Tawau, Malaysia

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Tawau, Malaysia

Region: Sabah

Geographic Coordinates: 4.244800, 117.891000
Temperature Range: 24.0°C to 32.0°C (75°F to 90°F)
Climate: Tropical climate with high rainfall and no distinct seasons.
Population: 113809
Language: Malay

Tawau is a city located in the southeastern part of Sabah, Malaysia. It is situated on the island of Borneo and is known for its rich cultural heritage, Diverse cuisine, And natural beauty. The city has a population of approximately 400, 000 people and is an important commercial center for the region. One of the most popular attractions in Tawau is the Tawau Hills Park. This park covers an area of over 28, 000 hectares and features lush rainforests, Waterfalls, Hot springs and mountain peaks.

Visitors can enjoy hiking trails that lead to stunning viewpoints where they can take in panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Another must-visit destination in Tawau is Tanjung Market. This bustling market offers a wide variety of fresh produce including seafood, Fruits and vegetables as well as handicrafts made by local artisans. Visitors can also sample some traditional Malaysian dishes at one of the many food stalls that line the streets around Tanjung Market. For those interested in history or culture, There are several museums and galleries to explore in Tawau.

The Sabah Museum showcases exhibits on local history while Gallery Kita features contemporary art from Malaysian artists. Tawau also boasts some beautiful beaches such as Kalumpang Beach which offers white sand beaches surrounded by crystal clear waters perfect for swimming or snorkeling. Other popular beaches include Sim-Sim Beach which has long stretches of golden sand lined with palm trees. The city’s close proximity to Indonesia makes it an ideal location for day trips across international borders. One such destination worth visiting is Nunukan Island which can be reached via ferry from Tawau’s port terminal.

Overall, Tawau offers visitors a unique blend of natural beauty, Cultural heritageand modern amenities making it agreat vacation spotfor travelers lookingto experience all that Malaysia hasto offer!

Important Landmarks

  1. Tawau Hills Park
  2. Teck Guan Cocoa Museum
  3. Pasar Tanjung Market
  4. Tawau Fish Market
  5. Bukit Gemok Forest Reserve
  6. Table Waterfall
  7. Balung River Eco Resort
  8. Ulu Kalumpang Forest Reserve
  9. Madai Caves
  10. Turtle Island Park

Primary Industries

  1. Agriculture – Tawau is known for its palm oil plantations, cocoa farms, rubber plantations, and fruit orchards.
  2. Fisheries – The town is also a hub for fishing and aquaculture activities.
  3. Timber Industry – There are several sawmills and wood processing factories in the area.
  4. Tourism – Tawau is a popular destination for tourists due to its beautiful beaches, diving spots, and nature reserves.
  5. Manufacturing – There are various manufacturing companies that produce products such as furniture, textiles, and electronics.
  6. Retail and Wholesale Trade – The town has numerous shopping centers that cater to both locals and tourists.
  7. Services Sector- Banking services like Maybank,Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) ,Public Bank Berhad etc., healthcare services like hospitals ,clinics etc., food industry like restaurants ,cafes etc., transportation services like bus stations,taxis etc., education sector with schools,colleges etc..

Noteable History

  1. The British North Borneo Company arrived in 1883, establishing Tawau as a trading post.
  2. Tawau experienced Japanese occupation during World War II from 1942 to 1945.
  3. Tawau was designated as a municipality in 1981.
  4. In 2015, the Sabah earthquake caused significant damage and loss of life in the region.

Notable individuals associated with Tawau include:

  1. Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman – former Chief Minister of Sabah (2003-2018) and Member of Parliament for Semporna.
  2. Datuk Seri Panglima Mohd Shafie Apdal – current Chief Minister of Sabah and Member of Parliament for Semporna.
  3. Jovina Choo Wei Yin – Malaysian national diver who won a bronze medal at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
  4. Zulhuzaimy Madzlan – Malaysian footballer playing for Sabah FA and the Malaysia national team.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Teck Guan Cocoa Museum
  2. Tawau Hills Park
  3. Tawau Tanjung Market
  4. Pasar Tanjung Tawau
  5. Wisma Persekutuan Tawau (Federal Building)
  6. Japanese War Memorial Park
  7. Bukit Gemok Recreational Forest
  8. Masjid Al-Kauthar
  9. Sabindo Plaza Shopping Centre
  10. Taman Rimba Kertasari

Sports Teams

  1. After conducting research on Tawau, Malaysia’s sports scene, it appears that the city doesn’t have a significant history of professional or semi-professional sports teams.
  2. However, there are several amateur and grassroots-level clubs and organizations that promote various sports activities in Tawau such as:
    • Football (soccer)
    • Badminton
    • Volleyball
    • Basketball
    • And others
  3. Some notable local sports clubs in Tawau include:
    • SMK Bandar Tawau Football Club – a high school-based football club that has participated in several regional and national tournaments
    • Sabindo FC – an amateur football club founded in 1987 that competes in local leagues and cups
    • Tawau Badminton Association – a non-profit organization that promotes badminton development among youths and adults through coaching programs and competitions
    • Borneo Eagles Volleyball Club – a newly established volleyball club that aims to develop young talents from the region to compete at national levels
  4. Overall, while there may not be any prominent professional teams with significant histories in Tawau yet; these grassroots-level clubs demonstrate a strong passion for their respective sport disciplines within the community of this city located on the eastern coast of Sabah state on Borneo Island.

Cultural Events

  1. Tawau Chinese New Year Celebration is a significant event for the Chinese community in Tawau, celebrated with great enthusiasm.
  2. The Tawau International Cultural Festival showcases the diverse culture of the city, featuring various performances, food stalls, and exhibitions.
  3. Sabah Fest is an annual festival that celebrates Sabah’s rich cultural heritage through traditional dances, music performances, and handicraft exhibitions.
  4. Hari Raya Aidilfitri marks the end of Ramadan and is celebrated by Muslims in Tawau with prayers, feasting, and visiting family and friends.
  5. The Harvest Festival (Pesta Kaamatan) is celebrated by the Kadazan-Dusun community in Sabah to mark the end of rice harvesting season with traditional dances, music performances, and food fairs.
  6. The Dragon Boat Festival (Duanwu Jie) is an annual celebration that falls on the 5th day of 5th lunar month.
  7. The Mid-Autumn Festival (Zhongqiu Jie) occurs annually on the 15th day of 8th lunar month.
  8. Christmas Day commemorates Jesus Christ’s birth on December 25th as a religious holiday.


  1. Nasi Kuning – a dish made from yellow rice served with fried chicken, beef rendang, or curry.
  2. Laksa Tawau – a spicy noodle soup made with fish broth, coconut milk, and various spices.
  3. Seafood – Tawau is famous for its fresh seafood dishes such as grilled fish, prawns, squid and crabs.
  4. Pasar Tanjung Market – a popular market that offers a variety of traditional Malay dishes such as nasi lemak and roti canai.
  5. Restoran Haji Tamrin – known for its delicious satay (grilled meat skewers) and other Malay dishes.
  6. Restoran Singgah Selalu – famous for its Chinese-style seafood dishes like butter prawns and chili crab.
  7. Warung Makanan Minang Asli – serves authentic Indonesian Minangkabau cuisine like rendang beef curry and ayam bakar (grilled chicken).
  8. Satey House Restaurant & Café – serves delicious satey (meat skewers) with peanut sauce dipping sauce along with other Malaysian delicacies such as nasi goreng (fried rice), mee goreng (fried noodles), laksa Johor etc
  9. Wong Fook Kopitiam – A popular coffee shop which serves breakfast items like Nasi Lemak , Roti Canai along with coffee/tea
  10. My Little Kitchen Cafe- A cozy cafe serving fusion food including western breakfast items , burgers , pasta etc

Parks and Recreation

  1. Tawau Hills Park
  2. Bukit Gemok Recreation Park
  3. Tawau Tanjung Market (night market)
  4. Pasar Tanjung (day market)
  5. Teck Guan Cocoa Museum
  6. Sabindo Square
  7. Tawau Beach
  8. Sebatik Island
  9. Tun Sakaran Marine Park
  10. Kalabakan Forest Reserve


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