There are plenty of islands around Semporna, and many people regard it as diving heaven. There are also activities for non-divers, such as island hopping, hiking, and water sports.
Diving and Snorkelling
Most travellers come to Semporna to scuba dive and snorkel, and with hundreds of dive sites in the area, it is the perfect holiday destination for divers and snorkelers. The most popular place is Sipadan Island, where there is a limited number of permits allocated daily for visitors. Securing a permit can be quite tricky as it is distributed based on a rotation system, so you might have to stay a few days in one of the island resorts or lodges to get one.
If you are unable to secure a permit, there are plenty of other famous islands you can visit, such as Mabul Island and Kapalai Island, as well as those that make up the Tun Sakaran Marine Park off the coast of Semporna — Bodgaya, Bohey Dulang, Tetagan, Selakan, Sebangkat, Maiga, Sibuan and Mantabuan.
There are many tour operators you can go to for island hopping in Semporna. Divers and snorkelers use their service to go from one dive site to another, but if you do not plan to dive or snorkel, you can also go from island to island to relax on their white sandy beaches.
There are several hiking trails around Semporna, both on the islands and the mainland. One of the most popular hiking trails is on Bohey Dulang Island, an extinct volcanic crater, where you will be able to see a fantastic view of the surrounding sea and islands.
On the mainland, you can go to Tanjung Parapat instead. Just like Bohey Dulang, you will be treated with a gorgeous view at the summit.
For non-divers, you can also do other water sports, such as parasailing, banana boat rides, and jet skiing in Timbun Mata Island.