Monday, 14 January 2013

Tawau as a South-East Town


Gambar 1: Tawau Sabah


Tawau is the third largest town in Sabah located at south-east and being famous for its fresh and cheap seafood. Besides, it is the largest argo-tourism destination in Sabah. Attractions here include Balung Eco Resort, Tawau Hills Park and Teck Guan Cocoa Museum and few others. Tawau is related close to Semporna.

Sources of information:


There are different stories about the origin of state’s name. The Tidong community claims that the name came from the fishing hook which called Tawau. The stories begin when the British came to the state where when the British asked the name of Tawau River, Tidongs community mention the word Tawau as a mistaken of Tidongs community as they think British ask them what are they doing due to not understanding English.

On the other hand, Bugis claimed that Tawau means it is their “ownership”, while the Cocos Islander community explained that Tawau came from the words “tawar” in the meaning of no taste or lack of power of people felt when they entered Tawau.

Each local communities believed that the origin of Tawau’s name is related to their community. From tradition view, there is a kind of very bitter herbal leaves called “tawao” which is taken raw when encountered sugar level problems or diabetic. This however is also said to be relate to the origin of Tawau’s name.

To find more on the Tawau History, feel free to read through the post by click the below link,
Sources of information:

There are pictures on the history of Tawau showing the development through years. Please refer to this source of information:


There is not much in the Tawau Town itself but there are lots of attractions around the town. All attractions consists of Central Market, the Fish Market, the Bell Tower, the Al-Kauthar Mosque, Tawau Hills National Park, Bukit Gemok, Teck Guan Cocoa Museum, the Madai Caves and the Tawau hot springs.

Refer sources below to learn the detail about Tawau attractions.

Personal experience

I have personally been to Tawau on 4 days 3 nights trip. Tawau gave me friendly images as I was fully overwhelmed by the warmth of the locals. I went there with some of my friend following a friend origin from Tawau. We were allowed to stay in her house, welcomed warmly by them and able to enjoy the local cuisine and learning their tradition.

My friend hometown is located on a village not far from Tawau Town. Her house is located on a small hill and was a little tilt which makes me felt nervous whenever climbing it. Most of the house here are double stories and was combinations of brakes and wood. On the other hand, another friend of mine that origin in Tawau stays in a house which is high from ground due to the geographic factor. His house is along the seaside which is in the area affected by the tide of the sea. We could see the sea from his house and the view is indescribable. Every day when the sea level increase, the water will flood into the area and making it seems like the house is built in sea.

The family cuisine in Tawau is mostly the same as the other region in Sabah but I found it interesting when we are provided lunch on deer meat (venison). I were told that the deer that we eat are those which the family hunt themselves in the jungle. It is an amazing fact for me and was the first time I eat deer meats. Quite delicious I must admit.
Gambar 2: Tawau Town

I’ve never been to much of the attractions but I do appear to be in Tawau Town a lot. The town is not too busy yet still full of people. Since Tawau is along the seaside, we can just feel the breeze from the sea when we are hanging around the seaside. From the seaside of Tawau Town, we are able to have a view of our neighbor country which is land of Indonesia over the other side of the sea.

About the local food, I was told that Nasi Lalap was a must to try in Tawau. Nasi Lalap is basically rice cum chicken with a very unique sauce. My friend claimed that Nasi Lalap in Tawas was the best among the Sabah.  There are lots of stores selling that along the Tawau Town too. Nasi Lalap is a new dish for me and it taste good. The rice is in a form of either fried or not according to a person preferences and what makes it special was the chicken and the sauce accompanied. The chicken of Nasi Lalap is cooked in a unique way along with the spices and the sauce also specially made with a really delicious aroma which makes me can’t help but have more of it. The dish is too best to serve with a fresh coconut drink and with the feel of seaside breeze.

I passed through one of the attraction which is Bukit Gemok that usually a place for jungle hiking. It is not really that fat like stated in its name “Gemok” and I wonder where the name came from. However, the greenish view of the hills is a rare treasure for me whom live in cities with less plant to start with.  

Besides, there was little experience that I found interesting and memorable. We were given chances to spend a night or actually slept in a pavillion in the middle of the sea. It is connected to the road by a small bridge build by wood. It is quite scary at first since when we walked we were actually quite high on the sea. We can hear the sound of the sea waves hitting the seaside and feel the cold breeze at night. Furthermore, we were enjoying the full moon that night. Of course it would be bad to mention that it rain in the middle of the night which makes us have to ran back to our vehicle and head straight back to home.

We too was brought to a high lands and we could view the whole Tawau below. The Tawau city in night view is quite adorable and the light along the road is seems to show that the day ever end when the night city started to operate. When we get to higher level of the highlands, our cell phone was disconnect with Malaysia’s mobile operator and we are connected to the Indonesia operator although at the moment we were in Malaysia territory. It is a sign that shows we were really near to the border of Malaysia and Indonesia.

The Tawau city will surely become a place full with memory to whoever visits it in such a unique way that the beautiful memory belong only to you.

Posts by: Leong Sook Yee BA 11110163 (Miyu Nancy)

No comments:

Post a Comment