PLACES OF INTEREST IN TAWAU > Hot Spring of Tawau
The Hot Spring of Tawau before 2010
The pictures here were taken before 2010. After 2010, the local government leased out this public land to a private developer to develop the site for public access and a Chinese tourists attraction.
But it did not turn out as the public wished. No Chinese tourists come here, the local have to pay entrance fee and no more traditional blessing allowed by the new owner of this Hot Spring.
The hot springs should be revived back to its traditional value site of Tawau.
A HOT Stream
Mountain stream water is always cool, as else where in other jungles and forests. But in Tawau we have a mountain stream of HOT water as hot as the hot water we used for bathing in our house.
Jalan Air Panas, Taman Air Panas, Hot Spring Park and Kampung Air Panas are
the names of a road, housing estates and a village synonymous with hot springs
located a 15-minute drive from here. The hot springs were found decades and the
surrounding area was named Air Panas (Hot Water)
These springs had been attracting streams of visitors, particularly from Sabah’s east coast as far as Kunak and Semporna. Local people use the spring water for medicinal skin treatment. Bathing in spring water is popular here. They bring along food for lunch as the place feels fresh and is ideal for picnicking.
Above picture show warm spring water drain beside a major road construction site. The construction site is only 200 meters from the hot sprigs and due to complete by middle of 2007
Direction Map to Tawau Hot Spring
All 8 hot sulphurous springs occur along the 50 m stretch of mountain stream. Some springs outlets are on the riverbed, others by the bank.
The spring waters are acidic. A strong hydrogen sulphide smell can be detected before reaching stream.
Elderly villagers come here for ritualistic food offering, to please the spirits of nature as well as deities and ancestors. Rice offerings on banana leaves is common in Malaysia. Families come to offer in return for 'Selamat' (blessing).
According to the village tradition, when you first time come to this Hot
Stream you must bring an offering of food and recite a special blessing. This
blessing praises Allah (God) for His creation (food crops) and creating good
lives (wealth) for the people.
They arrived colorful dressed. Usually women carry the family's basket of offerings. The offerings consisted of food with affection for the lower gods as well as the upper gods, the evil gods as well as the good gods.
This offering (picture below) is places beside one of the 8 spring water outlets.
Visitors also come for therapeutic reasons. The local believed the hot spring water can cure ailments and skin diseases. Many bring the holy water home to be used as medicine in time of need.
Villagers affix a 'blessing' to a tree when ever they come to pay their respect to mother nature.
A 'blessing' could be color string/ribbon, a poetry, a personal note, a religious passage etc. Having affixed their 'blessings' to the tree the villagers return home with joy and feeling of confirmation from God.
|Tawau Travel Guide|