporna: A Paradise on Earth for Nature Lovers and Adventure Seekers
If you are looking for a tropical getaway that offers stunning scenery, rich marine life, and diverse culture, look no further than Semporna, a district and a town in Sabah, Malaysia. Semporna is surrounded by many islands that are perfect diving paradise especially Sipadan Island that known as one of the top dive destination in the world
, snorkeling, hiking, and exploring the marine park at Tun Sakaran Marine Park. Semporna is a destination that will make you fall in love with nature, culture, and food. It is a place that will leave you with unforgettable memories and experiences.
Getting to Semporna
The easiest way to get to Semporna is by flying to Tawau Airport (TWU), you can catch a flight from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) or Kota Kinabalu International Airport (BKI) to Tawau. Left your worries behind as the airport pick up can be arrange direct to Semporna Jetty which is about one hour thirty-minute drive away to the town.
Flight journey: 3 hours
Flight journey: 1 hour
Self-drive to Semporna
Self-drive from main capital city in Sabah, Kota Kinabalu
will takes about 9-10 hours
driving journey to Semporna
and get yourself to Semporna Jetty
, the main jetty
access to most of famous islands over here and the gateway to your island adventure started.
Get A Sleep with Semporna
Semporna offers a diverse range of experiences, from luxurious resorts to budget-friendly accommodations, depending on your budget and preference. If you want to stay close to the jetty and the town center, you can opt for budget-friendly inns or hotels that offer basic amenities and convenience.
Semporna Adventure Begin
Semporna is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers. There are so many things to do in Semporna that you will never get bored. Here are some of the highlights:
- Dive or snorkel at Sipadan Island, one of the best diving sites in the world. Sipadan Island is famous for its diverse and abundant marine life, including turtles, sharks, barracudas, bump head parrotfish, jack fish storm and thousands of colorful fish. Others "always see" and famous marine life’s are sea turtles and whitetip reef shark. You can also see the unique drop-off wall that plunges 600 meters into the deep blue sea. Don't forget to secure your diving permits in advance due to conservation efforts.
Sipadan Rehabilitation Month refers to a conservation effort aimed at preserving and rehabilitating the marine ecosystem around Sipadan Island, which is a globally renowned diving destination.
Sipadan Island is welcome all year round EXCEPT November since year 2020 for rehabilitation the marine ecosystem.
- Hike up to Bohey Dulang Island, one of the islands in Tun Sakaran Marine Park. Bohey Dulang Island offers a spectacular view of the lagoon and the surrounding islands from its peak 600 meters above sea level. The hike takes about an hour and is suitable for beginners. You can also snorkel or dive at Mantabuan Island and Sibuan Island, which are part of the marine park.
- Post a mail at the underwater post office in Mataking Island. Mataking Island is another island resort that offers excellent diving and snorkeling opportunities. One of its attractions is the underwater post office, where you can send a postcard to your loved ones or yourself as a souvenir. The postcards are waterproof and stamped with a special rubber stamp.
- Explore the culture and history of the Bajau Laut people, also known as the ‘sea gypsies’. The Bajau Laut people are an indigenous group that live in stilt houses or boats on the sea. They have a close relationship with the ocean and depend on fishing and seaweed farming for their livelihood. You can visit their villages on Mabul Island or Kapalai Island and learn more about their lifestyle and traditions.
- Visit the Bukit Tengkorak Archaeological Site, one of the oldest historical sites in Sabah. Bukit Tengkorak is a hill that contains ancient burial sites and artifacts from the Iron Age. You can see pottery shards, stone tools, beads, and human remains that date back to more than 2,000 years ago. You can also enjoy the panoramic view of the sea and the mountains from the hilltop.
The door opens all year round for you to reach Semporna, no matter what season, Semporna is always ready for you. The best time to visit largely depends on your preferences, either Dry Season (March to October) or Raining Season (November to February).
Tun Sakaran Marine Park Conservation Fee
Tun Sakaran Marine Park consist of 8 islands and 2 reefs, also known as Semporna Islands Park. The islands are Bohey Dulang Island
, Sibuan Island
, Mantabuan Island
, Bodgaya Island
, Bum Bum Island
, Sebangkat Island, Selakan Island & Tetagan Island. The 2 reefs are Kapikan Reef & Church Reef, the "must visit"
dive site for divers. Its is the largest protected concentration of coral reefs in Malaysia covering 350 square kilometres of sea and coral reefs and 10 square kilometres of land.
Tun Sakaran Marine Park Conservation Fee
Child (age 11 and below): MYR5.00
Child (age 11 and below): MYR25.00
Jetty to be paid either upon arrival or collect before the trip at Semporna Jetty
Malaysian MYR 2.00
Non-Malaysian MYR 10.00
Enjoy The Flavors of Semporna
Semporna is not only a paradise for nature lovers but also for foodies. You can find a variety of cuisines in Semporna, from local delicacies to international dishes. Some of the must-tries are:
- Seafood: Semporna is famous for its fresh and delicious seafood that comes from its rich marine resources. You can find seafood restaurants along the waterfront or on the islands that serve grilled, fried, or steamed fish, prawns, crabs, squids, and more. Some of the popular seafood dishes are ikan bakar (grilled fish), udang masak lemak (prawns cooked in coconut milk), and ketam goreng kunyit (fried crabs with turmeric).
- Bajau Laut cuisine: Bajau Laut cuisine is influenced by the sea gypsies’ culture and environment. Some of the dishes are pangi-pangi (seaweed salad), hinava (raw fish marinated in lime juice and herbs), and ampalaya (bitter gourd soup).
- Chinese Hakka cuisine: Chinese Hakka cuisine is another option for those who want to try something different. Some of the dishes are yong tau foo (tofu stuffed with fish paste), char kuey teow (stir-fried rice noodles), and kolo mee (dry noodles with minced meat and spring onions).
- Fast food (global chain) & Convenience Store are reachable in the town.
Let’s Go Semporna!
Semporna is a destination that will make you fall in love with nature, culture, and food. Don’t miss this opportunity to explore one of the most beautiful places in Malaysia. SEMPORNA awaits you!