Getting Around Tawau


Non-air conditioned buses depart from Jalan Stephen Tan Bus Terminal to other areas in Tawau, including those further away such as Tawau Hill Park and Airport. Prices are calculated based on the distance.


Taxi stands are available in more crowded areas but prices are not calculated using meters, so it is advisable to agree a price with the taxi driver before boarding. Taxis from the airport are regulated and prices are fixed. Reference fare for a journey from the airport to the city centre is around RM45.00. When travelling to the outskirts, it is advisable to arrange prior with a taxi driver to fetch you from the area as taxis are hard to come-by at those areas.

Hotel Transportation

Most hotels can arrange for transport from the airport either at a fee or as part of hotel rate. Please contact the hotel prior to arrival to make arrangements.


Mobile app car-hailing service GrabCar is also available in Tawau and users may download the GrabCar application to enjoy this service.

By Air

Tawau International Airport (TWU) is 30 kilometres from the centre of town. Flights to Sandakan, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur and Tarkan are available in Kalimantan, Indonesia. The MASWing aircraft caters flights to KK, Sandakan and Indonesia, while the Air Asia and Malaysia Airlines aircraft will take passengers to KK and KL.

By Bus

If you are planning to travel long distance by bus, the terminal is located at the eastern side of Jalan Dunlop. The buses that specifically head to KK would often be situated in the back end of the terminal, nearby Jalan Chen Fook.
Kota Kinabalu via Keningau: 8 hours
Sandakan: 6 hours
Minivans to Semporna take 1.5 hours, and to Lahad Datu takes 3 hours.

By Sea

There will be two separate ferry companies heading to different ports of Kalimantan, Indonesia. Remember to be there one hour prior in order to buy a ticket. The ports list a 30-day only visa-free entry points for those coming from eligible countries. Check with the local consulate for more information on visa payment and visa requirements. The processing time often takes about a day.

By Car

Plan your journey meticulously as the trip to each town can take up to hours because of the long and windy roads. Make sure to do a thorough check to ensure your car works well before renting it. A gentle reminder is that driving in Sabah will not be the same as driving on the highways of West Malaysia.