From Tawau Airport To Town

Getting from Tawau Airport to Tawau Town is no hassle at all. Even if you hired a rental car, as there is only one highway leading to town. When you leave Tawau airport, turn right as you enter the main highway, continue on it for 20 minutes and it will lead you to town. If you are heading to Semporna, you turn left, continue on for an hour and there it is.

Getting a Taxi-cab Ride
If you want to take a taxi-cab, you have to buy the ticket at the airport counter. It is located in the middle of the airport, next to the escalators. When you exit the Arrival Hall, turn right until you come to the escalators. The airport limo counter is on the right of the escalators. It is very easy to find as Tawau airport is a small airport. Tell them want a cab to Tawau town and they will issue a ticket to you. Then you present the ticket to the cab driver and go straight to your hotel. There is no waiting, and no other fees involved.

The taxi-cab fees from Tawau Airport to town is RM45 (Ringgit Malaysia). It is a fixed rate, and it is what I consider to be a fair price. If you want to go to Semporna, the fare is RM95.

Heritage Hotel, Tawau

Heritage Hotel, Tawau

Travel By Coach
Alternatively, you can travel by coach from the airport to town. You buy the tickets at the same place you get the taxi-cab ticket from. The coaches arrive and leave on schedule, and drop you off in the middle of town. Tawau is a small town, and you can easily walk to any of the hotels. This is a low-cost and safe alternative for the backpacker.

The coach leaves the airport at these times: 8am, 11am, 2.30pm and 5.00pm.
It only costs RM10 for a one-way ticket to town. Coaches are only available from airport to Tawau town.

Rent A Car
For the adventurous, or those who know their way around Tawau, you can rent a car at airport. There are a few car rental booths there, they offer the same kind of cars, and their prices may vary by RM20.

Perodua Kancil

Perodua Kancil

Perodua Kancil goes for RM100 a day, and if you want a bigger car like the Proton Gen2 or Waja, it costs RM200 and RM230 respectively. If you prefer a Toyota, you can pay RM250 for an Avanza or RM380 for a Camry. Need a 4-wheel drive? A Toyota Hilux (light truck) costs RM380 or a Toyota Fortuner at RM490 per day. It depends on what you want, and I would pay up to RM200 to rent a car if I really needed one.

Proton Waja

Proton Waja

You can also rent by the hour, for a minimum of 3 hours. Or hire a chauffeur with the car, although this option can double the price of the rental. If you do rent a car, rent a Proton Saga, Gen2 or Waja. The ride is more comfortable, and are more enjoyable to drive compared to a Perodua Kancil.

If you are flying to Sabah for a vacation or business, search for hotels and make your reservations here.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, October 11th, 2009 at 4:53 pm and is filed under Featured, Places. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Responses to “From Tawau Airport To Town”

  1. Marlene Says:

    You have a nice and interesting blog here. This must be a photo and travel blog, right?

    I wish someday I could travel to any place in Malaysia. I have known a lot of bloggers from there and maybe meet them someday.

    I’m not familiar with the name of the cars you have but I like the look of that Proton Waja. :-)

  2. adrian Says:

    Hi Marlene, thanks for your thumbs up.

    Interesting thing about the Waja, it’s an exactly copy of a Mercedes-Benz. Can’t remember which model but I’ve seen them side by side on the highway before. Of course, it can’t match the Benz, but it handles well on account of its Lotus engineering.

  3. wani Says:


    what a nice blog u have, i will come to tawau on mac 2010 to mabul island, my flight from kk is late and will arrive at tawau 7.20pm, are the taxi available at the time? i plan to spent night at semporna, but the journey take 1 hour, is it okay to take taxi to semporna or just go to tawau town for a night?


  4. adrian Says:

    Hi Wani, I don’t know if there are any taxis going to Semporna at night. You might have to stay the night in Tawau. If you have never been to Tawau before, it is the largest town outside of Kota Kinabalu. There isn’t much to see at night, except for supermarkets, food and some night entertainment.

    The road to Semporna is devoid of streetlights, you will be traveling in the dark through rural Sabah. If you’re a woman traveling alone, it might be advisable to exercise some caution. Hope this helps.

  5. liaw Says:

    can i stay in the Tawau airport as i will go to interior tawau and its expensive to take a taxi. any advice?

  6. adrian Says:

    There isn’t any accommodations in Tawau Airport and I think they shut the airport down after the last flight at night.

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