Hot Springs, New Tourist Draw In Malaysia Tawau
 updatetime:2010-03-28 14:50:36   View:0 Source:xinhuanet
    When Bernama reported the existence of hot springs in Kampung Air Panas some one year ago, the spot was a pitiful sight with the presence of thick undergrowth and puddles of water on the ground.

TAWAU, Jan 28 (Bernama) -- When Bernama reported the existence of hot springs in Kampung Air Panas some one year ago, the spot was a pitiful sight with the presence of thick undergrowth and puddles of water on the ground.

Then, the hot springs there could have numbered about 100 but they were spread all over the place including the riverbanks as well as in the river itself. The only evidence of these hot springs is the existence of hot air bubbles and froth on the river surface.

Even among the Tawau folks themselves, not many were aware over the existence of the hot springs, further compounding the area's neglect.

At that time, there were only a handful of visitors even though on the weekend or public holiday.

FACE LIFT

Now that scenario is no more as the hot springs have been given a face lift. A private company has moved in and developed the hot springs into a tourist draw and the place is known as the 'Taman Rekreasi Air Panas'(Hot Springs Recreational Park).

As soon as the visitors arrive at the park's entrance, they would be greeted by the beautiful landscape where the foliage of shrubs at the park was trimmed and 'carved' to form the words '1Malaysia' and 'Hotspring'.

"We started to develop the park, spread over 16.2 hectares in February 2009. We invested almost RM1.0 million for the make over of this place in order to draw the tourists.

"If everything proceed well, the park will be opened to the public in June," said Soon Ten Fook the general manager for Rekobumi Sdn Bhd, the recreational park's developer.

He said the park would enable the tourists as well as the Tawau community to have a recreational spot particularly for the weekend.

MAIN DRAW

Among the attractions at the Hot Springs Recreational Park, located about 8.0 km from Tawau town are several pools for the visitors, either for bathing or simply soaking their feet.

The pools have water of varying temperatures, from 30 degrees to 60 degrees Celsius and are suitable for both adults and children alike. The water is believed to be good for health as well as for the skin.

"At the moment, the hot spring pools are undergoing tests to ensure that they are safe before the visitors are allowed to use them," said Soon.

Apart from having hot water baths, the visitors can also enjoy fresh air from the nearby jungle that are rich with tropical trees apart from viewing the beautiful flower trees at the park.

There is also a jogging track apart from 20 huts for the visitors to rest.

STAY OVERNIGHT

For visitors who wish to stay overnight at the park, there are chalets for them. The park's operator also offers facilities for the staging of seminars, forums and other functions.

For this purpose, the developer has plans to build a hall that can accommodate 400 people at any particular time.

According to Soon, other amenities such as toilets, canteen and restaurant are available. For the Muslim visitors, a prayer room will be made available. There is also a bird house that has various avian species.

"We plan to have the park included in the Sabah Tourism Corporation map, making it one of the tourism destinations in Tawau. We hope tourists who disembark at Tawau Airport would come to the hotsprings recreational park.

"Now, most of the tourists only make a stopover at the Tawau Airport before leaving for the resort islands including Sipadan and Mabul," he said.