Traveling to Mabul Island

Mabul is the gateway to Sipadan island

Flying to Tawau Airport

Tawau Airport (IATA: TWU) is the closest to Mabul island, Sabah, Malaysia. There are daily flights to Tawau from the cities of Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Tarakan (Indonesia).

What are Tawau arrival flights?

  • From KL: Malaysia Airlines (MASwings) and Air Asia operate 6 flights daily to Tawau (flight duration: 2.5 hours)
  • From KK: MASwings and Air Asia operate 7 flights daily from KKIA to Tawau (55 minutes)
  • From Sandakan: MASwings operate 2 flights daily to Tawau (40 minutes)
  • From Tarakan: MASwings operate 5 flights Weekly to Tawau (40 minutes)
  • From Johor Bahru: AirAsia operate 4 flights weekly to Tawau (2.5 hours)

From Tawau airport, pickup, drop off, land transfers to Semporna, boat journeys to the islands are often managed by the resort you are staying at.

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How much is a Taxi to Semporna?

A taxi trip to Semporna boat jetty from the Tawau airport will take around 75 minutes and cost around 95 MYR (20 USD). Taxis are cost-effective if shared by a group. Alternately, you can travel in a taxi up to Sabindo Square in the Tawau city from the airport. The trip will take 35 minutes and the taxi will cost you around 48 MYR (10 USD).

How to catch a Minivan to Semporna?

Minivans are available at Tawau Airport and for direct travel to Semporna. The only problem is that the minivans will wait till they are full of passengers to start the journey. Sometimes the journey will be delayed because the vans stop at Tawau town before proceeding to Semporna. Alternatively, you can just travel to Sabindo Square in a minivan.

How to get from Sabindo Square to Semporna?

There are regular buses from Sabindo Square Bus Terminal to Semporna. The bus ticket costs 15 MYR (3 USD) and the journey takes one and a half hours. Always remember to check the latest bus timetable because bus timings are subject to frequent changes.

How to catch a Boat from Semporna to Mabul?

A journey by speedboat to Mabul from Semporna takes about 45 minutes (depending on the tide). Such boat trips are regularly organized by the dive resorts and dive operators.
Note that the last boats depart at 4pm - 4.30pm from Semporna to Mabul island. It is highly recommended to plan all your transfers in advance.

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