Location : Tawau Town, Tawau Division, Sabah, Malaysia.
Tawau is the third largest town in Sabah after Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan.
All thanks to the kind invitation from our friend in Tarakan, Mr Ivan Kansil, this trip was made possible. Our sincere appreciation also goes out to the North Kalimantan Tourism team that sponsored the trip.
If only there was a direct flight from Kuching to Tarakan, much time and money could have been saved. We had to fly to Kota Kinabalu and connecting to Tawau to stay overnight so we could catch the 11am express boat to Tarakan. The RM450 air ticket was not worth the 40 minute flight. So we rather took the 4hr boat ride costing RM160/pax each way. That was quite a sum of money saved for 2pax round trip!Trying the new Tawau port for the first time got me quite curious and excited. The old port next to the fish market was a big disappointment as I recalled the mess it was in when we did the same trip years ago. But now everything was orderly although the crowd was still enormous.
Each adult passenger was allowed 10kg max. Anything more was chargeable like 1 ringgit plus per kg. Stevedore service was available and chargeable too upon requested.
Immigration cards were sold at RM2/pc at the management office and if you fill it in yourself you save another RM3.
Entering the air-conditioned immigration room to stamp our passports was a relief away from the noisy and humid exterior. We dragged our luggage a further 100m on the shaded concrete pier in order to board the express boat. It was packed to the max as only one boat was operating on alternate days. Normally, it was one trip everyday but because another boat was under repair, the frequency was decreased to once every two days. Something travellers need to note when making travel itinerary.
Budget hotels are aplenty in Tawau. We have never made advance booking for hotels through the years we came here.
Arrived at Tarakan
Next…..Part 2 In and around Tarakan
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Also please check out our posts on our Fam Trip Journey: