– The town with its feet in the sea
In the Bajau and Malay language, “semporna” literally means, “perfect”. The town its feet in the sea, Semporna and its many islands are like a dream come true… pure white sandy beaches, coconut palms and tranquil waters lapping over colourful reefs in the beautiful turquoise waters of the Sulawesi Sea. The richness of the sea, fishes of all kinds, sea cucumbers, shells, pearls and in recent years, seaweed farming – all these have attracted seafarers and fisher-folks to Semporna and its islands.
The early Bajau people lived their entire lives aboard their boats. Today, most live along the coasts, perched on stilts over shallow reefs, where they continue their love affair with the sea. Every April, Semporna celebrates with a Regatta Lepa. Thousands sail into town in all kinds of boats including the gaily-decorated lepa and jungkong, their traditional boats, to compete for prizes. Arrangements can be made to explore the islands off Semporna to visit water-villages and seaweed farms, swim and snorkel. The Semporna people also boasts they have the best seafood in all of Malaysia, the freshest and least expensive!
Semporna is the departure point to the world’s best dive sites and island-resorts of Sipadan, Mabul and Kapalai.