Visitors can experience the fascinating culture of the Bajau Laut people who live in stilt huts on floating villages, or on wooden long boats called Lepa.
These Sea-Gypsies have roamed the coral triangle between Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines for centuries, and are expert free divers and fishermen with a profound connection to the ocean.
Historically, they rarely set foot on land, and although many have since left the sea in search of economic stability, there are still an estimated 3000 or more living on various settlements around the islands of Bodgaya, Mantabuan, Maiga, Sibuan and Bohey Dulang.
The Bajau Laut community around Semporna and Pulau Bodgaya has learned the practice of seaweed farming allowing for a sustainable income.
During the month of April in Semporna, visitors can enjoy the colourful Regatta Lepa, an annual water festival that celebrates the proud heritage, traditions and customs of the sea gypsies.
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