Opening days: Tuesday to Sunday, Monday closed.
Opening hours: 9:00 am to 4:30 pm
Adult ~ RM 25.00 (Foreigner), RM 10.00 (Malaysian)
Child below 13 years old ~ RM 10.00 (Foreigner), RM 5.00 (Malaysian)
Child under 6 years old ~ Free
Handicap ~ Free
While our ancestors had good knowledge of the plants and flowers in the country side, most of us have grown up with very little idea, if not none at all, and we are also very much unaware of the plants kingdom, and staying in the cities does not help either. A visit down to the Tenom Agriculture Park not only helps us to recover some of the long lost knowledge but also helps us to gain valuable tips on setting up a garden, be it large or small. Covering an area of more than 200 hectares, this botanic jewel features an impressive variety of flora. The flowers and plants here are arranged into many gardens, just the ornamental garden alone has in itself 21 themed gardens.
To fully explore the agriculture park in details, it would take visitors a few days to cover the entire site. One should put aside at least a day to enjoy the tranquil atmosphere, as well as taking in the wide variety of local tropical floras. For a good adventure why not ride around the park with bicycles, which are available for rent at the administration office at RM 3 per hour per bike. Or ride the mini-tram for free, the ride will take about one hour to go around the park. The mini-tram which can carry about 20 plus persons starts at the administration building daily at 9:30 am. Other schedules are at 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2:30 pm and 3:30 pm.
The Park Highlights:
The Native Orchid Centre
The Native Orchid Centre is a must to see destination. This place is highly guarded since many of the rare and endangered species of orchid are housed. These endangered species include the Elephant Ear Orchid, Giant Orchid, Rat Tail Orchid, Rose Orchid and the Slipper Orchid, which are endemic to Sabah. Some of these orchids only bloom once in five years. It’s lucky if you happen to be there to see one. About 1,500 plants consisting of 400 species of orchids are planted around a small pond. The native orchids thrive in this humid and wet environment, and because of this the walkway around the pond can be slippery too. While most commercial orchids have big flowers, many of these native orchids flowers are much smaller in size. Many of their flowers have only the size of a pin head.
Opening time: 10:30 am, 2:30 pm and 3:30 pm.
The Evolution Garden is a much better place to learn about the history of plants than in any classrooms. This garden exhibits how the plants evolve from primitive times to modern era. It is good to know that not only humans evolve, but plants do too. A stroll through this garden will bring one back in time to 3.5 billion years ago, where model stromatolites believed to be one of the longest living forms of live on this planet are on exhibit. Stromatolites are sedimentary structure produced by blue-green algae, the ancestors of all land plants. The exhibit also shows how plants life adapted to the ever changing environments until the present day. This is also the place to view the fascinating Giant Water Lily which can hold an object that weighs up to 30kg.
The ornamental garden is a collection of many gardens, as many as 21. These gardens are designed to be picture perfect. Bouganvilla Garden, Cactus Garden, Hibiscus Garden, Hoya Garden, and Oriental Garden are a few to be named. The Hoya Garden is reckoned to be one of the best in Malaysia. The Bouganvilla Garden is also very colourful where the many hues of the Bouganvilla flowers are on displayed. Visitors can use the many ideas on display here to enhance their gardens back at home.
Living Crops Museum
There are some 400 species of commercial crops systematically planted In the Living Crops Museum. This three hectare museum has 15 different sections, where the crops are highlighted according to their commercial functions such as beverage, medicine, perfume, toiletry and many others. It is a joy to visit the tropical fruits section, especially during fruit seasons, when guests can sample local fruits as well as fruits from many different parts of the world. A piece of advice here, do read the labels carefully before sampling anything, as some may not be eatable.
The Bee Centre is home to four types of honeybees that breeds naturally in Sabah. Reckoned as the best in the world this Bee Centre provides useful information as well as giving visitors a chance to observe these insects close up in their modern beehives, and also their native beehives. There are also some honey extraction equipments on display.
The animal park is similar to a mini zoo, about one hectare in size, and houses many local farm animals, consisting of deers, ducks, geese, goats, and sheep. Three species of deer namely the Chital deer, Sambah deer, and Timorensis deer can be found roaming around here. The animal park also functions as a learning centre for locals who are eager to venture into commercial farming. The birders are advised to visit the adjacent Lake Sapong where many of the water birds are spotted.
Lake Rundum is located in the centre of the park. The Living Crops Museum, the two chalets, the observation tower, the restaurant, and the multi-purpose hall are all built around the lake. A pavement was also built in such a way where guests can go for a stroll in the evening. For a good bird eye view of the park, one will have to climb up to the observation tower, which is about 4 storey high.
The park has two chalets which are very suitable for a family. Each chalet has two rooms, one with twin beds and the other one has a queen bed. Both rooms are equipped with air-conditioners. The shower has hot and cold waters. A kitchen with proper cooking facilities is provided for the convenience of the guests. Both the chalets are located inside the park near the Rundum Lake.
For the budget travellers or student groups, the hostel which can accommodate a total of 88 persons, would be a good choice. The hostel is very basic. The room has bunk beds and fan. The washroom has only cold water. The common area has a few sofas, a television, and a dining table. There are no cooking facilities here, but a restaurant not far from here can be arranged for food, one would need to book with the park before hand.
Chalet – RM 150 per night
Adult – RM 25 per person per night
Student – RM 15 per person per night
If one prefers to stay at the town, the Perkasa Hotel Tenom is a good choice.
How to go there? Tenom is about 180 km from Kota Kinabalu. Public transport whether bus or chartered taxi are available at the Padang Bus Terminal. On average the journey will take about three hours. For those who are interested to self-drive to Tenom, there are two options. One can take the KK-Beaufort road. Upon reaching Kimanis town follow the Kimanis bypass to Keningau, and from here it is another one hour drive to Tenom. Or one can take the KK-Tambunan Road via Penampang. Once you reached Tambunan drive to Keningau, and then on to Tenom. The Tenom Agriculuture Park is 15 km away from Tenom town. There should be enough road signs along the way to guide the drivers.
Sabah Agriculture Park
Tenom, Sabah, Malaysia.
tel: +6087 737 952 or +6088 258 529 (KK Office)
fax: +6087 737 571
Tenom Agriculture Park Gallery: