Embark on a scenic tour of the countryside aboard the North Borneo Steam train, one of the oldest running steam trains in the region!
If Orient Express is for Europe, then the North Borneo Steam train is for Sabah. Fun fact: it is also the oldest running steam train in Sabah and Borneo. This beautiful 4 hours journey will take you on an amazing experience of natural lush green scape and the unique coastal areas of Sabah. The train departs from Tanjung Aru and travels through Kinarut before reaching its destination at Papar, which is also famously known as The Rice Bowl of Sabah. You will enjoy the scenic beauty from the villages to coastal towns, from paddy fields to plantations of rubber and coffee, and most of all through the rainforests.
Also called the North Borneo Railway, it runs twice on a weekly basis, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, from Kota Kinabalu to Papar. What is more interesting is that a ‘tiffin’ colonial breakfast and lunch will be served on the return trip. You will also have the opportunity to visit the temple that is famous for its fine statues, Tien Shi Temple in Kinarut town. The next interesting stop will be the busy local wet market and the old historical looking shop houses in Papar.
The trains are actually refurbished to recreate the nostalgic romance of people travelling by steam train in the days of the Chartered Company and the British Colonial Office. It is no surprise then that both the exterior and interior create a mystical 1900s ambience. The traditional deep green and cream of the original North Borneo Railway are used for the exterior of the train. They even have the carved brass logos exhibiting the original design of a tiger holding a rail wheel and standing on the royal crown! And the interior is artistically refurbished with Sabah’s unique and natural trees.