Not many people heard of Semporna, and most don’t even know where it is! Luckily, this amazing beauty will be ours to explore in a 5-day trip! Semporna is located on the south-eastern coast of Sabah, Malaysia. It boasts beautiful beaches and many dive and snorkeling spots in the world! We will get the chance to explore its many islands and take photographs not just on land but underwater too! Join our Semporna Photo Tour and take beautiful photos of this sea paradise in Sabah, Malaysia.
UNUSUAL EXPEDITION’s trips are well known for accomplishing a lot in just a few days. We basically pack a lot of content with different themes in a single trip. This workshop will be no different. Locations shoots each day are dependant on daily weather and lighting conditions.
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Joseph Goh is an international award-winning photographer. As an Associate of the Master Photographers Association (UK) and The Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain, he has achieved various accolades from The Master Photographers Association (UK), International Photography Awards (US), FEP European Professional Photographer Awards, crowned the Hasselblad Masters 2014 & winner of Best Of Nation in the World Photographic Cup 2020.
Joseph Mak is the head honcho behind Unusual Expedition, a photography tour company that will take you to the world’s most exotic locations. The award winning photographer is known for his dynamic travel shots that will inspire your wanderlust, and has hosted photography exhibitions with the Norwegian embassy, and released a photo book in collaboration with the Israeli embassy. He is the proud winner of several PSA and FIAP awards, and spends his free time in search of good restaurants and chilling out to music.
Our first day will be spent mostly travelling. You will be transported to Johor Bharu Senai Airport from Singapore via a private limo service. Then, we will take an afternoon flight to Tawau, Sabah at 15:50. The estimated arrival time is at 18:30, and we will have a one-hour journey to our hotel. After checking in and settling in the rooms, dinner will be served.
On Day 2, we will visit Pulau Maiga and Pulau Sibuan. Pulau Maiga is a stunning sandy island with coconut trees in the Tun Sakaran Marine Park. The 20-hectare island boasts an 80-km long reef. Pulau Sibuan is also situated in the Tun Sakaran Marine Park and is considered one of the most beautiful islands in the Celebes Sea. Also known as Battleship Island, it has well-preserved corals and a sand bank used for picnics.
The two islands are wonderful spots for diving and snorkelling too! So, prepare your water-resistant cameras for some awesome underwater shots! The islands are also home to Sea Gypsies called Bajau Laut. Technically, they do not live ON the island but rather in wooden houseboats or stilt huts on top of coral reefs. You can photograph the native Bajau people who are one of the surviving nomadic marine communities left. Interacting and photographing them is one way to preserve their culture and lifestyle through records.
Let us explore two more islands in Semporna: Mabul Island and Omadal Island.
Snorkel and dive at these two islands and see the diverse underwater ecosystem they have to offer. Many divers frequent Mabul Island to encounter and snap magical underwater photos of the reefs and a variety of colorful fishes. If lucky, you will be able to photograph rare marine life while underwater. On land, two main settlements are found. You will be introduced once again to another group of Bajau Laut, as well as to Suluk Muslims who also live a nomadic life.
Omadal Island is also an amazing place to visit. Not many tourists visit the island, so expect more chances of capturing photos of pure local culture and lifestyle untainted by foreign influence.
Today, we will explore Bohey Dulag, and maybe revisit Maiga and other surrounding islands within the Tun Sakaran Marine Park. Bohey Dulag is the second largest island in the park and features a hiking trail, which is about 45 minutes walk to the top. The peak is 353 meters above and will give you a wonderful view overlooking a circular coral reef fringe. Apart from photographing the beautiful sight, you can capture the exceptional flora and fauna seen along the hiking trail.
After visiting Bohey Dulag, we will continue with our tour back to Maiga and other nearby islands and sand cays. Once the island hopping is over, we will proceed to Semporna town for some street photography. The pictures you can snap from the streets are very contrasting to the ones you captured from the earlier days of our tour. Thus, you will be able to take diverse photos showcasing the town’s multi-faceted appeal through this Semporna Photo Tour.
The last day of our Semporna Photo Tour isn’t just about going home. Before leaving Semporna, we will have a last minute visit to Tanjung Parapat, which is only a 20-30 minutes drive from the town. Tanjung Parapat is a small Muslim village with Bajau Laut. You will be able to take the best shot of the sea while enjoying the beautiful view on the village’s long jetty.
After our visit to Tanjung Parapat, we will go back to the hotel to check out. Then, you will be transferred to Tawau, the third largest city in Sabah, for a short city tour and lunch. At 18:55, we will fly to Senai Airport where we will take a mini van to cross the border back to Singapore.
Land transportation in destination
Group transfer to airport
All meals as stated in itinerary
Return International Air Ticket
Return Domestic Air Ticket (If Any)
Guide & Driver Tips
Any Private Expenses, Room Service, Porter Service
Visa Fees (If Applicable)
Beverages / Alcohol Drinks during Meals
Personal Travel Insurance (Compulsory – Self Purchased)
Photography Setup Fee (If applicable)