Tawau (Malaysian pronunciation: [ˈta wau], Jawi: تاواو, Chinese: pinyin:Dǒu Hú) formerly known as Tawao, is the third-largest town in Sabah after Kota Kinabalu City and Sandakan, on the south-eastern coast of Borneo inMalaysia. It is located on the east coast of the island in the administrative centre of Tawau Division which is surrounded by the Sulu Sea in the east, the Celebes Sea to the south at Cowie Bay and shares a border with East Kalimantan (now North Kalimantan). The town has an estimated population of 113,809, while the whole municipalities area has a total population of 397,673.
Tawau town centre.
|Coordinates: 4°15′30″N 117°53′40″E|
Although the name of Tawao already on a nautical chart from 1857, yet there is prior to 1879 with no clear evidence for a settlement. Even the Dutch after the founding of the East India Company had establish a trading post in Borneo, no significant activities of the Dutch on the east coast were first recorded. But it changed in 1846, when Netherlands had a treaty with the Sultan of Bulungan, who assured them to control in this area. When Dutch has began to operates in 1867, the Sultan married his son to the daughter of the Sultan of Tarakan, which the Dutch sphere of influence finally reached the region around Tawao. The north are the Dutch area but now overlapped with an area claimed for the Sultan of Sulu.
A conflict with the British after that was inevitable, as in 1878 the Sultan of Sulu put the southern boundary of his land sold to the Baron von Overbeck until the Sibuco River. To settle the border dispute, the British North Borneo Chartered Company negotiated in the 1880s with the Dutch definition of a boundary between their conferred by the Sultan of Sulu area and the area that the Dutch claimed on the basis of agreement with the Sultan of Bulungan.On 20 January 1891, a final agreement was reached on a line along 4° 10' north latitude - on the central division of the Sebatik Island.
In the early 1890s, only about 200 people lived in the settlement with most of them are immigrants from Bulungan in Kalimantan and some from Tawi-Tawi who had fled from the Dutch and Spanish rule. The settlement was then called "Tawao" and become "Tawau". Majority who flee from the Dutch colonisation are still negotiating in trade with the Dutch. In 1893, a British vessel S.S. Normanhurst sailed into Tawau for the first time with a full cargo of trade items and in 1898, the British build a settlement which later grew rapidly when the British North Borneo Company sponsored the migration of Chinese to Tawau. On 16 December 1941, the Japanese invasion of Borneo began. After the first landing in Miri, the Japanese moved along the coastline of Borneo from the oil fields of Kuching and moving towards Jesselton, while in Tawau life continued as normal. However on 24 January 1942, the Japanese were sighted off Batu Tinagat. The district officer Cole Adams and his assistant expecting the attacker at the shipyard and were arrested on the spot.
The Penang Museum and Art Gallery, in George Town, houses relics, photographs, maps, and other artefacts that document the history and culture of Penang and its people. The Penang Islamic Museum at the former Syed Alatas Mansion highlights the history of Islam in Penang from its beginnings until today. The tragedy of the Second World War is vividly depicted in the Penang War Museum, a former fortress constructed by the British in anticipation of an amphibious invasion by the Japanese that never materialised. The Universiti Sains Malaysia Museum and Gallery, located within the university campus contains an extensive exhibition relating to ethnographic and performing arts, and features various art works by Malaysian artists. Also, Penang Toy Museum is located at Tanjung Bungah and there is a forestry museum within the Teluk Bahang Forest Park. The Penang State Art Gallery at Dewan Sri Pinang showcases a permanent collection of local artists as well as special exhibitions. The birthplace of Malaysia's legendary singer-actor P. Ramlee has been restored and turned into a museum. Penang also houses other museums such as the Camera Museum, Batik Painting Museum and Sun Yat-sen Museum.
Visited by Somerset Maugham, Rudyard Kipling, Noël Coward and Queen Elizabeth II among many others, Penang has always been a popular tourist destination, both domestically and internationally. In 2009, Penang attracted 5.96 million tourists, ranking third in tourist arrivals in Malaysia. Penang is known for its rich heritage, multicultural society and its vibrant culture, its hills, parks, and beaches, shopping, and good food. There are a variety of accommodation options from guest houses and budget hotels to four- and five-star hotels. For staying at a room for one night, guests are required to pay a bed tax around RM2 to RM3.
Penang has been ranked by Yahoo! Travel as one of the "10 Islands to Explore Before You Die" and listed in Patricia Schultz's best-selling 1,000 Places to See Before You Die travel book.
The most popular beaches in Penang are located at Tanjung Bungah, Batu Ferringhi, and Teluk Bahang, and these contiguous beaches are home to Penang's famed hotel and resort belt. More secluded Muka Head, which hosts a lighthouse and a marine research station, and Monkey Beach – both within the Penang National Park – offer more pristine water.
Pollution which has been going on for years taints the beauty of the beaches and increasingly turns tourists away to places like Langkawi and Pangkor. Among the identified sources of pollution include inefficient sewage disposal and unchecked commercial activitie
Despite its limited land size and dense population, Penang has managed to retain a considerable area of natural environment. As of 2011, 7% of the state's total surface area or 7524 hectares was forested. Located at the fringe of George Town, at the foot of Penang Hill are two adjacent green areas – the Penang Municipal Park (popularly known as Youth Park) and the Penang Botanic Gardens. Penang Hill, despite encroaching development, remains thickly forested and lush in vegetation. The Relau Metropolitan Park was opened in 2003. Robina Beach Park is a park by the beach near Butterworth.
Gazetted in 2003, the Penang National Park (the country's smallest at 2,562 hectares) at the northwestern tip of Penang island boasts of a lowland dipterocarp forest, mangroves, wetlands, a meromictic lake, mud flats, coral reefs and turtle nesting beaches in addition to a rich diversity of birdlife. In addition to this, there are nature preserves in Bukit Relau,Teluk Bahang, Bukit Penara, Bukit Mertajam, Bukit Panchor, and Sungai Tukun. The Penang Butterfly Farm in Teluk Bahang, one of few of its kind in the world, is a walk-in free-ranging butterfly habitat, breeding and conservation centre. The Penang Bird Park in Seberang Jaya is the first aviary in Malaysia. Other places of special interest include the Tropical Spice Garden and the Tropical Fruit Farm in Teluk Bahang, and the Bukit Jambul Orchid and Hibiscus Garden.
A small bushy tree, Alchornea rhodophylla, the almost-extinct tree Maingaya malayana, and the toad Ansonia penangensisare endemic to the island of Penang. Some of the commonly seen birds in Penang include the migratory greater spotted eagle (Aquila clanga), the blue-tailed bee-eater (Merops philippinus) and the blue-throated bee-eater (Merops viridis), and the endemic chestnut-headed bee-eater (Merops leschenaulti), the brahmniy kite (Haliastur indus), the common sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos), and the white-bellied sea eagle. The sandy beaches of Penang National Park are the nesting grounds for the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) from April to August, and the olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidocchelys olivacea) between September and February. The Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) and the bottlenose dolphin(Tursiops truncatus) are occasionally sighted in the coastal seas off the park. Also living in the park are the leopard cat(Prionailurus bengalensis), the flying lemur (Galeopterus variegatus), and one of the world's largest arboreal rodents, thecream-coloured giant squirrel (Ratufa affinis))
Penang is a major shopping destination in the northern region of Peninsular Malaysia. It has several modern shopping malls offering a wide range of merchandise. Among the more popular ones on Penang island are Queensbay Mall (Penang's largest), Gurney Plaza and Gurney Paragon at the famed Gurney Drive, 1st Avenue Penang a brand new mall in the heart of the Penang, KOMTAR (Penang's first modern shopping mall) and Penang Times Square (an integrated commercial and residential complex near Komtar). As one of the earliest shopping mall around, Kompleks Bukit Jambul is still a household name and renowned for mobile phone, IT technology and trendiest boutiques in the market. Notable shopping malls in Seberang Perai are Sunway Carnival Mall at Seberang Jaya and AEON Seberang Prai City at Bandar Perda.
Traditional bazaars such as the Chowrasta Market and Campbell Street, and makeshift open-air night markets known aspasar malam were the precursors to today's shopping malls. They offer goods ranging from modern electronics and textiles to foodstuffs and local produce.