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What We Did in Keningau & Tenom in Less Than 24 Hours

I did not realize that I took a four month hiatus from blogging activities to focus on my migration to the Eastern counterpart of Malaysia. My transition period of my relocation to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah had been an uneventful one, albeit a little challenging. One of the many perks of working in Sabah is having two extra public holidays in conjunction with Pesta Kaamatan (Harvest Festival). 

It is definitely a great way to spend Kaamatan by exploring other towns or districts outside Kota Kinabalu. My Borneo adventures commenced with a spontaneous excursion to Keningau and Tenom.
Due to time constraint, we had to forgo Beaufort. 

Needless to say, we missed out a lot of the popular attraction spots. On a positive note, there will always be another time for this.  When travelling south bound to Keningau from KK on the road, brace yourself for the hilly terrain. Although we did not experience the antique train ride from Tenom to Beaufort, road trip offers a pretty scenic view too.

So, I’ve heard that this quaint little town of Keningau is mainly about two things- hills and food. Since I had work obligations earlier in the day and only arrived in Keningau late evening, we settled for the latter.

1.      Had a taste of Lindung

Lindung (swamp eel), originally a Balinese cuisine, is somewhat popular in Keningau. This is probably the Southeast Asian version of Japanese Unagi. 

Cooked in Kung Pao style, the pieces of crispy Lindung were coated with the spicy sweet, tangy Sichuan sauce. No doubt that my Borneo adventures were off to a good start with this appetizing dish. 

Our dinner at Double Luck Restaurant also includes the local favourite sayur manis, corn soup, and the classic kam heong pork slices.

Double Luck Restaurant
Location: 11, Lorong Semarak, 89000 Keningau, Sabah

2.      Ate Cakui Kahwin & Tau Sar Piang for Breakfast

Cakui, or also known as you tiao, Chinese Fried Churros, or affectionately known as Yau Char Kwai in Cantonese is a traditional deep-fried snack that is fondly remembered during my childhood. I don’t particularly enjoy munching on the Chinese oil stick on its own, but it serves as an amazing side dish to warm congee or bak kut teh

Cakui Kahwin is an entirely different way of eating Yau Char Kwai! Kahwin basically means the combination of butter and kaya spread on each side of bread or in this case, cakui. Eating Yau Char Kwai in Kun Sang totally gives off traditional vibes, while relieving childhood memories. The fresh and crispy dough with sweet fillings give me a different Yau Char Kwai experience. I love it, surprisingly. 

Another local favourite is Tau Sar Piang. It is not your typical flaky biscuits filled with mung bean kind of Biskut Tambun. This thin, crispy, and hollow pastry is filled with red bean paste. For someone who dislikes beans, this is surprisingly a delectable snack for me.

Location: Restoran Kun Sang, 89000 Keningau, Sabah
Operating Hours: 6.30am-5.30pm

3.      Blendin’ into the Local Murut Culture

Tenom, one of the districts in the southwest interior of Sabah, has a large percentage of Murut community. Murut Cultural Centre is probably a great place for a local Murut experience. 

This cultural centre serves as a gallery that displays many traditional exhibits, paintings depicting the Murut culture and lifestyle, and even some ancient relics. The intricate design and impressive work of art of the cultural centre embodies the core elements of Murut architecture.

The Sasangiang, which I mistaken as The Iron Throne. I mean, Bamboo Throne. Sasangiang, a traditional Murut dais, where the ceremonial rites are carried out.

You may even take on challenge in trying your skills on the Sumpit (blowpipe), a traditional hunting tool.

Kulintangan, a traditional music ensemble in Sabah, has made me relieve my memories of playing Gamelan and Cak Lempong back in high school. And that was me attempting to play Timang Burung.

Location: Kampung Pulong, 89900 Tenom, Sabah
Operating Hours: 8.30 am-4.30pm daily.
Entrance Fee: RM5 for Malaysian adults.

4.      Take a Stroll at the Glass Bridge in Yong Farmstay.

Like the Komtar Skywalk in Penang or Langkawi Skybridge, Sabah also has their own version of a glass bridge. The Yong Farmstay glass bridge has become a great attraction tool for tourism in an effort to promote Tenom’s agricultural industry. With its capacity to hold 15 people at a time, the bridge overlooks a gorgeous view of luscious greenery.  


Yong Farmstay is not all about their glass bridge. As the name suggests, it houses a variety of flora and fauna. There’s even a mini zoo that accommodates crocodiles, monkeys, ducks, turtles, chicken, turkey, and others. If you’re feeling adventurous, you might want to hop on the ATV and ride off into the oil palm plantations. It was not a good idea to arrive at noon, as we were there to take a few nice photographs before getting roasted by the scorching sun. #forthegram

Address: Jalan Pulong Palangsangon, 82003 Tenom.
Operating Hours: 8am-4pm daily.
Entrance fee: RM28 for adults.

5.      Get Caffeine Fix @ Yit Foh Coffee Factory

Coffee was the first thing that comes to mind when I thought of Tenom. Coffee is one of biggest players in Tenom’s agricultural industry. Established in 1960, Yit Foh is the oldest coffee factory in Tenom. 

Using Robusta coffee beans, they do the old-school way of roasting the beans with wood fire.
Being a caffeine sensitive person and not having a decaf option available in Yit Foh, there is nothing much to do except for taking a few nice shots at the popular photography spot featuring rows of colouful hanging umbrellas.


If one day of coffee indulgence is not enough, you can even spend a night at their cozy little cottages. For more caffeine fix, you may continue coffee hunting in Fatt Choi Coffee Factory, which is approximately 2 miles away.

Address: Jalan Tenom-Sapong, Kampung Chinta Mata, Sabah, 89908 Tenom
Operating Hours: Everyday 8am-5pm, Sunday 9am-3pm

Overall, I guess we made the most out of this short excursion. I will definitely be back for more Borneo adventures especially in Beaufort. Gotta send my regards to proboscis monkeys residing in the trees of Klias Wetlands.

Till next time,


  1. Wow the view is so amazing! I believe the place is serene and peaceful!

  2. One day is a very short time for which it is simply impossible to get acquainted with everything that you wanted and therefore it is worthwhile to devote more time to it.


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