Location : Semporna Town, Semporna District, Tawau Division, Sabah, Malaysia.
The Regatta Lepa is an annual festival celebrated by the Bajau Laut (also known as sea gypsies). Lepa is a traditional single-masted sailing boat of the Bajau Semporna. On that day, thousands of Lepas sail into town to compete for the ‘Most Beautiful Lepa’.
The second day weather was a lot friendlier with some short spells of the sun and blue skies which was perfect for the Lepa rehearsal. Within a short time the boats gathered with their colourful sails flapping in the wind.
The locals claimed that 2019 was the highest in terms of number of boats participating. Gong and drum could be heard playing from the boats. A rather noisy afternoon.
Bajau ladies dressed in traditional black dresses entertained the crowd with their dances.
Their fake long and curved fingernails made their gestures looked very Thai like.
All went well for the rest of the day except for one little incident that got us quite annoyed at one of the restaurants where we purchased a bottle of mineral water. The local staff was heard telling another in the Malay language to charge higher for Chinese nationals, thinking we were tourists from China.
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