Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Exploring Tenom Town, Sabah

Travelled all the way from Kota Kinabalu to Tenom, my main reason is to give my last respect to a friend who just passed away. Tenom is her hometown and I would like to thank her for letting me explore Tenom Town. Tenom is a small town, famous with its Agriculture and one of the tribes in Sabah which is the Murut tribe.

“Formerly known as Fort Birch during the colonial period, the Interior Division town of Tenom is primarily an agriculture zone with soy beans, maize, vegetables and cocoa being the major crops. Tenom is also where the Sabah Agriculture Park is located. Tenom is one of the most scenic interior locations in Sabah, with the Crocker Range towering magnificently as the town’s backdrop. Also known as the “gateway to Murut country”, the town comes together each year to celebrate Pesta Kalimaran—a festival celebrated by the Murut community in Tenom.” - Source: Sabah Tourism Board

We took a taxi from Bandaran KK, which is near to the Padang Merdeka Kota Kinabalu. Bargaining with a few taxi drivers and we finally settled in MYR30 for one way per person and at the same time the taxi driver gave us a cheaper rate because he is heading to Tenom where he stays there permanently and it is the last transfer of his work for the day. Normally, taxi rates will be MYR35. Don’t be shocked because it is not a private transfer so possibilities that you will get to mix around with other people who you met at the taxi station. But never get to worry, Sabahans are friendly and we love to talk when we share the same interest. For safety reason, do jot down the taxi driver’s car plat number for your record and SMS it to a friend or two.

Passing through the Kimanis road, I was impressed of the improvement of the infrastructure. Thumbs up to the related bodies! Bear in mind that there might be lack of mobile signals along the way. You will realise it after a toilet break. Oh, remember to buy some junks or you will be singing in the taxi killing your boredom.

It takes about 3 hours to reach Tenom town. Once the taxi arrived at the taxi station which is on your left, you will see KFC on your right. The stadium is located at the back of the taxi station. Well, there’s something that I don’t really like about Google map while checking on Tenom district. I can only see white clouds! Now you try searching Tenom with Google Map. I’m sure you’ll have lots of fun ;) But if I’m able to draw one map for you, I will but you just have to wait. I promise :)

In Tenom town, I don’t think you need a cab. My friend and I walked to and from the town and Perkasa Hotel Tenom (uphill). Well something did happen on that day. Here it goes. The food service in Perkasa Hotel Tenom was slow than I expected; we waited for our breakfast for almost an hour before we head to the funeral service. It’s almost time and we had no choice but to cancel the menu. Eventually, we walked to the back kitchen just to tell them politely for the second time that I wanted to cancel the order but I guess they thought I am just another tourist who doesn’t understand Malay, so they talked to each other rudely about us for cancelling the food. With this, things must have been spreading fast internally because I couldn’t get the in-house transport to go back to the hotel about 2.30pm. So, we walked, accompanied by our delicious cold drink named MOK (I love Peppermint, so it’s recommended. Give a try!) and once we reached the hotel for about 30minutes walk, there is the car parking there unmoved. Oh well, that’s the story.

Now back to the no-funny-case write ups. What is good about Perkasa Hotel Tenom is that they are well known and they will provide transfer for you when you are out at night because it’s quite dangerous to walk back to the hotel from town as it is VERY dark and it’s an EMPTY road.

At Tenom town, you can walk around the town but there’s nothing much to see. I explored, and saw the train station (Sabah Railway) which you might be interested in. It is an old train station but of course, it has been renovated. The route of the train started a long time ago when Sabah was British Colonised. For those who would like to travel back and forth from Kota Kinabalu to Tenom by train, YES you can and it takes HALF DAY per way. I will try it out next time. So, tell me if you want to follow me because I’m still planning! Formerly the railway extended to Melalap. The journey through the Padas Gorges is still an awesome adventure where at times the jungle closes over the antiquated wagons, and at times you look straight down into the churning waters of the Padas River which cuts through the Crocker Range. White water rafting is organised between Kg Pangi and Kg Rayoh.

Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: Exploring Tenom Town, Sabah