Sabah is a state in the island of Borneo. Towards the Interior Division of it there are a few places inhabited by the locals. Tenom is located at the Interior Division of Sabah Malaysia. It is also the capital of the Tenom District there. Tenom is a town where the Murut people of Sabah live. It is a small, quiet and relaxed town.
Malaysia was once colonized by the British. Sabah was no exception. During the early days of the British colonization, Tenom was known as Fort Birch. Then the name was changed to Tenom after the colonization.
Since the town is inhabited by the Murut people, it is considered as the unofficial capital of the Murut community. Here is where most of the important festivals such as the annual Kalimaran Festival are held. Many would come and gather to celebrate the festival. Besides that, Tenom is also the main gateway to other areas within Murut itself.
Back in 2010, it was estimated to have around 5148 civilians there. Now that it is almost 10 years after, the number may have grown significantly.
In cities like Tenom, there are many Chinese who lives there. The Chinese people belong to the subgroup called Hakka. Sabah is known to have multiple ethnicities and each ethnicity has their own dialect to the Malay language. Not to mention when there are Chinese races involved there are multiple languages spoken throughout the interior division of Sabah.
One can take a local flight such as Air Asia or Malaysia Airlines and Firefly and fly to Kota Kinabalu. From there, there will be plenty of taxis waiting outside the airport to get the visitors to the Interior Divisions. If one would like to go to the smaller cities they may take a taxi or perhaps boats to cruise through the river.
There is a train that brings the passengers from Tanjung Aru towards other cities in Sabah. Tanjung Aru is the station in Kota Kinabalu nearby the Kota Kinabalu Airport. The line is called the Sabah State Railway. It leaves Tanjung Aru town every morning at 7.45 am. The journey will take a total of 4 hours where after 2 hours it will reach Beaufort town at 9.45 am. The train stops here for mid destination before the rest of the passengers precede going to Tenom which the train will continue for another 2 hours. The fare between Beaufort town and Tenom is RM2.75. This fare is very cheap for a distance that is very far.
There are several minibuses and minivans that head to Tenom. If visitors are from Kota Kinabalu or Ranau, they need to change their bus at Keningau. If they are from Kota Kinabalu, the minibuses would leave from a station that is located opposite the Wawasan Plaza at the southern end of the town. The buses would leave in the morning for Tenom as it will take quite a while to reach Tenom.
Normally held in August, this is a festival held by the locals to celebrate the ‘Sago’ tree which are widely planted in the district. It is also aimed to promote the many use of sago. Visitors would come to Kuala Penyu during this festival to try the local delicacies made using sago. The famous dish is ‘ambuyat’. Visitors also would like to try consuming the sago worms while they are still wriggling and alive like the locals would.
This centre is around 13 kilometres from the city of Tenom. This is the only place that features the architecture and cultural tradition of the Murut community. There are many historical items placed here such as tools, clothes, musical instruments as well as their backgrounds. The admission fee is RM5 for adults and RM3 for students.