Extra Photo Gallery: Room | Restaurant
Take one of the daily flights from KL to Tawau (TWU) by either AirAsia (AK) or MAS (MH). From TWU, take the local cab to Semporna town, a journey that will take 2 hours and cost anywhere between RM80-100 per taxi.
First of all, Dragon Inn is not an island resort. But it is a popular pit stop for travelers heading to the world famous Pulau Sipadan. It offers a VERY distinguished resort experience that not many places in Malaysia could offer.
The rooms are built on stilts - based on the Bajau Laut's (sea gypsy) tradition of building their homes over the water. If you are taking the speed boat to Pulau Sipadan, you will be treated with the sights of these sea gypsy's kampong air (water village). Before sun down, check out the unique lepa boats from the wide ocean, bringing home their daily catches. (Lepa boats have some similarities to modern-day catamarans - perhaps the latter's design was built on these traditional boats).
In 2003, I stayed in a basic double room - it has an old air-conditioner unit, a unique bathroom with gaping floor strips that allow you bath water to drain directly into the ocean, and local TV channels. I paid RM88 per night for the basic double room. In my 2nd visit in 2005, I stayed in a tastefully decorated VIP room, which cost me RM135 per night, inclusive of continental breakfast. Everything inside is made of wood - 2 large beds, a TV set, a rattan sofa set and my own private balcony.
The resort also boats an excellent yet inexpensive seafood restaurant. Basically you just select your live catch; be it the coral groupers, or lobsters or clams; then have the restaurant cook the meal for you. My grouper dish set me back about RM30 for a 0.6kg fish, which is considered very cheap!
Visitors will also have the option to do a Pulau Sipadan snorkeling package for RM350 per trip. The boat that I took could fit in 4-6 passengers. Trips can be arranged from the front desk.
June 2003, January 2005
Highly recommended! A totally different experience.