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The Tropical Research and Conservation Centre on Pom Pom Island off Semporna is a great place to learn about the underwater world at the same time as you help save part of the Planet. TRACC is run by marine conservationists for volunteers and visitors to learn and participate in marine conservation. They work on coral reefs to stop blast fishing, and they replant corals to give homes for the fish. They also protect turtles ( there are many nesting turtles on the island) and sharks. If you have a week or more and you want a dive vacation with a difference this is a great place. We had a fantastic time and will definitely come back again. Some of our group want to do the 6 day marine science courses that TRACC offers.
We booked through TRACC and stayed at the Celebes Beach resort and it was very reasonable, about mid range for Mabul accommodation but without the water pollution and the village. Pom Pom is a beautiful island and that was the memory we wanted to take home.
Written Mar 20, 2012
Address: Pom Pom Island, Semporna, Sabah, Malaysia
We arrived in Semporna having booked into the City Inn Hotel (50 MR per night with air con and private bathroom, 8 minute walk from main diving outlets). We shopped around for diving in Sipidan and found that anything in the Lonely Planet was booked for days. We therefore went to a Malay diving company called Blue Sea Divers to see if they had anything. Surprisingly they did. We were a little worried about why this was but went with them anyway. They provided a very high quality of service, great equipment (no full foot flippers - if you want those they don't have any). We got unlimited water, fresh fruits, towels, great lunch etc all included in the price. The price was perhaps 20 MR more than Scuba junkies who we went out with the next day. In comparison Scuba Junkie was horrible. They were the bulk standard back packers budget diving company run by westerners for westerners who wished to cream as much money and give as little back as possible. If you think you can stretch the 20MR do, you will not regret it one bit. Also, we went back 2 days later and they gave us a discount. Wondferful, fun people who have a maximum of 7 to the boat (we saw 12 on another) who will give you the best experience of Sipidan.
Written Apr 3, 2007
Address: Blue Sea Divers is located next to Scuba Junkies
There is practically nothing much to do in Semporna. But you should go to the islands close by like Sipadan (famous for the wall diving) which is about 45 mins on a boat. You should definitely scuba dive or snorkel in the islands. It's worth every penny. You will not miss a thing. Make sure if you want to dive in Sipadan especially, you should book early. It's a very hard place to get into. The dive shops have to book a permit in advance before anyone can dive around the island.
However, there are other islands and they are just worth going as much. Depends on what you like to see. In sipadan you see lots of huge turtles, sharks. In other islands such as Mabul, Kapalai, Sibuan... you will see lots more of the macrolife in the sea. But turtles are everywhere. So you are bound to see them in most of the islands.
Written Jan 16, 2007
There is nothing in Semporna, except coming here for scuba diving or snorkelling. There is a fish markt and a mosque.
Written Nov 17, 2008
Some of the best diving available only a 1 hour boat ride to some of the best diving sites, such as Sipadan, Mabul and Sibaun Islands. There are pently of beaches to sit back and relax
Written Dec 23, 2007