Semporna is famous due to the fantastic diving sites in the surrounding island, such as sipadan, kapalai, pom pom, mabul and mataking Island. 

Tourists have to pass through the Jetty in Semporna Town to go to these islands.

This article explains the 5 simple steps to plan a trip to Semporna Island.

Step 1 – Determine Travelling Date

Semponra is a magical place where the weather is fabulous all year long.

There’s no wet season or dry season, you can travel to semporna islands any date you want.

Since many tourists in semporna islands are from China, the peak season of semporna islands is Chinese school holiday and public holiday.

Also, each year November to February is a hot season in Semporna too.

because it’s winter in some other countries, guests love to have a warm sunshine holiday in Semporna for a change.

Some popular resorts are selling fast, always remember to check the room availability first.

semporna mabul water bungalow wooden villas

Step 2 – Confirm the Duration

How many days should you stay in semporna islands?

Ideally, staying in Semporna for 5 to 7 days for a vacation is the best.

The transportation, waiting time between flights, cars and boats takes about half a day to 1 day.

Diving and snorkeling the surrounding semporna islands takes about 4 to 5 days.

You can take a diving package, diving course or snorkeling packages.

There are 3 popular routes for island hopping day tours. <link semporna town and jetty>

A lot of guests get their diving courses OWC in Semporna, since the diving sites here are worldwide popular and breathtaking.

semporna island resort woman sitting beach

Step 3 – Choose Accommodation 

There are plenty of amazing islands in Smeporna, such as mabul, Sipadan, Pom Pom, Mataking and Kapalai island.

Each island has a few resorts built on it.

For budget backpackers, you could consider accommodations in semporna town. 

The view of the hotel in semporna town is not as extraordinary as the water villa in semporna islands, but you could save a lot of money on accommodation.

If you choose accommodation in Semporna town, you can always take a diving package or snorkeling island hopping tour to semporna islands. There are plenty of dive shops in Semporna town.

semporna mataking woman sitting giant floating












Besides, semporna town is the place where you can enjoy the cheap and fresh seafood all the time.

As for travelers who are looking for a mid-range priced hotel or water chalet bungalow, you are welcomed to check out the relaxing water villa in the semporna islands, mabul, Sipadan, Pom Pom, Mataking or Kapalai.

For some popular resorts in Semporna islands, the rooms are selling very fast, and you’d better make a reservation earlier.

Be prepared to be amazed by the unforgettable view of the sea in semporna island. Those fantastic water chalets won’t let you down.

semporna kapalai resort women sitting kayak

Step 4 – Determine the Transportation

The transport to semporna could be a little fuss of transportation, but after figuring out the whole trail, you will nail it easily.

First, you could take a flight to tawau airport, then arrange pick up service from the airport to semporna town. This pick up service could be arranged in advance by the hotel you are staying at, or you can get a taxi or grab on the spot to reach the semporna town. 

Secondly, if you are staying in semporna town, you can go straight to check in your hotel. If you are staying at resorts in semporna islands, such as Sipadan, Pom Pom, Mataking or Kapalai.

The resort will arrange the boat transfer for you from the semporna town into the island. 

semporna mabul water village woman walking

Normally the airport pickup and boat transfer will be included in the package together with accommodation. Remember to double confirm  it with your staying resort in advance.

The journey takes some time, but it is hassle free and everything will be arranged by your resort except the air ticket.

Remember to confirm the preferable flight time with the resort before you book your flight to Tawau airport.

Step 5 – Others

Semporna is within the territory of Malaysia, so Malaysians do not need a passport to go to Sabah.

If you are not a Malaysian passport holder, you need to have a Malaysia visa to enter semporna islands. You’d better prepare some Ringgit Malaysia (MYR) in your pack in advance.

Last but not least, don’t forget to pack the items below for your semporna vacation: sun bock, sunglasses, swim suit, sneakers, medicine and camera.

semporna mabul water bungalow restaurant night


Semporna island is fantastic for diving and watching marine life. 

You can travel to Semporna throughout the year.

The weather in semporna islands is stable and fabulous the whole year.

Hope you have a wonderful vacation with your friends and family in Semporna.


 Have you planned any island trips before?

Comment and share with us your valuable experience!