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Discover a true ‘treasure’ in Sabah, Semporna

Where is Semporna?

It is located at Sabah, and Sabah is one of the two East Malaysian states on the island of Borneo. To get there, you have two options:

By air or by road. You can take a flight from Kuala Lumpur/Kota Kinabalu to Tawau. Or alternatively, you may get a bus with a 12hours journey from Kota Kinabalu. Tawau is the main town whereby to get to Semporna you will need to hire taxi or bus.

Semporna is well known by tourist all over the world with underwater marine life. It offers the best diving site which is at Sipadan Island and what I really like about this place is it was not affected by monsoon! Meaning that you can visit this place all over the year. So below I want to share with you the story of my journey.

The ‘treasure’ in Sabah – Semporna


I am from Peninsular Malaysia, and I’ve heard about the beautiful of Semporna for some ages. With God will, I’m landed to this land. It takes me 2 hours plus to reach Tawau airport from Kuala Lumpur. Since I was on budget travel, I must find the cheapest way to get to Semporna. Luckily, I’ve been told by local, I can get minivan or bus to Semporna Town from Tawau bus station. The journey from Tawau to Semporna approximately around 45minutes.

Actually, I’m planning to stay at Mabul Island, and I need to transfer by boat. So I’ve made a deal with SEAHORSE SIPADAN SCUBA to wait for us at the jetty. The story begins here when I arrive at the Semporna Jetty…..

While waiting for the boat to Mabul Island, I’m walking around to find some food, and I passed by one large garbage bin nearby jetty. I’ve spotted something on the wall. It’s clearly written “SAYA ANAK ORANG TERMISKIN DI DUNIA” (I am the poorest child in the world). And while I’m reading this, I started to think. What is he doing at that place? Can you feel how bad is his feeling at that time? Maybe he was frustrated with his life?

While other kids nowadays with their own gadget and social media, they don’t have any. What do they do? With dirty and stinky hands, he expresses his feelings.

For all information, it’s a normal view if you see young kids begging for money and food here.

Dear Amir,

You are not the poorest child in the world, kid. You are so lucky to stay in paradise. You don’t need money to buy fresh seafood, you don’t have to pay for flight tickets to get in here, you have your beautiful islands, you sleep with nature’s song, wave. Here I want to share how lucky you are…

You can have a house above the crystal clear water, while I’m stayed at level 19th you know? – Tatagan Island

Even swimming pool cannot beat your ‘largest pool’ in this world – Mabul Island

Hey Amir, you are a good swimmer, right?? Psst…here is a secret I want to tell you.

I don’t know how to swim L – Mabul Island

Blue sky with blue sea, maybe your everyday view? – Sibuan Island

Amir, you can have a coconut for free, u can get it and pick it up by yourself, right? but for me? I’m just able to stare the height of coconut tree – Sibuan Island

Look, what you have? Be proud!  – Bohey Dulang Island.

White sandbar, oh you know how I love this??

While everyday I’m just playing with the elevator, you can have this swing! – Mabul Island

I bet you don’t need an oxygen tank at your back to swim along with fish and turtles – Kapalai Island

What we have, what others don’t have, be grateful – Sipadan Water Village.

Actually, besides fulfilling my wish list, I also have a mission to bring SMILE to the kids on this island. Thus, I already prepare some food and sweets for them. Yes, I did it! I can see their smile, and one that touched me is, they ask for extra, to give to their parent at home. Oh God, I swear you will be blessed! While on the other side, some tell me that bread was luxury food to them

After two visits, I feel this place is like my new home. I love the beautiful islands, they’re kind people, fresh food and most important thing I’ve learned something during my visit. It’s about LIFE and LOVE.

Till now, see you again, on my next visit! And for you, all over the world, welcome to Malaysia!

Fourth contestant The Daily Roar 3rd Writing Contest
/// Written byNooraini Binti Yahaya, Malaysia