Day 9 Sabah Road Trip Keningau Tenom Sipitang
Published: 11/04/2021
Jalan Sipitang - Tenom
On day 9 we drive from Keningau via the town of Tenum to Sipitang. This route is just under 125 kilometers and therefore easy to drive in a few hours, but you can extend this route with a nice train journey to Beaufort.

After about 40 minutes drive you will arrive in Tenom at the Tenom Coffee Valley cafe (RP2) next to the Tenom train station. This small building houses a restaurant that serves western and fusion dishes, while serving a selection of delicious coffees familiar to the small town of Tenom.

The Tenom train station (RP3) is less than a 200 meter walk from the cafe. Here you can take a nice walk and see Borneo's classic train, the train station and the ancient rain trees near the train station. The Sabah State Railway, previously known as the North Borneo Railway, is the only railway on the island of Borneo. It's a slice of colonial history, a very unusual and adventurous train journey worth experiencing.

If you want to plan the train journey to Beaufort in your trip, it is good to add an extra day to the trip and spend the night in Beaufort. The train only runs twice a day and in Beaufort you have some extra time to visit sights. There are several hotels in Beaufort where you can spend the night for a reasonable price.

Buy a ticket for the Sabah State Railway and board for the train ride from Tenom to Beaufort at the Tenom Railway Station (RP4) and enjoy this train journey through the beautiful countryside. The train follows the course of the river "Sungai Padas" and past the Crocker Range Park.

The train journey from Tenom to Beaufort is 48 km and takes approximately 2½ to 4 hours. The back door of the carriage is open, so you have a beautiful and unobstructed view of the landscape. There are two trains a day from Tenom to Beaufort, so plan your departure from Keningau well if you want to add this train journey to your trip.
Departure from Tenom: every day at 7:00 am and 1:00 pm (Sunday 1:00 pm)
Departure from Beaufort: every day at 7:50 AM and 1:30 PM (Sunday 12:30 PM)
The costs are 2.75RM / 0.65 $ / 0.55 € per person.
The train consists of three iron carriages, all slightly different, of a cheerful blue color. Seats are hard and worn, doors are held open like an old western movie so the passengers can enjoy the view and more importantly for some travelers, smoke cigarettes.

The train journey is very slow and follows the course of the Padas river on the left, the water is dark and muddy, if you are lucky you will see crocodiles in the river or along the banks.
Along the route you can enjoy the lush tropical vegetation, sometimes you can see small houses hidden in the jungle.

After the Tenom Pangi Dam, the river becomes turbulent and spectacular. There are a few small villages along the route where passengers disembark or board during the journey. The villages consist of a dozen houses, a school, church and the football field. Small orchards, a few fruit trees, chickens, chickens and maybe a few goats are all what these people rely on to survive. You may have to change trains in one of these villages. At the train station of the village of Melalap you can get off for a visit and stay at the Riverbugs Camp for Adventures.

From Tenom you drive via the SA33 to Sipitang, this two lane road is of good quality and winds through the beautiful green mountainous landscape of Malaysia. There are small cafes along the route where you can stop for a short break. For enthusiasts, you can also deviate from the route and drive parts of the route via narrow winding unpaved roads, such as at RP10. Please note that these roads are often not visible on your navigation device, so a road map is recommended.

After about 3½ to 4 hours of driving we arrive at the end point in Sipitang.
Padas River view from the Train
Tenom Railway Station
Useful links:
Day 8 Sabah Road Trip Maliau Basin Keningau
Sabah State Railway
Things to do in Beaufort
Day 10 Sabah Road Trip Sipitang Beaufort Kuala Penyu Keningau

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The images and text displayed here originate from the Wikipedia article "Sarawak", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.
About this region
Sarawak (; Malay: [saˈrawaʔ]) is a state of Malaysia. The largest among the 13 states, with an area almost equal to that of Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak is located in northwest Borneo Island, and is bordered by the Malaysian state of Sabah to the northeast, Kalimantan (the Indonesian portion of Borneo) to the south, and Brunei in the north. The capital city, Kuching, is the largest city in Sarawak, the economic centre of the state, and the seat of the Sarawak state government. Other cities and towns in Sarawak include Miri, Sibu, and Bintulu. As of the 2020 census, the population of Sarawak was estimated over 2,907,500. Sarawak has an equatorial climate with tropical rainforests and abundant animal and plant species. It has several prominent cave systems at Gunung Mulu National Park. Rajang River is the longest river in Malaysia; Bakun Dam, one of the largest dams in Southeast Asia, is located on one of its tributaries, the Balui River. Mount Murud is the highest point in Sarawak. The earliest known human settlement in Sarawak at the Niah Caves dates back 40,000 years. A series of Chinese ceramics dated from the 8th to 13th century AD was uncovered at the archaeological site of Santubong. The coastal regions of Sarawak came under the influence of the Bruneian Empire in the 16th century. In 1839, James Brooke, a British explorer, arrived in Sarawak. He, and his descendants, governed the state from 1841 to 1946. During World War II, it was occupied by the Japanese for three years. After the war, the last White Rajah, Charles Vyner Brooke, ceded Sarawak to Britain, and in 1946 it became a British Crown Colony. On 22 July 1963, Sarawak was granted self-government and independence by the British and subsequently became one of the founding members of Malaysia, established on 16 September 1963. However, the federation was opposed by Indonesia, leading to a three-year confrontation, involving the British Army. The creation of Malaysia also prompted a communist insurgency that lasted until 1990. The head of state is the Governor, also known as the Yang di-Pertua Negeri, while the head of government is the Chief Minister. Sarawak is divided into administrative divisions and districts, governed by a system that is closely modelled on the Westminster parliamentary system and was the earliest state legislature system in Malaysia. Under the Malaysian constitution, Sarawak has greater autonomy than the states of Peninsular Malaysia. Because of its natural resources, Sarawak specialises in the export of oil and gas, timber and oil palms, but also possesses strong manufacturing, energy and tourism sectors. It is ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse; major ethnic groups including Iban, Malay, Chinese, Melanau, Bidayuh and Orang Ulu. English and Malay are the two official languages of the state; there is no official religion. Widely, more Sarawakian speaks Iban for communication across ethnic groups.
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Route collections
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View route collection The best Sabah Road Trip Borneo Malaysia
About this route collection
Based on the routes of “Rider Chris” from Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, this 11-day Motorcycle Tour in Sabah Borneo is a passionate motorcyclist and loves to share his travel adventures with the community through his website and social media. The link to his website can be found in the first route.

This route collection was created with his permission.

Seen as one of the most beautiful provinces in Malaysia, Sabah is known for its scenic landscape with spectacular mountains, beautiful beaches, surreal sunsets, rich culture, friendliest people, winding roads, tall waterfalls, national parks and much more!

The roads in Malaysia are generally in good condition, but beware; there are also parts where the asphalt is poor and there can be potholes in the road surface. This can be dangerous, so caution is advised. During the rainy season (September-December) the roads can be slippery. Traffic in Malaysia drives on the left side of the road.

You can rent a motorcycle in Malaysia, but these are usually lighter models and often scooters. You can spend the night in hotels, B & Bs or campsites, which can easily be booked via the website in the review or via