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.
To go to Sipadan, regardless whether it's snorkelling or diving, a permit is needed. In practice, the only way to go there is with a package offered by one of the dive operators in Semporna and this won't be cheap. Places are limited and this drives up prices. Otherwise, dive shops usually arrange day trips to the islands and these cost RM 140 for snorkellers in 2012 (vs. RM 100 at the end of 2008, i.e. prices increased substantially in the past years). Such a daytrip used to include the meal and the snorkelling equipment.
01 Beach with coral rocks 02 Beach with coral rocks 03 Beach on Mataking Kecil
04 Sea, clouds and sky 05 Mataking Kecil island 06 Mataking Kecil island 07 Sandbar
08 Sandbar 09 Sea, clouds and sky 10 Tropical sea and clouds
11 Panoramic view towards the west 12 Beautiful white coral sand beach 13 Crystal clear seawater
14 Sandbar 15 Sandbar 16 Sandbar and sky
17 Sea, clouds and sky 18 Sandbar and sky 19 Sandbar at low tide
20 Tree on Mataking beach 21 Beach 22 Beach with coral rocks 23 Beach at southern end of Mataking at low tide
24 Beach at southern end of Mataking at low tide 25 Mataking Kecil beach at low tide
01 Mataking island and resort 02 Jetty
03 Mataking resort 04 Jetty and boat 05 Boat
06 Resort administration building 07 Resort bungalows 08 Beach with coconut trees
09 Coral rocks at low tide 10 Beach vegetation 11 Starfish
12 Starfish 01 Sabah coast 02 Island 03 Houses on stilts in fisherman village
04 Houses on stilts in fisherman village 05 House on stilts 06 Colourful boat 07 Houses on stilts in fisherman village
08 Palm trees and sky 09 House on stilts and beach 10 Beach and resort
11 Sipadan water village resort 12 Sipadan water village resort 13 Sipadan water village resort and beach 14 Sipadan water village resort and beach
15 Sipadan water village resort 16 Beach and Sipadan water village resort 17 Sipadan water village resort
18 Beach of Sipadan Mabul resort 19 Beach of Sipadan Mabul resort 20 Shallow seawater along northeast coast with corals
21 Panoramic view of Mabul 22 Shallow seawater along northeast coast with corals 23 Shallow seawater along northeast coast with corals
24 Sea Ventures hotel in former oil rig 25 Young girl running on beach 26 Flying sea eagle with white head 27 Sea eagle with white head
28 Sea eagles with white head 29 Sea eagles with white head 30 Moray eel 31 Mabul island
01 Side view of island 02 Beach and coconut trees 03 Beach and coconut trees
04 Beach and coconut trees 05 Beach and coconut trees 06 Beach and boat
07 Southern tip of island 08 Beach, boat, sea and sky 09 Beach, boat, sea and sky
10 Beach, boat, sea and sky 11 Western beach
12 Sand bar at southern end 13 Sea and coast of Sabah
14 Sea and coast of Sabah 15 Western beach 16 Sand bar at southern end
17 Sand bar at southern end 18 Sand bar at southern end
19 Sand bar at southern end 20 Side view of island
21 Sea and sky 22 Side view of island 23 Beach with coconut trees
24 Beach and coconut trees 25 Beach and coconut trees 26 Beach and coconut trees 27 Beach 28 Western beach
29 Western beach and northern tip of island 30 Southern tip of island 01 Houses on stilts 02 Houses on stilts
03 Houses on stilts 04 Houses on stilts and boats 05 Island village and coconut trees 06 Boat with fishing sea gipsies
07 Boat with fishing sea gipsies 08 Boat with fishing sea gipsies 09 Boat and island 10 Young girl on beach
01 Diving boats anchored along beach 02 Diving groups with instructors 03 Diving class with instructor 04 Divers in the sea
05 Divers in the sea 06 Diver preparing for back jump into sea 06 Divers in the sea 07 Divers in the sea
08 Divers in the sea 09 Diving instructor in wetsuit 11 Having a break on the boat 01 Bodgaya island
02 Bodgaya island 03 Panoramic view of Bodgaya island 04 Bodgaya island 05 Bodgaya island
06 Tetagan island 07 Bodgaya island 01 Bohey Dulang island 02 Plankway to Bohey Dulang island
03 Panoramic view with Bodgaya island 04 Coral reef 05 Jetty and administration buildings
06 Panoramic view from the island top 07 Beach and coral reef 08 Beach
09 Bohey Dulang island 10 Bay with crystal clear seawater
11 Bohey Dulang island 12 Bohey Dulang island 13 Coconut palms growing along coast
01 Pom Pom island
02 Pom Pom island 03 Speedboat on beach and tree trunk 04 Resort bungalows
05 Wooden pier 06 White coral sand beach
07 Panoramic view of beach 08 White coral sand beach 09 Crystal clear seawater
10 Tropical beach and tree trunk 11 Panoramic view of beach 12 Panoramic view of beach
13 White coral sand beach 14 Tree in the sea 15 Sea, sky and clouds 16 White coral sand beach
17 Pandanus tectorius beach vegetation 18 Pandanus tectorius fruit 19 Beautiful beach
20 Panoramic view of beach 21 Coral rocks at low tide 22 Coral rocks at low tide
23 Pandanus tectorius beach vegetation 24 Coral rocks at low tide 25 Dead tree on beach 26 Shallow sea waters
27 Panoramic view of beach 28 Coral rocks at low tide 29 Diving centre 01 Beach and huts
02 Maiga island 03 Stilt house settlement
04 Beach and huts 05 Beach and huts 06 Coconut palm 07 Palm leaves hut on beach
08 Palm leaves hut on beach 09 Chuldren running on the beach 10 Stilt houses in the shallow water
11 Stilt houses in the shallow water 12 Stilt houses and boat 13 Coconut palms in the centre of Maiga
14 Rubbish on the beach 15 Rubbish on the beach 16 Beach with coconut palm trees 17 Kate and the kids
18 Bajau sea gipsy boy 19 Bajau sea gipsy boy 20 Island kids 21 Kate and the kids
22 Kate and the kids 23 Kate and the kids
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