Kuala Lumpur Tawau – Jun 08

16th June 2008
Destination Tawau

This is my fourth trip to Tawau on official duty. My first trip was way back in 1979 when I was a teacher at SMK Kota Marudu, on the northern part of Sabah West Coast. That was when I was a coach for Pantai Barat Utara and the journey was from Kota Marudu – Kota Belud – Ranau – Sandakan – Lahad Datu – Tawau by land. However due to the bad condition of the road I took a flight back to Kota Kinalabu after the MSSS meet. Then again I came back to Tawau in 2006 to conduct a course for the Navy at Tanjung Batu Navy Base. Followed by another course in the same year at Institut Perguruan Tawau. This year I come back to Tawau for the same reason.

My flight was at 9.20 and I left my house at 7.00 in the morning. I did not expect that there were many passengers because it was the first day of the week. Upon arrival at KLIA, I saw there were quite a queue at the self check in machine. All but one the terminals had a line of at least 6 person. So does that mean Malaysian Airport should install more machines since MAS is promoting the self check-in.

To make things easier I think Malaysian Airports and MAS should install more machines not only at the airport but maybe at the Petronas Petrol Station after the KLIA Toll. With the availability, passengers can self check-in at the station before reaching KLIA and that gives more alternatives to passengers instead of crowding at the KLIA terminal.

Compared to the normal check-in, using this self check-in passenger have to queue up two times. Firat to check-in and get the boarding pass. Then have to queue again to check-in the baggage. I saw there are two baggage check-in counters. I took about 45 minutes from the time I arrive at self check-in machine and checked-in my baggage.

The picture below tells another story. This is the first time there is a long queue before passengers can enter the Departure lounge. Usually the line is just less than 10 metres or no line at all. The picture below shows how far I was before reaching the security check to enter the departure. Found out that there is only one security personnel checking the boarding pass of passengers before being allowed into the Departure Lounge.

After about 10 metres away a group of ladies just walk up to the gate beating the queues and I think they reach the scanning machine without any check by security personnel. Reason? Only one security personnel, a lady, and she is busy with the long line before her. Even though there is no security problem arise, it should send a message to the airport authority that security is a bit slacking.

This is the new look inside the cabin. Well, maybe it has been there for sometimes, but its the first time I saw this brightly coloured seat casing. It is more vibrant compared to the normal seat covers.

I think this The Natuna Islands. I was on 27 F, the Starboard seat, which is my favourite seat from Kuala Lumpur. But if you fly from Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur, then take the portside seat to be alble to see the island.

A close-up picture of the island showing signs of inhabitant and the presence of a landing strip.

Below: This Departure Information Board display the wrong gate for my flight to Tawau at first. It show flight MH 2173 to Tawau as Gate A4. I saw the passengers waiting at A4. However when I asked the personnel manning the counter, his answer did not show MH (Malaysian Hospitality). There is not a smile and did not even bother to see the inquirer. If there are many passenger ask the same question, then he as a staff should be alert that the departure information board bust give the wring information. This happens at the new wing that was completed at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport. Urghhhh…….Malaysian Hospitality. Or is it because all the passengers are locals, they does not need Malaysian Hospitality.

The new wing that has been completed.

Above: Tawau Airport seen from the air.

Tawau Airport. Ahh……landed safely.

Steamboat in Tawau


Tawau is a haven for seafood if your hobby is eating. Tawau located facing the sea and Pulau Sebatik just off shore. Fisherman brings in fresh fish and you get the most delicious seafood. Fresh and sweet.

While in Tawau a local friend Samson took me, Farid and Ong to a famous steamboat restaurant at Jalan Sin On. It is Daily Q steamboat Restaurant. I was surprise to see the place is crowded, which shows how famous it is. The main and only dish (I think) is steamboat.

Steamboat; this is not your riverboat variety, rather it is a pot of boiling soup heated constantly by gas stove fire, or for a rare one of kind, heated by charcoal fire. Uncooked chicken, fish, prawn, various kinds of meatballs, fish balls, crabsticks, variety of vegetables, tofu, noodles, beehun and eggs are served on plates to the patron. Here at Daily Q they are arranged at a central location and patron can choose whatever he/she likes. I think here it is eat what you can basis

After making his/her choice, then proceed with putting some portion of it into the boiling cauldron of soup till it is cooked. If there is a cover for the pot, use it, as it will cook the dishes faster. For the uninitiated, here’s a rough guide: normally, the meat dishes goes into the pot first as they take longer to cook. Prawns cook real fast so a quick dip till it turns red and it can be taken out to eat. Tofus thrown in tend to break to pieces while rummaging for grub, this is normal, just eat the pieces whenever you scoop it out with laddle, There are two types of laddle; one with holes in it and one without. The ladle with holes is to scoop out the grub without scooping out the soup thereby flooding your tiny bowl with soup. Soup is to be savored midway or later as it would be most tasty after boiling countless meat and vegetables.

Hey, don’t forget the veges. Its your source of fibre. Seafood contains high content of cholesterol. So gulp down Chinese tea which neutralises the cholesterol.

Rows of seafood and pick your choice

Vegetables are usually thrown in sometimes halfway through your meal but there is no fix rule, you can throw them in anytime you feel like it. Noodles, beehun and eggs are usually the last to go in. Noodles and beehun get cooked really fast, all it needs is just a dip for a minute and you are good to go. Scoop some soup to your bowl of noodles or beehun to complete the dish. For variety, some restaurant serves what they call “Ying Yong” steamboat, where there is a partition in the pot separating it into two halves. The reason for that is to have two different kinds of soup to make your steamboat experience more interesting. Depending on the restaurant, there is a choice of usual plain soup, herbal soup, or for those who like a kick, the spicy tom yam soup!

Wait a minute! I listed three types of soup, and there is only two halves! Yeah, you can only choose any two out of three choices.

Just boil your food and yummy

Vegetables and sauce to choose from

Different sauce to suit your taste bud

The Tawau Series – II

Hotel North Borneo situated at Jalan Dunlop. Its a budget hotel with a star rated hotel facilities. Rate offered was RM 60 nett. Streamyx broadband internet access is provided in all rooms and the best thing its Free of charge. Therefore I was able to be connected to the internet 24 hours. I think all hotels should follow them. Everoom has a private balcony and mine was a corner room and therefore the viewing range is wider.

To contact 089-763060

The Tawau Series – I

Aerial view of Tawau Town

The first time I set foot in Tawau was in 1979 when I attended the Majlis Sukan Sekolah-sekolah Sabah Track and Field meet. All I could remember was I stayed at the SRK Pekan Tawau, sleeping on classroom tables. Then I was one of the coach for Pantai Barat Utara.

In 2005 I step foot on Tawau ground again and stayed at Oriental Hotel also at Jalan Dunlop. During that visit I conducted a course at the navy base, KD Sri Tawau. Well, I was not into blogging yet and therefore have written nothing about the visit.

August 2006 I came to Tawau again for the same reason but at a different place, Institut Perguruan Tawau. This series is about my latest vsit to Tawau.

21 August.
A friend took me and Ong to a restaurant which he said serve something special. It is Ah Bang Restaurant situated on the first floor of a shop house at Sabindo. The row of shop is near the Bank Pertanian Malaysia and opposite Mahkamah Tawau. Food served is just plain white rice and fish in gravy. I ordered the amut (not sure the name is correct) fish (picture below). A set is priced at RM 6.50 and chinese tea is free. My friend Samson who is a local and became our unofficial host took the Ikan Bulu. It tastes nice. Worth trying whenever you visit Tawau.