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Scuba Junkie Backpackers

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Hostelz.com's Review
Scuba Junkie Backpackers in Semporna is not a particularly "A" class backpacker accommodation, but it's a cheap place to stay if you're undertaking any of their dive courses and conveniently located close to the docks where boats head out to the islands for the day.

The Location

Scuba Junkie Dive Lodge lies directly across from their dive shop; this street is just metres from the dock where you can get boat shuttles out to the islands. The street is busy with shops, dive centres (including Scuba Junkie), traffic, and people. It's not the most attractive location, but it is handy. If you don't like diesel fumes from the boats, you might not like it so much. Banks, shops, restaurants, shopping centres, hairdressers, markets, and other facilities are located nearby.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The rooms and facilities at Scuba Junkie could do with a bit of a makeover. The building is rather characterless and basic, with rooms above the reception on the first floor. There are a couple of private rooms and the dorm, with wooden bunk beds, is at the end of a long, soulless corridor right next to the two bathrooms. Here the toilets and showers are in the same room, although there's also a sink area outside. These have average standards of cleanliness.

Common Spaces

On the entry level off the street is a dining area where breakfast is served in the morning and bands sometimes play in the evening. Divers also hang out here and complete their log books. There's also some small rooms off the reception for internet or sitting. The internet is free but it doesn't always work. Breakfast is quite good and at a handy time for divers to get to the boats in the morning. In all, it's a pretty smooth operation.

Summary

As accommodation on Sipadan was closed down somewhat recently, Semporna is now the gateway to the islands in the area and it's cheaper to stay here than on Scuba Junkie's dive place on Mabul Island. They do offer discounts to people who dive and snorkel with them. The staff at reception are predictably friendly and laid-back and part of the highlight of staying here. And it is unquestionably good value to stay here. The dive courses and activities offered by Scuba Junkie are first rate and excellent value. If you wish to book, make sure you do it months in advance as places are limited and it's very popular.

by Jo
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
November 2013
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