Bau-Bau is the largest city on Buton Island with around 140,000 people. It is situated at the southern access point to the Buton Strait. The city rises gently from the narrow strait and forms an impressive green backdrop to the harbor front. Port Murhum has a large cargo terminal and an inter-island ferry terminal for both local and long distance ferries to Jakarta. The Betoambari Airport is a few kilometers outside of town and flights connect through Makassar. Baubau is a major fishing and exporting port, with common exports being trepang (sea cumber) and copra.
The Keraton Fortress sits on top of the hill overlooking the entire harbor, and the view and history lesson should not be missed. The Samparona and La Mogawuna waterfalls are worth the 2-hour medium level hike outside of town. Nirwana Beach is just outside of town and is surprisingly nice. Nearby Lakasa Cave is full of stalactites and stalagmites as well as a small spring at the end of the cave.
The Wantiro Promenade in town is a nice at night, and near Kamali there is a night market with Indonesian style street food vendors and chairs and even a Kentucky Fried Chicken.