Malaysia Budget Accommodation 2
Want to sleep on the beautiful beaches of Sipadan?
I'm afraid that you can't book accommodation on Sipadan anymore. That's because they closed down the accommodations back in December 2004.
Good news is that Mabul Island is still running resorts! Wohoo!
But if you can't afford resorts, you still need a place to sleep between all the diving!
There are enough accommodation options in Semporna, and they're situated near the waterfront. We only stayed at Skuba Junkie, so that's what I'm going to tell you about!
Skuba Junkie is the most popular diving shop in Semporna, and it also provides cheap shelter for travelers.
A tip is to book a room in advance! (especially in the high season from June to August)
We stayed there for 4 nights and here's our review!
But first, I want to share some prices!
The prices below are with and without diver discount
Internet: Free (they have two computers)
Laundry service: Yes
It it's not vacant, go to Mabul Café where there's an internet café.
What's included in the price?
You get towels and breakfast. In the morning, pick up a voucher at the reception. Then go to the restaurant next door. They serve English breakfast (eggs, toast, sausages, potato boats etc.) from 7.30 am to 9 am.
PS! When we went diving, there weren't any toilets on board the boats. You're going to be spending the whole day around the islands, so "do your thing" before you leave...
Ah! Most of the time we enjoyed our nights on Skuba Junkie; we enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere at their restaurant, and the laid-back, serviceminded staff.
So what about the room?
If you just want a simple base to sleep -- then Skuba Junkie can offer you that!
The whole place is run-down, but you do get what you pay for!
One thing that really bothered us was the "rat race" in the ceiling.
There were two nights when we woke up because it felt like the room was shaking!
It seemed like there were something running forth and back, like hundreds of rats running across the ceiling or a damn typhoon. I don't know what it was. But I got so scared. The thump and noise was in the walls as well. So bring ear plugs in case this happens to you too!
Where: It's by the harbor -- about 20 minutes to walk from the bus station.
You can ask Skuba Junkie to pick you up.
We took the Dyana bus from Kota Kinabalu Sabah and were dropped off at a bus station. We asked some locals and they pointed us in the food market direction. You have to cross a large open square and then after two minutes, you will find the main street.
After that, walk along the main street on the right side (maybe for
Stop when you see a "bridge" which leads you right to the market.
Cross the road, then the bridge.
Turn right and walk for 2 minutes. At the end of that road, you'll see heaven blue buildings. That's Skuba Junkie!
(SJ is divided into three buildings; dive shop, restaurant and guesthouse)
If it's full at Skuba Junkie, you can try one of these instead!
We took a stroll and ended up at the floating hotel of Dragon Inn! It's located on the pier, right by the jetty where all the boats for the islands leave.
What so cool about stayin on "floating" hotels is that you get to see the fish swimming beneath your feet! ;-)
Price per night: Cheapest you can get are dorms - RM 20
Single and double rooms start from RM 66. The most expensive rooms cost RM 400.
Mabul Inn (previously Lee's Resthouse) is recommended by Lonely Planet, and is popular for its clean and comfortable rooms.
Price per night: 60-75
Best-rated accommodation in Semporna at Tripadvisor:
Sipadan Inn: from RM 84 per night
Seafest Hotel: from RM 232 per night
Got any recommendations for where to sleep in Semporna? Or maybe you own a guesthouse and want to promote it? Share your story, tip or review of the guesthouse/hotel you like!
Tell us: What did you like/not like about the guesthouse you stayed at in Semporna? How was the service? Did you meet fellow backpackers?
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