On the southeast coast of Sabah around Semporna there are a multitude of islands. Most of these islands have beautiful white sand beaches with crystal clear, turquoise sea waters. Most islands offer good to very good diving, and Sipadan is a world-class diving site. A few of these islands are inhabited by the Bajau, sea gipsies from the Sulu sea. Only a few of these islands offer accomodation: Mabul (the access point to Sipadan), Mataking, Pom Pom and a few others. Accomodation is usually of the high-end resort type, with only Mabul offering budget-level accomodation. To access these islands tourists either book packages through tour operators or take daytrips offered by diving operators in Semporna, which is the access gateway to these islands.

Mataking photo gallery  - 37 pictures of Mataking
Mabul photo gallery  - 31 pictures of Mabul
Sibuan photo gallery  - 51 pictures of Sibuan
37 photos of Mataking, a long and narrow tropical island with white coral sand beaches lying to the south of Sabah
31 photos of the island of Mabul in the south Celebes sea, an ideal basis for scuba diving
51 photos of Sibuan, a beautiful island in the Celebes sea south of Sabah (Malaysia)
Bodgaya photo gallery  - 7 pictures of Bodgaya
Bohey Dulang photo gallery  - 13 pictures of Bohey Dulang
Pom Pom photo gallery  - 29 pictures of Pom Pom
7 photos of the island of Bodgaya, one of the larger islands of the Tun Sakaran Marine Park
13 photos of Bohey Dulang, an island of volcanic origin in the Sulu sea off Semporna
29 photos of Pom Pom, a small island with white coral sand beaches in the Celebes sea, not far from Semporna
Maiga photo gallery  - 20 pictures of Maiga
20 photos of Maiga, a small sandy island populated by Bajau people in the Tun Sakaran Marine Park
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Map of islands around Semporna
Related travelogues
  • Malaysia 2012 (islands off Semporna, KL): In 2012 I spent a bit over a week in Malaysia, travelling to Sabah and spending a few days in KL before flying back to Munich via Dubai. Arriving from Jakarta I travelled via Kota Kinabalu to Semporna to explore a bit the area. This has been my third trip to Semporna, after a first one in 2000 and a second trip in 2008. Since my last visit in 2008 the touristic infrastructure in Semporna has further developed with the addition of a number of hotels and restaurants. Accomodation on the islands off Semporna remains limited to very expensive resorts on a few islands with the exception of the budget huts of Uncle Chang on Mabul. This makes these islands (and there are plenty of islands off Semporna) still not suitable for backpackers or people unwilling to pay high prices for accomodation. In other words these islands ... read more
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