The city of Semporna is the first place you reach if you want to have a special holiday on the islands of Malaysia. However, after getting there, you may want to stay and enjoy the wonderful natural settings, as well as local customs and everything that it has to offer.

The name of the city means perfect in the local dialect, and the people have probably chosen the name for good reasons. Apart from its location in one of the most picturesque landscapes in the world, the town hosts incredible customs and events that make it a cultural attraction.

Semporna History

Semporna Dragon InnThe Chinese founded the city, but the locals are mostly Bajaus, native people from the region. Of course, the British had much influence here, being the ones who brought civilization and tourism to the town. The natives still live in simple villages on the shore, but their contribution to the touristic potential of the area is immense.

How to get to Semporna

Semporna DivingReaching the city is not very difficult, since you have to fly to Tawau from Kuala Lumpur or from Kota Kinabalu and then embark on a coach ride directly to Semporna. Even if you dont want to spend your vacation in this city, knowing how to get here is quite important, since this is the spot where all the speedboats leave for all the islands. You could get accommodation in town, but spend some of your vacation days on islands such as Sipadan or Kapalai. You will be astounded to see the amazing marine life in the Celebes Sea.

Semporna Diving

Semporna WaterfrontIf you want to go scuba diving, the town does not offer you many possibilities, but you can easily reach one of the best diving sites in the world. This is what makes Semporna so special, the fact that you can enjoy an urban environment and take advantage of the wonders of nature by taking a short trip to one of the islands. If you choose Semporna diving, you will surely have a great experience by checking out a different island every day.

Accommodation and resorts

Semporna HotelsUnlike the islands, the great advantage of the city is that there is a great variety of hotels and resorts to choose from, so you do not have to settle for the first thing you see. You can even stay with the locals and see for yourself how they prepare for traditional events, how they prepare food and what their daily activities are. The Bajaus are very friendly and welcoming, so you should not be afraid of having your possessions stolen.

If you still get some free time, you can wander around town and buy some souvenirs for your loved ones at home. The city has much to offer, from lovely shops to traditional restaurants and places to entertain you, like outdoor theatres. It will not take you more than a few hours to notice how much fun Semporna is and how you can make your holiday there an unforgettable cultural adventure.

If you wish to stay in Semporna:

Sipadan Facts

  • Currency: Malaysian Ringgit approx 4MYR to 1USD
  • Language: Bahasa Malaysia and Chinese, although you would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't speak English.
  • Food Prices: In Semporna a seafood platter for 4 people can cost under 100RM(approx 23USD). Resort prices may vary
  • Alcohol Prices: 3 bottles of beer can cost under 30RM(approx 7USD) and a bottle of wine starts from 60RM(approx 14USD) in Semporna. Resort prices may vary
  • Sipadan Island:Got its name from the word Siparan which refers to a person who has been found restless on the island's beach.

Latest Comments

  • Susan

    Hi Would you have any rooms available 18-22 Feb, including a Sipidan dive, and if so what are the costs etc? [...]

    Posted: Nov 11, 2016
  • Michael

    Hi I'd love to take OW course with my wife from Feb 22th to 28th. Would u plz [...]

    Posted: Nov 05, 2016