Monday, 26 January 2015

The Agriculture Park in Tenom

North Borneo (Sabah) offers many interesting places to see. And yet many of us Sabahan either are not aware of it or simply not bothered. There are the famous spots like Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain in Southeast Asia and also the wonderful islands of Gaya and Manukan which display diverse underwater creatures. There are also the unknown ones, such as the Imbak Valley and the Kokol Hill. But personally, I consider the Stesen Penyelidikan Pertanian or Agriculture Research Station at Labuk Seberang in Tenom as one of the less known place to many visitors or tourists.

We can reach Tenom by road or the train. It takes at least three hours to drive to Tenom but it takes longer time using train. According to the Sabah Railway Department schedule available on its website, the train leaves Jesselton (Kota Kinabalu) at 7.45am and reach Tenom at 10.30am daily. The train will leave Tenom at 4pm to go back to Kota Kinabalu. But from the Tenom train station, it takes another 20 minute drive to reach the Sabah Agriculture Park.

This is the entrance to the park. It so strange to see a nice building right in the middle of paddy field, rubber plantations and jungle. There are also handicraft shop and cafe all line up besides the entrance. So its quite a welcoming impression as I arrived here.

The park itself is very big. Probably few hundred acres in size. So in order to get around, the Department used this circus train (above picture) to bring the visitors around! I am very sure children will be very excited to get a chance to ride this train. Even adults! The train move on schedule every half an hour. The park is well maintained except some of the plants are sickly and dying probably due to diseases such as fungus and bacteria or lack of nutrients. Had the Department took more steps to replace them, the park would be almost perfect.

My family, including myself, are involved in landscaping business and the sight of the tropical ornamental plants are inspiring. Walking through this park is indeed a wonderful experience. The park also have a tiny zoo displaying deer and there are also a very big lake with comfortable scenery.

 But the climax of our trip with the mini train is stopping near this tree that has such a huge fruits! My friend describe it as "langsat on steroid!" Langsat is a common edible fruit found in Southeast Asia. That huge fruit looks like a coconut without its husk. It cannot be eaten and its totally for display. But it is indeed an incredible experience.

The above picture is another strange plant. That Water Lily is so huge and one of the workers here told me that the leaf can support a baby sleeping on top of it! But I don't recommend people to try that! Hmmm....  Nevertheless its awesome! There is more to see, I assure you. For the locals, do try to make time and bring your family here for holiday. For foreign visitors, you could add the trip to Tenom as one of your activities when visiting The Land Below the Wind.

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