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“A Tourist Jaunt”

North Borneo Railway
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US$138.75*
and up
North Borneo Steam Train with Tiffin Lunch from...
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The North Borneo Railway runs two weekly return departures (Wednesday, Saturday) from Kota Kinabalu to Papar, year round. Lasting approximately 4 hours, passengers experience the lush landscape of the coastal and rural regions of Sabah. A typical 'tiffin' colonial lunch will be served on the return trip.
Reviewed 19 November 2013

Needed to experience some tourist stuff so arranged to take this trip again and loved every minute. This is very quaint if you are into this type of stuff. I had a great time with my partner as you did not really know what to expect as you travelled trough each of the four stations to the turn around point. Pretty expensive at close to $100 AU pp. for a half day but that includes pick up and drop back to your hotel.
The Asian interpretation of western entertainment is always just off beam and the music played reflected that. We were able to get into some good conversations with fellow travellers about other destinations of interest as well.
The trip is a leisurely 40 km trip down the line. You get a passport which is stamped as you pass through each station stopping a couple along the way. Tanjung Aru, Putatan (Stop), Kinarut, Kawang and finally Papar where you alight. At the end you have time for an hours forage in this really old colonial town. We scoured the streets. Just a normal suburb at the end of the day albeit run down.
Back to the training and lunch is served in Tiffins. It is surprising tasty with Asian food and fruit with a warm can of soft drink. Trinket souvenirs are sold on the train. Then straight back to base from there. Good experience. Would not repeat it but you need to go once for a look. Great for kids to keep them interested. Recommended.

1  Thank Lin R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"tiffin lunch"
in 71 reviews
"steam engine"
in 47 reviews
"step back in time"
in 26 reviews
"chinese temple"
in 23 reviews
"return journey"
in 31 reviews
"pith helmets"
in 16 reviews
"wood burning"
in 14 reviews
"cold towels"
in 12 reviews
"train trip"
in 13 reviews
"orient express"
in 11 reviews
"continental breakfast"
in 9 reviews
"staff dressed"
in 9 reviews
"style lunch"
in 9 reviews
"tanjung aru"
in 33 reviews
"tiffin boxes"
in 6 reviews
"local market"
in 23 reviews
"colonial times"
in 8 reviews
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355 - 359 of 610 reviews

Reviewed 8 November 2013

A step back in time and great to experience the steam railway as it was back in colonial Borneo. This excursion delivered what it said in the promotional literature and a nice way to spend 1/2 a day, enjoy the service continental breakfast and Tiffin lunch, silver service by train stewards wearing traditional uniforms and pith helmets....and a stamped passport of your journey through the countryside....l

2  Thank Bob N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 November 2013

The lunch was surprisingly good. The actual trip down the line and back was lacklustre. I'm sure my kids would have enjoyed it when they were young, but for adults ... ? Nope!

1  Thank AussieinAlain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 November 2013

This was definitely the highlight of our trip in KK. Instead of the full steam colonial style train, we took the train that services the local people.

The our good surprises, the train departed from Tanjung Aru station (7:45am) and arrived at Beaufort at 10:00Am on time. The train travel at a very slow speed and bring us pass by many small villages and towns.

The view was awesome at certain stage during the journey....a combination of sea, beach, agriculture, forest, and settlement. We alighted at Beaufort and had brunch in on of the onetime Chinese coffee shop selling noodles.

The only draw back was there are limited means of transportation to bring us back to KK town upon our return. There are no cab and good public transport available. We ended up engaging small van, bringing a group of 12 persons together with other passengers back to KK.

Thank Hobbitsbaggins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 November 2013

excellent day out. Shame my railway engineering husband discovered a potentially derailing defect on the train (which they quickly fixed) before we left! I must say he was a bit off-put by the fact that none of the cars were braked (brakes fitted but disconnected) except for the loco. That aside, we met some interesting people along the way and went to some villages that otherwise we would not have visited, with time to explore. The markets along the way were interesting, but I am not sure what I would have done with the fish they were trying to sell me!! (although they looked so fresh!).

The food was great and I loved the uniforms of the exceptionally friendly and helpful staff. It was fun to just be able to sit and watch out the window, and along the way we did see water buffalo and monkeys.

Our travel agent had booked everything for us, and for everything else we did, we confirmed the day prior. I phoned Sutera Harbour to confirm and was switched all over the place and had no joy at all, so was a little concerned about the confirmation until we actually arrived there and received our tickets. These guys need to get a bit more organised.

Thank mousey84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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