Things to Do in Tawau: A Comprehensive Guide for Tourists

Tawau is a town located in the southeast of Sabah, Malaysia. It is surrounded by lush greenery and boasts diverse attractions, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers. The town also has a rich cultural heritage, blending Malay, Chinese, and indigenous influences.


Visitors to Tawau can explore various activities, from trekking in the Bukit Gemok Forest Reserve to island hopping around Semporna. For those who prefer a more relaxed pace, Tawau Waterfront offers a serene setting to enjoy the sunset or a stroll. And of course, no trip to Tawau would be complete without sampling the delicious seafood the town is renowned for.

Whether seeking an action-packed adventure or a peaceful getaway, Tawau has something for everyone. With its stunning natural beauty and unique cultural offerings, it’s no wonder that Tawau is becoming an increasingly popular destination for travelers.

Top Attractions

Tawau is a city in Sabah, Malaysia, with plenty of tourist attractions. Here are some of the top attractions that visitors should not miss:

Teck Guan Cocoa Museum

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The Teck Guan Cocoa Museum is a must-visit attraction for chocolate lovers. The museum showcases the history of cocoa in Malaysia and the chocolate-making process. Visitors can learn about the different varieties of cocoa, see the machines used in the chocolate-making process, and even taste some of the delicious chocolate produced by Teck Guan.

Tawau Hills Park

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Tawau Hills Park is a nature reserve located about 24km from Tawau. The park is home to various flora and fauna, including rare species like the orangutan and the clouded leopard. Visitors can go on guided nature walks, bird watching, and jungle trekking. There are also several hot springs in the park that visitors can relax in.

Table Waterfall

Table Waterfall is a beautiful waterfall located in the Tawau Hills Park. The waterfall cascades down a series of natural rock steps, creating a picturesque scene. Visitors can swim in the crystal-clear pool at the waterfall’s base, relax on the rocks, and enjoy the view.

Overall, Tawau offers a range of attractions for visitors to enjoy, from museums to nature reserves. Whether you’re a chocolate lover or a nature enthusiast, Tawau has something for everyone.

Outdoor Activities

Tawau offers a range of outdoor activities for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Here are some of the top outdoor activities to enjoy in Tawau:

Diving and Snorkeling

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Thanks to its clear waters and rich marine life, Tawau is a popular destination for diving and snorkeling. Some popular dive spots in Tawau include Sipadan Island, Mabul Island, and Kapalai Island. These islands are home to diverse marine life, including sea turtles, reef sharks, and colorful fish. Several dive operators in Tawau offer diving and snorkeling packages for both beginners and experienced divers.

Island Hopping

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Island hopping is another popular outdoor activity in Tawau. Visitors can explore the nearby islands, such as Bohey Dulang Island, Mantanani Island, and Sibuan Island. These islands offer beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and stunning views. Visitors can also enjoy snorkeling, kayaking, and hiking on these islands.


Fishing is a popular outdoor activity in Tawau, thanks to its abundant marine life. Visitors can go fishing and catch various fish, such as barracuda, grouper, and snapper. Several fishing charters in Tawau offer half-day and full-day fishing trips. Visitors can also enjoy a fresh seafood meal from their catch at the end of the trip.

Overall, Tawau offers a range of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether diving and snorkeling, island hopping, or fishing, there’s something for everyone in Tawau’s great outdoors.

Food and Drink

When it comes to food and drink, Tawau has a lot to offer. From street food to seafood, there is something for everyone. Here are a few places to check out:

Tawau Tanjung Market

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Tawau Tanjung Market is a must-visit destination for foodies. It is a bustling market where you can find all kinds of fresh produce, seafood, and local delicacies. The market is known for its wide variety of seafood, including lobsters, crabs, prawns, and fish. You can buy the seafood and have it cooked on the spot by the vendors. The market is also great for local snacks like kuih cincin, kuih lidah, and kuih gelang.

Restoran Haji Tamrin

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Restoran Haji Tamrin is a seafood restaurant known for its fresh fish and prawns. The restaurant has a wide variety of seafood dishes, including steamed fish, butter prawns, and salted egg squid. The portions are generous, and the prices are reasonable. The restaurant has a casual, family-friendly atmosphere and is a great place to enjoy a seafood feast with friends and family.


Tawau is a great place for shopping and offers a variety of options for visitors. From local markets to modern shopping centers, there is something for everyone. Here are a few places to check out:

Tawau Central Market

Tawau Central Market is a must-visit for a unique shopping experience. This bustling market offers many products, including fresh produce, seafood, clothing, and souvenirs. Visitors can find everything from exotic fruits to handmade crafts. It is a great place to explore and discover local culture.

Fajar Complex

Fajar Complex is a modern shopping center located in the heart of Tawau. It is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. The complex features a variety of shops, including fashion boutiques, electronics stores, and restaurants. Visitors can also enjoy a movie at the cinema or relax at the spa.

Eastern Plaza Shopping Centre

Eastern Plaza Shopping Centre is another popular shopping destination in Tawau. It is a large complex that offers a wide range of products, including clothing, electronics, and groceries. The center also features a food court and entertainment options, such as a bowling alley and arcade.

Overall, Tawau offers a great shopping experience for visitors. Whether you are looking for local products or modern shopping centers, there is something for everyone.