Best Semporna Attractions With Itinerary (2023 Guide)

Semporna is a town on the island of Borneo, in the Malaysian state of Sabah.

It offers beautiful beaches, viewpoints and It’s the gateway to Tun Sakaran Marine Park, a group of 8 islands with dive sites on the Kapikan and Church reefs.

Semporna Islands Tour Package

Sibuan Island, Semporna
Sibuan Island

I did a quite bit of research to get an affordable package and most importantly reliable! Below are the packages offered by the Tour agent that I’ve dealt with.

His name is Athor and can be contacted via +60 16-835 3943

All of his packages Includes:

  1. Permit & Jetty Fee
  2. Boat Transfer with a life vest
  3. Services of Tour Guide
  4. Packed Lunch & Drinking Water
  5. Full set Snorkeling Gear
  6. Glass Boat @ Kayak
  7. Towel

Package A (Day 1)

  • Bohey Dulang Island
  • Tatangan Island
  • Mantabuan Island
  • Sibuan Island

Price: RM 100/Pax (Malaysian) | RM150/Pax (Foreigner)

Note: The hike to Bohey Dulang’s viewpoint is about 700M uphill and you will need to wear a proper trail shoe (recommended) as it can be really slippery. You can also rent rubber shoes at RM5 if you have no other option.

If it’s raining the day before, you’ll not be allowed to hike up for safety reasons. During my Borneo Ride in 2018, I didn’t have the luck to hike up as it was closed but hey, I was lucky enough to hike up in 2020!

Bohey Dulang Island, Semporna
Bohey Dulang View Point

Package B (Day 2)

  • Mataking Island
  • Timba Timba Island
  • Pom Pom Island

Price: RM 100/Pax (Malaysian) | RM150/Pax (Foreigner)

Package C (Day 3)

  • Mabul Island
  • Kapalai Island
  • Gusungan Island

Price: RM 100/Pax (Malaysian) | RM150/Pax (Foreigner)

Starfish at Sibuan Island
Star Fish @ Sibuan Island

Things To Do In Semporna Town (Day 4)

Bukit Tengkorak (Skull Hill)

Bukit Tengkorak or skull Hill, Semporna
Bukit Tengkorak (Skull Hill)

This hill is suitable for a nature lover, outdoor enthusiast, fitness enthusiasts and photographers. There are like four viewing platforms to take breathers and enjoy the view

This place not suitable for seniors because climbing up to the top of Bukit Tengkorak can be quite challenging.

Tanjung Parapat Hill

Bukit Parapat semporna
Tanjung Parapat View Point

This is one of the hidden gems of Semporna! Located about 20KM from the town, I would highly recommend that you hike this hill and enjoy the breath taking view it has to offer.

There are two View Points which the first can be reached within 20 minutes and the other an additional 15 minutes.

The trail up to the top is easy and well maintained.

  • Location: Google Map
  • Entrance Fee: RM 3 (Pay at the counter next to the Surau (mosque)

2Win Hill Park

If you’re into photography, this would be another place to get some good pictures. Once you reach here, you will be taken up to the viewpoint using a 4-wheel drive vehicle. Accommodation is also available here.

Location: Google Map

YouTube video

Semporna Night Market

I didn’t get the chance to go to the market whilst on my trip as it was closed due to the Covid-19 Movement Control Order but like any other night market in South East Asia, it offers great local foods that you can enjoy.

Location: Google Map

How Do You Get To Semporna?

From the Tawau International Airport, you can either charter a car for RM80 or hop into a Van (sharing) which will cost you about RM25/pax. You can also make this arrangement with the tour agent.

Semporna town is about 80KM from Tawau Aiport and the journey will take about 1 Hour 30 Minutes (+/-)

When Is The Best Time To Visit Semporna?

Semporna is a year-round destination but if I need to pick, I would choose anytime between March to August to avoid rainy season.

Where To Stay In Semporna?

Semporna is a relatively small town and most of the places like restaurants, mosques, bars, jetty etc can be accessed within walking distance. Therefore, you can choose any hotels, hostel in the town itself. I stayed in the Cube Bed Station Hostel.

If you like the luxury accommodation on the water, just lookup for them on booking dot com or Agoda websites. Alternatively, you can contact the tour agent so he/she can arrange it for you.

How Many Days Do You Need In Semporna?

I would suggest that you spend atleast 5 days 4 Nights in Semporna and don’t rush to see things. If you appreciate nature, take your sweet time to enjoy what Semporna has to offer!

If you’re on a limited time, you must at least visit the islands in package A and for Snorkelling, Package B is highly recommended.

How Do You Get Around Semporna?

You can easily get around Semporna by taxi, Grab or hire a personal driver. (Get in touch with your hotel’s receptionist to hire a personal driver)

If you’re on a budget or prefer to ride/drive on your own, I would suggest that you rent a car from Athor, the tour agent which I’ve dealt with. For navigation, you can use Google Maps or Waze.

Where & What To Eat?

seafood at Fat mom's restaurant

Seafood is a must try in Semporna as they are cheap, fresh and delicious! My personal recommendations would be the two restaurants below:

Semporna Bars

Palm Bar & Bistro Semporna
Palm Bar & Bistro

Indoor type bars are closed due to the Covid-19 Pandemic and they are only few (outdoor) bars open.

Below are the bars that I would recommend.

Palm Bar & Bistro (Nice atmosphere, delicious food and affordable draught beers)

Skyline Bar (4th Floor of Seafest Hotel Boutique Wing)

Video Highlights

Bohey Dulang

YouTube video

Bukit Tengkorak

YouTube video

Sibuan Island

YouTube video

Tanjung Parapat

YouTube video


I’m sure you’ll enjoy all the attractions in Semporna including the delicious seafood and the spectacular view points.

The only thing that I felt sad about is the numbers of stateless people here in Semporna. Most of them don’t have access to Job, educations, food and I’ve seen they are eating leftovers by the tourist.

I can only hope the Government can do something about them as this has been a State crisis over the past decades.

Some of the locals may be little pushy to sell their products and if you’re not interested, just smile and say “No, Thanks”. Please don’t be rude, you’ll only make things worse.

Have you been to Semporna? how was your experience?

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