At first I thought there was only one hot spring in Tawau. Actually there are two hot spring in Tawau. One is the big sulphur hot spring in Taman Hills Park. You need to walk 3.2 KM in the jungle to find it, so it is not famous among Tawau people. The second one is the small hot spring at Air Panas Road, and it is more popular.
Therefore, if you say you want to go to Hot Spring, the Tawau people will show you the direction to the small hot spring, not the big one in Tawau Hills Park. Damit… that’s why two Tawau people pointed to opposite direction when I asked for the way to hot spring. That made me very lost. Actually both of them gave the right direction, one to small hot spring, another one to Hills Park hot spring.
Clear? To get there from Tawau town, look for “Jalan Air Panas” and go straight, until you see the “JLN. HOT SPRING EXTN” sign at your right (see picture below), turn into that road, go straight again, when you see the “J. AYER PANAS LAMA BATU 3” sign, go straight for 50 meters and you will see a small wooden bridge next to the roadside.
Just cross the bridge and follow the path (see picture below). After you walk about 50 meters, you will see a bridge made of log. Congratulations! You have reached the hot spring.
“Huh? Where is it?” was my first response when I seemed to come to a dead end (see picture below). What I saw was just a small and stink river.
Suddenly I heard sound under the bridge. When I looked down, I saw some bubbling points in the river. The longkang (drain) smell is actually the smell of sulphur. Then I saw steam coming out from the bubbling points. I was told that the hot spring water was hot. Too bad I didn’t bring an egg to test if it can boil the egg. There are some white substances deposit near the bubbling points. I don’t know what it is. It is interesting but this hot spring is really small. Many locals don’t even bother to look at it.
Anyway, I made a one-minute video clip for you to get an idea. You may decide whether you want to go there after watching the video.