A Day's Train Ride to Beaufort, Papar

I've had a week off and I had tons of plans to go around with it, but with the week off coinciding mum's birthday and mine, and a cousin's wedding, I had to skip most elaborated plans, and compress everything into a day's train ride which I absolutely loved. But before that, here's quick one; 

Just recently, I was offered to work in a bigger international chain, and I took it, and after much la di da, here I am having a week off before I start on my next journey. It's been an amazing one in my previous place, where people have respected me, my talent and skills so honorably. But I'm developing even more now, so I've decided it's only right for me to move somewhere bigger and take up the offer that one has valued me for. So that's all. Now let's get technical.

I was wondering what I could do for my actual birth-day (Tuesday, 2nd October) - and while others indulge in different things like retail therapy, aromatherapies, food or maybe even just plain ol' nothing, a little adventure could make me in particular a billion times happy enough. So I asked around, scouted through, and finally settled on taking a simple train ride to it's furthest and visit it's stopping towns. Because I had a late night the night before my birthday, I woke up late and missed the first train. So I decided to take the day as it is, and do it the next day instead.


JKNS - Jabatan Keretapi Negeri Sabah or The Sabah Railway Department has been around for almost a century now (1914 - 2012) while the trains have been operating way back since the 1800s since British's Occupation. These trains are "district trains", as they were previously built to connect major districts such as Tenom to transfer goods which means not so much of city transfers.

When I was a kid, maybe about 10 - 15 years ago, my dad would bring us to travel all the way up to Tenom with the trains, and back then the trains were operating with steam and coal (you can even hear it from a mile away when it lets out its steam going choooo-choooo), rusted and dirtied from time and all the mud and rocks they pass through, and while you're in it, the choos were evidently louder, air ventilation was good, there was no aircond, it didn't matter, we never knew, windows wide open, our heads would stick out, sometimes, half of our body juts out, wind passes our face, and it felt like the fastest things we've ever been on, you can bring basically anything (I remember bringing pillows and a huge teddy bear all the way to Tenom), the tiny walkways were filled with vendors coming to you selling all kinds of things. Wet fishes, veggies, peanuts, pungent smells, fighting cocks - all within eyesight. Some had to stand, while some had to sit on wobbly chairs. Tunnels felt like forever and no naps were comfortable.

But these memories were unforgettable. It was among the first few times too brother showed so much leadership and protectiveness over me. Gave away his seat for me, tied my hair because it was getting too hot, gave me his mineral water told me the tunnels would be okay. All these simple kind gestures are remembered forever.

These are the new trains. Of course, these trains change because of time and infrastructures too.

So I needed to check it out. Unfortunately, the coverage was halved (temporarily). From Tanjung Aru to Tenom, to Tanjung Aru to Beaufort.

Since I missed the train ride the first time, the next day I woke up way earlier to make sure I didn't the second time. Reached the train station about 45 minutes before departure. I wanted to drop by at only two stops, Beaufort (furthest) and Papar (my camera died -______-) while the rest to enjoy the much forgotten scenery.

My journey to Beaufort basically encompasses Putatan, Kinarut, Kawang, Papar, Kimanis, Bongawan, Membakut and back. If I had more time, or maybe even a night to spare, I would have stopped at all these stops, and probably pick a town to stay in. But even for the bigger town such as Papar and Beaufort, I wasn't really sure whether there were motels (even after searching online). But it's okay, I've decided to do so the next time.


I took the 7.45 am train ride for only RM 4.80. Reached there 9.45 had only about an hour or so to explore Beaufort Town (to catch the 11AM train ride down), so I couldn't go further then the town itself which was fine, because Beaufort Town is adorable!

Beaufort's main or majority races are of Bisaya, Brunei, Murut and Chinese. The thing about Sabahans and their ethnics and their races is that it's virtually impossible to identify what race we are just by looking at us at one glance.

Tamu Beaufort

So I told her my plans. Please look through my photos what my eyes have caught and found fascinating in Beaufort.

Look carefully. Check out this grandpa's shirt inside. We know who he'll vote!

Last I was there was probably 10 - 14 years ago as well, so I was bouncing around town trying out new food, snapping new and old things. I even talked to some of the uncles and aunties, they were asking me where I'm from and where I'm heading.

I like these two questions: Where are you From, and Where are you Heading?

The town is adorable, I finished one part of the town within 30 - 45 minutes of just aimlessly walking around. Some rascals tried to disturb me, but I'm sure they were just being friendly - I mean I was with a small camera snapping away. If that doesn't scream tourist, I don't know what is.


Right after Beaufort (it being the last stop), I went back down and stopped at Papar. It cost me RM 2.95 for one way from Beaufort - Papar. My train ride from Beaufort was at 11.10am and was scheduled to reach Papar about 12.15pm. Morris is working in Papar so I messaged him whether he'd like to have lunch and maybe show me around, a little bit of like a crash course on Papar and he delightfully said yes.

But sorry guys, my camera died so no photos T____________T

After lunch he brought me around the roads, crooks and crannies of Papar telling me a little about the place. What's the main race and what are the things people do there. After lunch, he dropped me off at the bus terminal, but I wasn't ready to go back so I walked to the Library (which was really less than 2 minutes away) and scootch around town. About half an hour or so of walking around, I finally decided to take the bus downtown. And I think that was probably one of the fastest bus ride I've ever been on O.O

So there you go. A day of a train ride for my birthday :)


Please call them below to plan your travels before heading straight to the station:

Jabatan Keretapi Negeri Sabah / Railway Sabah Department
088 - 254 611

Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.


Suzane Mah said…
wow kie! it's good that u find joy in xploring Sabah everyday!!! Good bumpy train ride!!!
Evanka said…
Impressed and inspired I am.
Murphy Ng said…
I always want to do this. I would like to stop by each towns in interior and see what they have. :-)

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