Blogs from Semporna, Sabah, Malaysia, Asia

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Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Semporna August 10th 2013

After becoming a qualified scuba diver I flew off to Semporna to increase my diving experience. Scuba junkie has a dive lodge in Semporna that is half price for divers, so that was a very convenient place to stay, right opposite the office, so I couldn't get any closer if I tried! Day 1 I had a trip booked out to Mantabuan, one of the more northern islands in the area. The visibility was amazing compared to KK, at 15-20m. This is more like I imagined diving to be when I initially booked my course! Towards the end of my first dive my dive master pointed out a turtle! To which I reacted with a very girly squeal of excitement before regaining my composure! On all the dives I saw so many varieties of fish, including ... read more
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Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Semporna July 11th 2013

We've been in Sabah in Borneo for a few weeks and I'd describe it as very outdoorsy! We started in a place called Kota Kinabalu and we went there to climb Mount Kinabalu, the tallest in SE Asia. It was recommended to us by Beth's sister and I honestly didn't really give it too much thought, just thought it would be alright as tourists do it everyday. Turns out it was the hardest thing I've ever done!! The first day you climb 6km up the mountain and it was really steep, not really a proper path, mostly climbing from rock to rock. After about 4km, I started to get altitude sickness and got a massive headache, felt quite dizzy and found it harder to breathe. When we were about half a km away from our hostel ... read more
View on the climb down Mount Kinabalu
Climbing down Mount Kinabalu, Borneo
Female orang-utan, Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre, Borneo

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Semporna May 5th 2013

Als wir in Semporna ankommen wird uns sehr schnell klar, dass es hier ausser Tauchen, nicht viel zu sehen gibt...wir haben das Pech und kommen ausgerechnet in der Zeit eines „Wasserzigeunerfestes“! Die Strassen sind vollgestopft mit Leuten, die eigentlich auf dem Wasser vor der Küste Sempornas leben. Das Fest wurde früher dazu genutzt, den jungen Männern eine passende Frau zu finden...es ist jedenfalls die Hölle los und man kommt kaum vorwärts noch rückwärts...der Müll stapelt sich in jeder Ecke und im allgeinen stinkt es einfach überall...kein Wunder, wenn man bei der Hitze einfach alles in ne Ecke pfeffert...aber wie auch immer! Wir sind ja nicht hier wegen Semporna, sondern wegen den kleinen Inseln vor Küste. An den ersten beiden Tagen werden wir jeweils auf die kleine Insel Mabul gefahren und starten von dort aus unsere Tauchgänge. ... read more
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Fischis

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Semporna March 22nd 2013

First stop Sipadan After our arrival in Tawau we were picked up by Seaventures for a one hour transfer to Semporna. We noticed the many thousands and thousands of palm oil trees along the road. From Semporna we were sailed to the converted oilrig of Seaventures just opposite Mabul Island. It was a great ride in a speedboat powered by two 200 horsepower engines. This is really something compared to the slow boats we experienced in the Philippines. It was very special to live on the rig that is transported to Borneo all the way from Panama and now functions as a dive resort. To our joy we met Bob from California who we befriended on our Socorro dive trip last year. We had a great time in Socorro and again on Borneo. The diving around ... read more
Seaventures rig
Whitetip reef shark
Barracudas

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Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Semporna July 15th 2012

We had planned to spend more time in the water and dive at the infamous Sipadan dive site but unfortunately it was fully booked. Instead we got the chance to do 3 days of diving around Semporna, including the islands of Mabul, Kapalai, Mataking and Mantabuan. All the dives were incredible with beautiful corals and so many fish, lots of different species to those we saw last week. Again we saw too many to write down but our favourite was seeing a blue banded octopus and a huge cuttlefish (if you haven't seen this fish check out the pictures! It is the weirdest fish ever!) Rachel is made up we saw so many turtles we saw 9 on one dive! Many of them being enormous (at least 2m diameter). Our evenings in Semporna were quiet mainly ... read more
ROOOAR! Lionfish :)
Frogfish . . .

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Semporna January 29th 2012

Here are our thoughts--voyagers’ thought Here not the land, firm land, alone appears, may then by them be said, They sky o’erarches here--we feel the undulating deck beneath our feet We feel the long pulsation--ebb and flow of endless motion; The tones of unseen mystery--the vague and vast suggestions of the briny world--the liquid-flowing syllables, The perfume, the faint creaking of the cordage, the melancholy rhythm, The boundless vista, and the horizon far and dim, are all here, And this is Ocean’s poem. In Cabin’d Ships at Sea, Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman After getting my advanced open water certification in Taiwan in 2011, I always put Sipadan, Sabah, Malaysia on my traveling shortlist. On February 24, 2012, I finally was one of 120 permitted divers of Sipadan on this day. And ... read more

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Semporna July 5th 2011

Leaving Uncle Tans i took the bus to Lahan Datu and onto Semporna, first impressions - o my GOD - this place is much worse than everyone said, its a complete and utter dump! But when you get into the main street where the dive shops are and hostels its just a dump and not as bad. Checking in to Scuba Junkie backpackers they had lost my booking but by the time i headed over to fill out the paperwork for my dive it was all organised i and checked into my room. There are loads of local cheap cafe's and a very good western cafe attached to the hostel, for the first night i headed to the cheap cafes. And after been at Uncle Tans for three days where there are no showers had an ... read more
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Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Semporna March 31st 2011

Leaving Korea was difficult. A year may seem small in a lifetime, but it's huge when living abroad, because the people you form relationships with become your family away from family. Everyone is living far from home, in a foreign land, having similar experiences and emotions; we come to rely on one another more than we realize, that is until one leaves. I started to realize before leaving that it would be tough, which played into my decision to head straight to Borneo to start my Divemaster course. I'd pondered taking a couple of weeks off to travel first, but thought I might be having a tough time leaving Korea, so being alone somewhere in Malaysia could potentially be more lonely than relaxing. I figured, if I head straight to Borneo for a month-long stay to ... read more

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Semporna November 2nd 2010

Well the adventure is over, in some ways its sad but in others I am ready to go home. I am looking forward to some of the small comforts of home but I know I will miss the freedom and anonimity of the road. My last 8 days have been spent on Mabul Island in the Semporna Archipelago, Borneo. After saying a final farewell to the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City I flew to Tawau, Borneo via Kuala Lumpur, where a local man chatted to me whilst waiting for our baggage and then insisted on having a photo with me, questionable??? I spent that first night in the Skuba Junkie hostel on the mainland, I have to say the port town of Semporna does little to prepare you for what awaits you on ... read more
Local dogs hangin out under my lounger
Local kids make the most of island life
Snorkelling on the house reef




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