We’ve made it to Semporna. There’s not much to Semporna, but we’ll be basing here to dive Pulau Sipidan- reputed to be one of the top dive destinations in the world.
To get here we caught a flight from Kuching to Kota Kinabalu, in the state of Sabah, and then another short flight into Tawau. From the airport in Tawau we took a bus downtown, and then caught a taxi, which took us across town to the bus terminal. A 9 person mini-bus, stuffed with 13 people, brought us the rest of the way to Semporna.
Semporna is a bit grungy and tougher feeling than Kutching; multiple times we’ve been asked for money from children with bad deformities. It’s always hard to say no in such situations, but if you give money to one, you end up having to give money to all of them.
Our accomodations started at the Dragon Inn, a “floating hotel” in the harbor. The hotel is really just a bunch of interconected docks, like a longhouse. It feels very exotic since you can actually see the water beneath the floor boards of your room, and when you shower (and use the toilet) the water goes straight to the ocean through the cracks. Its not the best for the envioroment but if you can’t beat them join ‘em. We stayed at the Dragon Inn for two nights, but today we move to the Scuba Junkie hotel. We’ll be diving with Scuba Junkie, as such, we get a 50% discount on rooms (RM30 per night). This will help make up for the expense incurred from diving. The hotel is also closer to the food stalls and the market, a big plus.
We do our first dive tomorrow, though not at Sipidan. Diving at Sipidan is controlled by permits, and we don’t get a permit to dive until this Saturday. As such, we’re heading to one of the other islands to get our diving started.
We should have another post up in the next day or so documenting our time between Bako National Park and now. We had an amazing week which we’re eager to tell you about.
We would also love to hear any question you might have about our trip so ask away!