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Gateway to dive sites ... Warning! Pirates Approaching!

View 2009 Scuba with Barracuda on alexchan's travel map.

large_5550_12419581305731.jpgTourist village complex of restaurant and hotel rooms, over the murky waters of the mainland. Far cry from the luxury chalet on the reef.
Travelling to Semporna [Semporna-travel-guide-1098708], the diving Gateway

We took a short flight from KK to Tawau this morning and were transferred by van to Semporna (which means perfect or complete) in Malay. It poured down for part of the way on the road ... things have changed since I started taking an interest in travelling ... in the early days one had to fly to Semporna in a Twin Otter 19-seater aircraft.

Semporna itself is a small town in the south-east corner of Sabah [Sabah-travel-guide-1319168], close to Indonesia. It has with a jetty which serves as a launchpad to the nearby islands. The town is still in quite a natural state (ie. considerable litter in places) without any large scale development.

After lunch, we fitted ourselves out in our dive gear then reviewed our scuba learnings from a year back.

Pirate Alert

This region is in the New Zealand government's "High Risk" which means that non-essential travel (including tourism) should be deferred. This came about from an incident(s) where people were held hostage by pirates from a neighbouring country. Despite the higher military presence, the rating hasn't been lowered.

We are staying on the mainland ... because we couldn't justify the megabucks for a chalet over the reef out in the sea. This region caters to the super-rich and backpackers ... nothing for Ma and Pa holiday-makers and their kids. I guess the super-rich in those chalets over the sea would make perfect pirate-baits!!


Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Malaysia

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