We arrived in Semporna with four nights left in Borneo, we were unsure where we wanted to stay and if we wanted to be on the mainland or on an island. We chose the mainland due to having more choice when it came with who we wanted to dive with. In hindsight we would have chosen to stay on an island as the smell of Semporna isn’t great, the choice of restaurants is poor and most places on the islands you have all-inclusive of food, water, tea and coffee. We stayed at ‘Island Backpackers’ the staff here were really friendly, helpful and the hostel was really clean and comfy. We got breakfast included for 36RM for a dorm bed or 109RM for a double room. We decided to dive with ‘Scuba Junkie’ due to their great reviews and we had a dive-master all to ourselves!
Top places to eat in Semporna
- Fat Mother Semporna – Great seafood.
- Amazing Island Cafe – Great for a smoothie or juice after a dive.
- Restoran Bismillah – Good Indian with lovely rotis.
- Mabul Cafe – Good seafood, and great value for money.
- Night Market – Very small but good, cheap street food.
Top 5 things to do in Semporna
- Diving – the only reason you head to Semporna right?! We dived with ‘Scuba Junkie’, they were really professional and good fun to dive with!
- Skull Hill – Be prepared for loads of steps but the view at the top is breathtaking!
- Boat Trip to the islands or an evening river cruise – Organise through your accommodation or along the harbour.
- Parasailing – This one wasn’t for us but I’m sure if you are just take a walk along the harbour and you’ll be offered to go.
- Masjid Pekan Mosque – The colour of this mosque against the bright blue sky is amazing.
Our tips for Semporna
- Stay on an island – It might work out more expensive but you won’t have to worry about food, if you want to go diving just check they have a dive master at the resort.
- Be alert – Semporna was the only place we felt our stuff wasn’t safe, around the pier there are lots of sea gypsy children, they were cute and we felt sorry for them but you could tell they wanted money or your things.