Trip to Semporna

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My last destination was the regatta lepa (Bajau’s colorful boat) + water festival in Semporna from April 14 to 16. I was really pissed off. It was supposed to be a comfortable and exciting trip.

Semporna

I had booked a room in Semporna one month before the event, but when I got there, the hotel told me, “No, there was no room reserved for you. And our room was all full.”

Semporna

I was very very very angry. I had left my phone number to them earlier. If they need deposit, why they never called me?

Semporna

I knew I was in deep shit already. The Semporna Water Festival was the peak season, the accommodation might be fully booked. I really wanted to go so I decided to take the risk. The worst scenario was to ask a local if I could stay in his house. After nearly 9 hours of traveling by bus from Kota Kinabalu to Semporna, I arrived Semporna around 5 PM. Of course the first thing I did was to get a room for overnight. I went to over 10 hotels, inn, resorts… and got the same answer, “All room was full until April 16.” The sky was getting dark. At last I came to a lodging house. The owner also said the same thing, full. Then I said, “Really? I could take storeroom. Got or not?” (You see. So hopeless already. I even won’t mind to take haunted room) He looked at me and replied, “I still got a room but it was very small. You wanted to take it?” Well, guess I had no choice then. It was really small (and smelly), enough to fit in one bed and a small fan only. All for RM20 but for one night only. The following night I slept on the chair in that lodging house (RM0. FREE!). Basically, the whole night I hugged my camera like teddy bear, worrying that they got stolen. Practically only half of my brain slept, other half was in alert state. Terrible…

Semporna

Well, I only can tell you that all my photos is full of blood and sweat. For the Lepa Festival alone, I was exposed under the sunlight for 2 days. I am very patient. I could stay at a site for whole day to make sure I won’t miss anything. Very stressful to my body coz I didn’t sleep well. If possible, I will blog and upload the photos of Lepa Lepa (Bajau’s colorful boat) tomorrow.

Semporna

Semporna is a town near to the sea. Just like other small towns, the locals are actually quite friendly. I think the main tourist attraction is the Semporna Ocean Tourism Centre. They got “floating” restuarant, inn, etc. The concept is quite similar to Gayana Resort. The whole structure is built on the sea, so you can see corals, seaweed and ocean life from the walkway. On Sunday, there are hundreds of locals gathering and hanging around there. Semporna is famous for 3 things, (1) Lepa Lepa Festival, (2) Seafood, and (3) Diving at Sipadan Mabul Islands. I will talk about lepa lepa tomorrow. Hmmm… I wonder if there is any poker room around for me to pass my time.

6 thoughts on “Trip to Semporna

  1. I would like to speak in response to the previously posted blog regarding the Arung Hayat resort in semporna. I recently stayed at the Arung Hayat resort, on my way to Mabul Island, and found it to be a quite nice and accomadating, as well as low priced. I was also easily able to contact the resort by phone, with no problems with the connection.

    In light of these facts, I find it slightly hard to believe the way that the previos blogger slandered the Arung Hayat establishment.

    There are three main reasons as to why I believe the previous entry to be illigitimate. First of all; the letter ends by simply supporting the Semporna Ocean Tourism Center, a competitor of the Arung Hayat resort, without giving any evidence, what so ever, of the writter having stayed there. So this would lead me suspect that the tourist, in question, would actually be some one simply writing from the Semporna Ocean Tourism Center, to put down its competition.

    Second of all, in support to the fact that the letter was solely written as propaganda; the leter is wridden with gramatical errors and improper english. This would lead me to believe that the person who wrote it is not a native speaker. Although not all tourists automatically speak perfect english this fact does go in support with my suspicion that the letter was written by some one from the Semporna Ocean Tourism Center.

    Fianally; the people at the Arung Hayat resort were very nice and profesional, and they run a very fine establishment. I find it quite immature and innapropriate to disregard them on such a uninformed basis, as well as using profanity in expressing an opinion of them. Also, the so called turist did not even stay there, so they have absolutely no actual reason to call it the worst resort ever. I have stayed there, and I can tell you that it is one of the nicest places I am yet to stay at in my travels through Malaysia. It has both good service and reasonable pricing.

    I would just like to reiterate myself one final time, in stating that Arung Hayat is actually a great place to stay at. I believe, and not without reason, that the original blog posted was simply propaganda and should not be taken seriously. For anyone looking to travel to semporna, I actually recommend checking out Arung Hayat, since it is much better priced than the Semporna Ocean Tourism Center.

  2. Kinkoy, thanks 4 yr input n the fact is yr post sounded more like a propaganda than mine though. 🙂 nobody sponsored my trip so i didn’t advertise for anyone.

    whatever, what i mentioned in my previous blog was my true experience with Arung Hayat Resort. however, i would say this incident was the end result of miscommunication n should b treated as separate case.

    when i looked at the blog i wrote 2 years ago, i agreed with u that i used overly strong words (i was really pissed that time). i will rephrase them a bit.

  3. I want to contact Arung Hayat to pre-book accommodation but am struggling to find contact details or website. Can anyone help please. Thanks.

  4. The contact of Arung Hayat:
    Address: Arung Hayat Resort, Jalan Pinggir Bakau, Semporna, Sabah
    Tel/Fax: 089-782526

  5. I would like to speak in response to the previously posted blog regarding the Arung Hayat resort in semporna. I recently stayed at the Arung Hayat resort, on my way to Mabul Island, and found it to be a quite nice and accomadating, as well as low priced. I was also easily able to contact the resort by phone, with no problems with the connection.

    In light of these facts, I find it slightly hard to believe the way that the previos blogger slandered the Arung Hayat establishment.

    There are three main reasons as to why I believe the previous entry to be illigitimate. First of all; the letter ends by simply supporting the Semporna Ocean Tourism Center, a competitor of the Arung Hayat resort, without giving any evidence, what so ever, of the writter having stayed there. So this would lead me suspect that the tourist, in question, would actually be some one simply writing from the Semporna Ocean Tourism Center, to put down its competition.

    Second of all, in support to the fact that the letter was solely written as propaganda; the leter is wridden with gramatical errors and improper english. This would lead me to believe that the person who wrote it is not a native speaker. Although not all tourists automatically speak perfect english this fact does go in support with my suspicion that the letter was written by some one from the Semporna Ocean Tourism Center.

    Fianally; the people at the Arung Hayat resort were very nice and profesional, and they run a very fine establishment. I find it quite immature and innapropriate to disregard them on such a uninformed basis, as well as using profanity in expressing an opinion of them. Also, the so called turist did not even stay there, so they have absolutely no actual reason to call it the worst resort ever. I have stayed there, and I can tell you that it is one of the nicest places I am yet to stay at in my travels through Malaysia. It has both good service and reasonable pricing.

    I would just like to reiterate myself one final time, in stating that Arung Hayat is actually a great place to stay at. I believe, and not without reason, that the original blog posted was simply propaganda and should not be taken seriously. For anyone looking to travel to semporna, I actually recommend checking out Arung Hayat, since it is much better priced than the Semporna Ocean Tourism Center.

  6. us radio> u use different identity to post 2 same comments. are you from Arung Hayat Resort? I am not going to take back what I say coz it’s my true experience. And I don’t work for your competitor.

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