Tawau

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Ideal duration: 1-2 Days

Best Time: December - February Read More

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"Sabah's Best Seafood"

Tawau Tourism

Tawau, formerly known as Tawao, is a popular tourist destination popular for cocoa, prawn farming, and Sabah's best seafood. Located on the Semporna Peninsula on the southeast coast of the state, Tawau is the third-largest town in Sabah. Gateway to Tawau Hills Park and a coalescence of ethnicities and religions, Tawau has a rich history that is reflected in its various tourist attractions and architectural buildings of the town. It is also the only place where foreigners can get a visa to enter Indonesia and the starting point for long drives with the most scenic routes in Sabah.

The town of Tawau has two twin towns, Zhangping in China, and Pare-Pare in Indonesia, and is surrounded by hills and mountains for most of it. The harmonious mix of religions in Tawau is well-displayed in the establishments of religious places. The main attractions in Tawau are the Al-Kauthar Mosque which is also the largest mosque in Sabah, St. Patrick's which is an Anglican church, The Holy Trinity Church which is a catholic church, Pu Zhao Temple which happens to be a Buddhist lodge temple, Thirumurugan Temple which is a Hindu temple, and the Gurdwara Sahib, a place of worship for the Sikhs.

The historical attractions of the town include the Tawau Bell Tower which was established by the Japanese to memorialize the armistice treaty post World War 1, Tawau Japanese War Memorial (once a Japanese Cemetry),  the Public Service Memorial, the Twin Town Memorial, and the Teck Guan Cocoa Museum. Other notable attractions dedicated to leisure include Tawau Hills National Park and Fat Hill, also called Bukit Gemok.

Tawau is also famous for its market, famously called The Tawau Tanjung Market, the largest indoor market in Malaysia, which has more than 6000 stalls selling dry produce and seafood. Other shopping centers in Tawau include the Eastern Plaza and the Sabindo Plaza. Tawau Handicraft Market, also called Pasar Gantung, is a popular place to shop for souvenirs. 

The town of Tawau provides real insights into history and culture. The flora and fauna here are untouched, allowed to grow in their natural habitat, which is very rare to come by today. Interestingly, the world's tallest tropical tree can be found here in Tawau Hills Park! Tawau is a perfect blend of colloquial buildings, historical tales, and the hues of greens! 

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Tawau Highlights

1. Tawau International Cultural Festival

Tawau International Cultural Festival
The Tawau International Cultural Festival is an annual cultural event that showcases the talent and art of ethnic Malaysian groups. This festival features artist presentations, cultural performances, (Read More)and several other forms of art. Celebrations in the form of parades and fireworks also form a part of this colourful and vibrant festival. The Tawau International Cultural Festival is generally celebrated in the first half of the year i.e. January to April.

2. Tawau Bell Tower

Tawau Bell Tower
The Tawau Bell Tower is the oldest standing structure of the town whose history dates back to 1921. This tower was built by the Japanese to commemorate the armistice agreement which took place after t (Read More)he First World War. Prison labour was used to construct the tower and funds were contributed by the Japanese Businessman in Tawau. A benchmark in this tower suggests that the elevation of the town is above sea level. The East of this tower leads to Dunlop Street, Kuhara Road, Sin On-Road and Apas Road. On the other hand, the Southern direction faces the Celebes Sea, while the West faces Tg Batu Road. The North leads to North Road and Merotai Road.

3. Confrontation Memorial

Confrontation Memorial
The Confrontation Memorial is situated in Tawau and was built after the Indonesian-Malaysian Confrontation. This was an undeclared war that took place between 1963-1966. The memorial was built to pay (Read More)respect to those who lost their lives to protect the country.

4. Teck Guan Cocoa Museum

Teck Guan Cocoa Museum
The Teck Guan Cocoa Museum is a one-of-a-kind cocoa museum that is situated inside the Teck Guan cocoa factory in Tawau. One can learn about cocoa cultivation techniques, enjoy a tasting session of&nb (Read More)sp;cocoa marble ball, cocoa popcorn, cocoa batang buruk, pure handmade chocolate and signature cocoa drink. Guided tours are also available inside.

5. Tawau Hills National Park, Tawau

Tawau Hills National Park, Tawau
Tawau Hills Park is a nature reserve located in Tawau town in the Southern-East part of Sabah, Malaysia. Nature lovers, hikers and adventure seekers would definitely love a visit to this park which of (Read More)fers several activities like wildlife watching, bird watching, hiking and trekking to the hills. Grey leaf monkeys, Gibbons and Langurs can be spotted here. The night drives and night walks of Tawau are a big drawing feature to spot the nocturnal animals.

Entry Fees : Malaysians : 
Child: RM 1
Adult: RM 3
Non- Malaysians : 
Child: RM 6
Adult: RM 10

Timings : 7 AM - 6 PM

6. Bukit Gemok

Bukit Gemok
Bukit Gemok is a popular trekking spot about 10 km from the Tawau centre. The Bukit Hill canopy walk situated inside the forest reserve is to look out for. Sprawling across an area of about 231 m, thi (Read More)s canopy walk is regarded as one of the longest canopies walks in Sabah and provides a panoramic view of the Tawau town. One can find wild plants such as forest orchids in addition to commercial timber. Further, endangered species such as the Chinese Egret and hornbills can also be found here. Bukit Gemok shares its boundary with cocoa plantations and palm oil. Basic facilities such as rest tents and washrooms have been installed inside the forest reserve.

7. Tawau Hills National Park

Tawau Hills National Park
Tawau Hills Park is a nature reserve located in Tawau town in the Southern-East part of Sabah, Malaysia. Nature lovers, hikers and adventure seekers would definitely love a visit to this park which of (Read More)fers several activities like wildlife watching, bird watching, hiking and trekking to the hills. Grey leaf monkeys, Gibbons and Langurs can be spotted here. The night drives and night walks of Tawau are a big drawing feature to spot the nocturnal animals.

Tawau Photos

Tawau
Tawau Bell Tower is the oldest standing structure of the town
Confrontational Memorial in Tawau is dedicated to the soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the country
Teck Guan Cocoa Museum is a one-of-a-kind cocoa museum and factory in Tawau

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