Last Update on Monday, 06 August, 2018 11:17:29 PM



Places of interest near Hot Spring of Tawau :  Tawau Hot Spring Golf Course

The new Hot Springs Recreational Park  |  The old Tawau Hot Spring in 2008  |


The Hot Spring of Tawau before 2010


A  HOT Stream

Mountain stream water is always cool, as else where in other jungles and forests.  But in Tawau we have a mountain stream of HOT water as hot as the hot water we used for bathing in our house.



Jalan Air Panas, Taman Air Panas, Hot Spring Park and Kampung Air Panas are the names of a road, housing estates and a village synonymous with hot springs located a 15-minute drive from here. The hot springs were found decades and the surrounding area was named Air Panas (Hot Water)

These springs had been attracting streams of visitors, particularly from Sabah’s east coast as far as Kunak and Semporna. Local people use the spring water for medicinal skin treatment. Bathing in spring water is popular here.  They bring along food for lunch as the place feels fresh and is ideal for picnicking.

Above picture show warm spring water drain beside a  major road construction site.  The construction site is only 200 meters from the hot sprigs and due to complete by middle of 2007


Direction Map to Tawau Hot Spring

1024 x 1344  183KB

All 8 hot sulphurous springs occur along the 50 m stretch of mountain stream. Some springs outlets are on the riverbed, others by the bank.

The spring waters are acidic. A strong hydrogen sulphide smell can be detected before reaching stream.


Elderly  villagers  come  here  for
ritualistic food offering,  to please
the spirits of nature  as  well  as
deities  and ancestors.  Rice offerings
on banana leaves is common in Malaysia.
Families  come to offer in return
for 'Selamat' (blessing).

According to the village tradition, when you first time come to this Hot Stream you must bring an offering of food and recite a special blessing. This blessing praises Allah (God)  for His creation (food crops) and creating good lives (wealth) for the people.

They arrived colorful dressed. Usually women carry the family's basket of offerings. The offerings consisted of food with affection  for the lower gods as well as the upper gods, the evil gods as well as the good gods.

This offering (picture below) is places beside one of the 8 spring  water outlets.

Visitors also come for therapeutic reasons. The local believed the hot spring water can cure ailments and skin diseases. Many bring the holy water home to be used as medicine in time of need.

Villagers affix a 'blessing' to a tree when ever they come to pay their respect to mother nature.  


A 'blessing'  could be color string/ribbon, a poetry, a personal note, a religious passage etc.  Having affixed their 'blessings' to the tree the villagers return home with joy and feeling of confirmation from God.

The hot springs are in a state of neglect and number of visitors is dwindling. The place will be abandoned if no serious efforts undertaken to prime up the area by the authority.

Thick bushes have sprouted around this pool used by visitors to bathe. This pool’s bottom is covered in mud swept in by the overflowing Sungai Tajung during  flooding seasons and covered the fissures which the hot water flowed into the pool.

The hot springs should be revived and used as a tourism spot for Tawau.

There are several hot springs outlets in the area. Some are located under river bad evidenced by the bubbling surface of the river with hot water gushing out from underneath. Previously, one could boil eggs by dipping them for a few minutes in the hot water outlets. This is not possible now as the  thick mud layer covering the springs reduced the temperature.