We left Semporna with a sunburn, and began our short drive to Tawau. It was a largely uneventful day with one exception.
Upon reaching Tawau, we made a courtesy visit to the Cocoa Museum. We found it, well, like the types of places you go when you’re on a tour. That is, not our cup of tea.
Next was a visit to the Central Market, which has a very strange system to their coupon parking. As soon as we parked, a guy approached us to sell us a book of parking coupons. We were only going to be there for an hour, so we didn’t need a book. But he wouldn’t sell us just one coupon. He also said that if we didn’t have a coupon, we would get fined.
So we parked elsewhere, in the same parking lot but away from the guy. Just as we were figuring out what to do, an elderly couple parked their car next to us. Baby Crab asked them how the parking system worked.
The elderly lady told us — and gave us one coupon of hers — that all we had to do was to place the coupon on our windscreen. The car park attendant would be around to scratch out the time for us.
That was weird, but when in Rome, do as the Romans do.
The Central Market was much like any other central markets we’ve come across, so we’re not gonna bore you with more photos of vegetables and salted fish. Just this one of chilli padi.
A late lunch, or early dinner, was at Kedai Kim Kim.
Owner of Kedai Kim Kim, with whom we chatted for a while.
Tawau, being near the sea, also has a lovely view at Jalan Persisiran.
Then we started to look for a place to stay. Tawau’s hotels were largely unimpressive, but Baby Tilapia stumbled across one that had excellent reviews. It had 141 reviews and rated 4.2/5 stars on Google. Basically almost any hotel with 4 stars and above are worth looking into.
In this case, the moment you step into the hotel lobby, you’re greeted by a blast of cold air. That was promising because most hotels skimp on air-conditioning in the lobby.
Unlike other hotels that we stayed at, which at most provided two 500ml bottles of water, this one had a cold water dispenser. We promptly filled up all our bottles.
For under RM100, we got a decent room with good water pressure and hot water, powerful air-con, free breakfast, and a working TV. One of the channels was a cctv showing the outside of the hotel, including where our car was parked. So if we didn’t want to watch TV, we could watch our car.
Baby Tilapia loved the hotel because it exceeded expectations, and he gave them a good review on Google.