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Islands of Borneo

Islands of Borneo

Though Borneo is mainly known as the best place for wildlife adventures, it is also surrounded by some of the most beautiful islands in the world. Most of the islands are especially popular among scuba diving enthusiasts. Other islands have amazing beaches and fantastic snorkeling opportunities. Some of Borneo's best islands are Sipadan, Mabul, Kapalai, Mataking, Sibuan, Pom-Pom, Selingan, Lankayan and all islands withing the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park opposite of Kota Kinabalu.

Sandakan

Sandakan

Sandakan is the second biggest city in Sabah. The city is a gateway to numerous eco destinations within Sabah. Nearby Sandakan you can find the Sepilok orangutan rehabilitation center; a very popular tourist attraction in Sabah. Other great attractions nearby Sandakan are the Gomantong Caves, Kinabatangan river, Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary, Turtle Island and the very long canopy walk at the Rainforest Directory Centre.

Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur or KL

Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia. Over 8 million people live within the greater KL area which is clearly noticeable by the huge and vast amounts of traffic that goes into the city every morning, and slowly leaves the city in the evening. Kuala Lumpur has many interesting attractions; like Merdeka Square, Chinatown, Petronas Twin Towers and much more. KL is also known as a shoppers paradise; there are are numerous huge shopping malls where you can literally shop til you drop.

Malacca

Historical town of Malacca

Malacca is one of the most popular tourist destinations within Malaysia. Every evening the famous Jonker Street night market is buzzing with tourists from all over the world. In 2008 UNESCO listed Malacca as World Heritage Site. Besides the many beautiful historical sites Malacca is also well known for its great food. Everywhere that you look you will find places to eat; experts claim the best local dishes in Malaysia originate from Malacca.

Kuching in Sarawak

Kuching; gateway to Sarawak

Kuching is the biggest Malaysian city on Borneo and also the capital city of the state of Sarawak. Kuching is a very popular tourist destination as it serves as entry point to numerous great attractions within the heart of Sarawak. The city has enough to offer to keep tourists occupied for at least a couple of days. Popular attractions around Kuching are among others Semenggoh Rehabilitation Centre and Bako National Park. There are daily flights to Kuching from Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bharu.

Tawau

Tawau aerial view

Tawau is the third biggest city of Sabah, after Kota Kinabalu in the west and Sandakan in the east. The city plays an important role within Malaysia because of its three major products; tobacco, cocoa and palm oil. As the city is located along the Celebes Sea, it is also known for its great seafood restaurants (especially popular are the huge tiger prawns). Tawau is one of the biggest producers of cocoa in the world. Next to that much of the timber from the mainland of Borneo is shipped out of Sabah via Tawau’s port. Tawau is located in the southeastern region of Sabah, nearby the eastern border with Kalimantan, Indonesia (though you need to obtain a visa to cross the border to Indonesia up front).

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Gateway to top dive spots

Tawau itself is not that popular among tourist, though many arrive daily at Tawau Airport to travel via Semporna to the fabulous diving spots around the islands of Sipadan, Kapalai, Mataking and Mabul. Those that stay overnight can either chose to sleep at one of the basic hotels and guesthouses or at the only 4 star hotel in the city; The Promenade Hotel Tawau . The hotel is located right next to the biggest mall in Tawau; Eastern Plaza Shopping Centre. Among the more basic hotels are the Heritage Hotel and the King Park Hotel (most of the hotels are located in the Fajar area).

 

Attractions in and around Tawau

Tawau Hills National Park

Attractions in and around Tawau consists of the Central Market, the Fish Market, the Bell Tower, the Al-Kauthar Mosque, Tawau Hills National Park (recreational park for picnics), hiking at Bukit Gemok with its canopy walk, the Teck Guan Cocoa Museum, the Madai Caves and the Tawau hot springs. A bit further away from Tawau is the Maliau Basin and Danum Valley; both with their pristine jungles.

 

How to get to Tawau

Tawau Airport

Both Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia offer daily flights from Kuala Lumpur (KLIA and LCCT) and from Kota Kinabalu to Tawau. Prices often differ not that much between the two airlines, though AirAsia does offer cheaper fares during their special promotions. Once you arrive at the airport, the taxi is the easiest and quickest way to get to Tawau city center (30km, around RM45). A considerable cheaper solution is to travel by public bus from the airport to Tawau.

 

Map of Tawau

Below you can see a map of Tawau. You can simply scroll through the map with your mouse. Use the markers on the left to zoom in or out of the city map.

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