Tenom is a small town in the interior region of Sabah state in the Malaysian part of Borneo. The quiet and relaxed town is located in a valley and is in the heart of the area inhabited by the Murut people of Sabah. There isn't that much to do in Tenom but you may find yourself here to catch the train to Beaufort, which runs along the Padas River.
Tenom is more or less the southern end of the main road from Kota Kinabalu into the interior. From KK, the road starts from the suburbs of Donggongon and climbs up the Crocker Mountain Range and down to the Tambunan Valley. The road continues in a southwest direction to Keningau, Melalap and Tenom.
There is also a road between Tambunan and Ranau, allowing you to come directly from Mount Kinabalu and Sandakan without needing to go through KK. The road hugs the mountains and is frequently closed because of landslides.
Tenom is served mainly by minibuses and minivans and you will most likely have to change at Keningau if you are coming from Kota Kinabalu or Ranau. At Kota Kinabalu, minibuses leave from the station opposite Wawasan Plaza at the southern end of town. Most minibuses and vans leave in the morning.
Tenom is the southern terminus of the Sabah State Railway's  134km network. About four trains or railcars run daily between Tenom (Station tel: +60-87-735514) and Beaufort, snaking downhill beside the fast-moving Padas River. The journey is interesting but slow, taking about two hours. One-way economy fare between Tenom and Beaufort is RM2.75. You will have to change trains at Beaufort to continue to Kota Kinabalu.
Tenom Agricultural Park (Malay: Taman Pertanian Sabah) is part of the 1,500 acres of the Agriculture Research Station which is administered and owned by the Agriculture Department in Sabah. It is a complex consisting of the Agriculture Research Station, Seed Production Centre for Cash Crop, Farmers Training Centre and Taman Pertanian Sabah itself. The Park sprawls over an area of 500 acres.
The park was first opened to visitors in October 2000.
With its rich biodiversity, the Park has a magnificent collection of indigenous and introduced plants species. It is also a conservation centre for the native Orchids of Borneo. This park will be the next generation's heritage and will help to educate people in nature conservation and the preservation of natural rainforest through cultivation of trees, shrubs, plants and flowers.
The lush greenery, multitude of species of plants/flowers endemic to Borneo Island and very rare, panoramic view of the lakes and captivating landscaped gardens provide an excellent base to expand your knowledge and ideal environment for those who seek peace, quiet and tranquility away from stress and urban noise. This park also provides a great trekking ground as well as nature walks and jungle activities.
The park is a showcase of integrated activities carried out by all the Departments and Agencies under the Ministry of Agriculture Development and Food Industry. It also serves as a training and education centre for agriculture, horticulture, apiculture, seed production, forestry, fishery and animal husbandry.
Entrance fee: Rm25 per person (children Rm10, under-13s free) Bike rental: Rm3 per hour Boat rental: Rm5 per hour Chalet/dorm room/camping: Rm150/25/10
Discounts on all fees of up to 72% are given to Malaysian visitors.
Taxi from Tenom town centre: Rm30
There are several places to stay in Tenom. Prices range from RM10 to RM400.
- [dead link] Perkasa Hotel. RM120 Standard room
- Agriculture Research Station Tenom. Hostel RM25; Camping RM10
- Hotel Sri Perdana, ☏ .
- Orchid Hotel, ✉ email@example.com. RM38 single room
- Tenom Inn, ☏ .
- Padas View Chalet, ☏ .
- Tenom Farmstay Holiday. Visitors can stay in the homes of local farmers, allowing them a unique opportunity to experience an entirely different way of life.