Tawau is located on the South-Eastern coast of Sabah state and considered to be the third biggest town of Sabah. You can easily reach Tawau by taking a flight from Kuala Lumpur. If you’re traveling in Kota Kinabalu, you can take a bus ride or car to reach Tawau as well. The distance from Tawau to Sipadan Island is around eighty three kilometers approximately.
If you are staying at Tawau then it is better to explore the town first by touring at Hills Park, Tawau Tanjung Market and many more. There are myriad accommodations available for spending the night at Tawau and for travelling to Sipadan Island you should get ready your luggage to Semporna port through taxi, bus or minivan in ninety minutes and towards Sipadan Island via Sipadan resort’s or diver’s speed boat.
Tawau to Sipadan Island
In order to travel from Tawau to Sipadan Island, you need to get to the Semporna port first from Tawau first using taxi, bus or minivan. From Semporna, you can easily reach Sipadan Island using speed boat or ferry service. The detail of the adventurous trip from the town of Tawau to Pulau Sipadan is below:
1. Taxi from Tawau to Semporna
The taxi can be easily hired from Tawau Airport to Semporna port that approximately charges ninety-five Ringgits per taxi and nearly reaches within the time duration of an hour and ten minutes ahead. The taxi fare can be reduced and equally distributed among every passenger if more than a person is travelling in a same taxi.
An overland taxi can also be hired from Tawau Airport with the fare of hundred and fifty Ringgits only in order to arrive at Semporna port directly. For instance, the procedure for hiring a taxi is that every passenger must buy a taxi coupon before a taxi ride.
2. Bus Ride from Tawau to Semporna
If you need to take a bus tour from Tawau Airport to Semporna port, then you must travel to the town of Tawau by hiring a cab for around forty to forty-five Ringgits which is a per taxi fare; within thirty minutes approximately. Thus, the seat on a bus can be reserved from Sabindo Express Bus Terminal and to reach at this particular terminal an airport taxi is available that charges forty-eight Ringgits within thirty-five minutes time duration.
There is a fixed schedule of buses that departs and arrives as per mentioned timings. The current bus service in operation is Tongtalun Express and its fare is around ten Ringgits that departs nearly by 3pm from the bus terminal of Tawau to Semporna port within an hour and a half.
3. Via Minivan
The bus or minivan service both of them can be hired from the terminal of Sabindo Express in Tawau town within an hour and a half duration with an expense of about fifteen Ringgits. The first trip from minivan begins from 6am and continues till 5:30pm which dealt with pretty flexible timings to reach Semporna port from the town of Tawau and it only departs when all seats are filled.
The details of the final journey from Semporna to Sipadan Island via boat/ferry ride are mentioned as under:
Semporan to Sipadan via Speed Boat or Ferry
There is only private speed boats/ferries available that take its passengers on board from Semporna to Sipadan Island in forty-five minutes of time duration. The boats owned by resorts will take ninety minutes to transfer from Tawau to Semporna. Such boats are organized by your booked resort or dive operators from Sipadan Island.
Those who wish to spend a night on Sipadan Island, for them such boats are organized by resort owners or resort executives and diver’s owned or operated boats are for those tourists who primarily enjoy full day trip of snorkeling and diving at Sipadan. The departing time of a ferry begins from 8am by morning till 4pm maximum with fifty Ringgits fare and ten Ringgits for a jetty.
I hope this guide will help you reach Sipadan Island from Tawau. It’s good to know the best time to visit Sipadan Island to make most of your trip to this wonder island. If you have traveled from Tawau to Sipadan Island and would like to share your experience, please add comments below.
Photo Credit: amrufm