Timba-Timba Island: Everything You Need To Know

Published Categorized as Sabah
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While this area of Malaysia is known for its beautiful islands, few come close to just how stunning Timba-Timba Island is.

Little more than a sandbar, this speck in the ocean is the perfect Instagrammable island. With a beach that’s about one kilometre long, not much else and just enough facilities to make a day trip comfortable (toilets, shelters and beach chairs), you can feel like you have escaped the world here.

Timba Timba Island, Semporna, sabah
Timba Timba Island

It’s known for its great coral reefs with diving and snorkelling being a popular activity here. Of course, it’s also known for its crazy good beach.

Below, I share with you everything you need to know about Timba-Timba Island from the diving to the beach to how to visit here. I also share a video of my experiences on this island. Enjoy this Timba-Timba Island blog.

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Where Is Timba-Timba Island Sabah Borneo?

Timba-Timba Island is located to the northeast of Semporna off the coast of Sabah, Malaysia. It’s close to Mataking Island so you can stay on Mataking and easily visit Timba-Timba from here.

Below, you can find a Timba-Timba Island map.

Timba Timba Island map
Click the Map to open in Google Maps. You can then access directions to each of the locations discussed in this article.

How To Get To Timba-Timba Island

Timba Timba Island Semporna boat transfer
Boat to the island

You can get to Timba-Timba Island by boat from Semporna or by boat arranged by your resort if you are staying at a nearby island.

Since there is no Timba-Timba resort on the island, you can only visit here on a day trip.

I took this spectacular day trip via Klook. It includes visiting Timba-Timba Island, Mataking Island and Pom Pom Island as well as lots of snorkelling.

Click here to see Timba-Timba Island on a day tour now.

If you are flying in from Tawau, read our guide to how to get there here. If you are coming from Sandakan, read our guide to how to get to Semporna here.

Timba-Timba Island Review

Timba Timba Island Semporna from sea
Timba Timba Island from our boat

Beautiful Timba-Timba Island is known for its crystal-clear waters, white sandy beaches and stunning coral reefs. It’s popular with beach lovers, snorkellers and divers. Instagrammers will also love it as it has been set up perfectly for gorgeous photos.

I saw a few people doing some cheesy poses in outfits they had brought especially for the occasion when I was there 🙂

Timba Timba Island Semporna
Timba Timba Island

This island is relatively small with a land area of just over one square kilometer. It is uninhabited, but it is popular with day trippers. On arrival here, your boat will either be able to pull up right on the beach or it will have to stop a bit back, and you’ll need to walk through the water to get to the sand. This depends on the time you visit and the tides.

There’s a lof of dead coral in this area so make sure you have some shoes you can wear in the water.

The beach here is as gorgeous as they come and is perfect for sunbathing, swimming and relaxing. Before visiting, I had read that there are chairs, shelter and toilets to help you enjoy a visit here.

However, none of this is currently available. Day trippers are only allowed on the long sandbar.

Timba Timba Island Semporna
Timba Timba Island

There also used to be various items to help you snap great photos like a swing, hammocks, decorated huts, semi-submerged chairs and more. However, these also aren’t here anymore.

Thankfully, it doesn’t really matter as it’s all crazy beautiful without those things.

The island is also home to a turtle hatchery. Turtles are safe to lay eggs on the island and then the hatchery collects the eggs and releases the baby turtles back to the sea once they are hatched.

Timba-Timba Diving And Snorkelling

Timba Timba Island Semporna snorkelling
Snorkelling by the island

The clear turquoise waters surrounding the island are also perfect for snorkelling and diving as they are home to a huge variety of marine life including colourful coral, schools of tropical fish and sea turtles. It’s located just outside the Tun Sakaran Marine Park.

You can easily snorkel or dive right from the beach. There are ten dive sites around the island with moray eels, frogfish, barracudas and nurse sharks being commonly seen.

When I visited, we snorkelled from the boat on the opposite side to the main landing area on the island. It was absolutely superb. It was my favourite spot in these islands (although I haven’t been to Sipadan) and the best snorkelling I have done anywhere. I highly recommend it.

I visited on this day trip.

Timba-Timba Island Video

You can check out Timba-Timba Island further in the following video.

Final Words

I hope you have found this guide to Timba-Timba Island useful.

It’s a crazy beautiful island that is perfect for day trippers looking for sand and underwater marine life. You won’t forget your visit to this gorgeous place. I can’t wait until I can snorkel there again!

Click here to join a day tour to Timba-Timba Island now.

Looking for more information? Find our full guide to things to do in Semporna here or our guide to nearby Mataking Island here. Also check out our full guide to Semporna island hopping here and all our travel guides to Sabah here.

Planning a trip to Malaysia? Have any questions? Join our Malaysia Travel Planning Facebook group here now! It’s the perfect place to ask any questions and to be inspired!

By Sharon Gourlay

Sharon is a certified Malaysia travel expert and can't get enough of travelling and talking about Malaysia since she first visited 21 years ago. She travels around Malaysia multiple times a year both alone and with her kids. She used to call Penang home and especially loves this food paradise. Sharon also has a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies, a Certificate III in International Travel Sales and has been certified by Tourism Malaysia as a Malaysia Travel Expert. Through this site, she'll help you have the perfect trip to this amazing destination.