Monday, March 21, 2005

Semporna - Tawau

We spent two nights drying out & off-gassing in Semporna, a harbor town with an impressive fishing fleet of small-medium sized boats, all setup with large arrays of big lights for attracting fish.

The boats' fishing lights are clearly visible at night from Mabul's beach, and slightly annoying when you just want to gaze at the starry Milky Way.

Semporna, though not what I'd call a nice place, is worth a look around, if only to get some local flavor and a sense of daily life, especially around the market place, but also in the town's commercial streets.

The first night we stayed in the Dragon Inn, a picturesque place built on stilts above the water. Standard rooms, placed in long rows, only cost 66 RM for two including a very basic breakfast, but are not very pleasant, being rather dark and way too musty for me. The huge stand-alone VIP bungalows, at 135 RM are nicer, but offer no peace from the constant roaring of outboards cruising by, nor from the nearby mosque's early morning chants.

So we moved to the new Seafest Hotel for our second night, which besides actually being cheaper, at 97 RM for two, offers modern comfort, satellite TV and a nice buffet breakfast. A delicious buffet dinner in the hotel set us back 14 RM pp. Otherwise you can have a decent lunch for 5 RM. A can of soda or a 1,5l bottle of water cost 1,5 RM only.

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