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.
There is nothing in Semporna, except coming here for scuba diving or snorkelling. There is a fish markt and a mosque.
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
This is probably the only restaurant which stands out in the quiet town of Semporna!
Located just beside Sipadan Inn II, this newly opened restaurant is located in the relatively new development area along the sea, hence giving it a superb paranomic seaview. The street which it is located is lined with restaurants, mainly malay cuisine and it is the only chinese restaurant here that offers a wide varieties of live seafood such as lobsters, crabs, fishes and shellfishes!
Ambience is very casual and simple with an al fresco style dining. Suitable for couples on honeymoon or family with kids and it is one of the most spacious and lively restaurant located in semporna.
I am surprised with the quality of food being served here. The food quality and standard is definitely one of the best in Semporna! The manager has been equally friendly and helpful in translating some malay words for me.
The pricing in this restaurant is fairly reasonable considering that it is the only restaurant that serve live seafood right to your table.
Will definitely visit this restaurant again on my next trip back to Semporna!
Favorite Dish: My favourite dish is the wet butter lobster. Simply tender & delicious with the butter sauce to die for!
I arrived Tawau airport at about 8pm and I took a fixed rate taxi from airport to Semporna fro RM95 (Oct 08). See more pic for taxi receipt. There are taci to Tawau city and other places. The journey to Semporna is about 1-1.5 hours, depending how fast the driver drives. My trip was less than 1 hour.
There are daily bus from Semporna to Sandakan and to KK. 1 bus to Sandakan departing 7:30am for RM40 (Oct 08) and the journey time is about 4-5 hours. Bus to KK departing 7:30 am and &:30pm for RM 75 (Oct 08) and journey time is about 9 hours.
There are two bus companies going for KK at same price. See 2nd pic for the executive coach. company Dyana.
Miscellaneous: Should bring some form of entertainment when you are in Semporna. There is nothing to do here but dive. But if you are not diving, there is absolutely nothing to do. So make sure you bring an MP3 player, game boy or even PSP or etc...