Agritourism Destination Review: Sabah Tea Garden, Nalapak, Ranau

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Agritourism Destination Review:


Sabah Tea Garden, Nalapak, Ranau


Sabah Tea Garden, Nalapak, Ranau

Sabah Tea Garden - reception and restaurant area

Sabah Tea Garden - entrance to the restaurant

Sabah Tea Garden (i.e., "Ladang") at Nalapak, Ranau The reception and restaurant area The entrance to the restaurant with the famous "Sabah Tea" signboard



Description: For a well-worth Agritourism tour in Sabah, a visit to Sabah Tea Garden at Nalapak, Ranau, near another attraction, Poring Hot Spring. The Plantation is virtually surrounded by the world’s oldest rainforest (about 130 million years old), and covers 25 square kilometres at 693 metres above sea level. The tea leafs of the popular Sabah Tea is hand-picked and processed from the plantation. With about 2,500 hectares of land planted with tea, it is a great place for a retreat or to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

With its sprawling tea plantation surrounded by pristine rainforests in the cool mountain air, the Sabah Tea Garden beckons you to indulge in its beautiful surroundings, away from the hustle and bustle of the city life. A mere 2-hour drive from the city of Kota Kinabalu, the Sabah Tea Garden boasts a beautiful backdrop, Mount Kinabalu.

Sabah Tea is the only organic tea farm in Borneo and one of the few in the world. A trip to the tea garden is both educational and fun, one where visitors can enjoy a variety of recreational activities such as obstacle-crossing in the Sapaon Recreational Area, trekking along the trails to the peak of Kamunsu Hill or embarking on a night walk to check out the unique insect life.

Highly recommended is the 2-day 1-night Sabah Tea Adventure package, which incorporates a tea factory and plantation tour, a course on basic jungle survival skills, understanding rivers and how to safely get across them and obstacle training. This package has been awarded the Best Tour Programme for Educational Tourism at the Malaysia Tourism Awards in Kuala Lumpur.

Visitors can opt to stay in a range of accommodation, be it a traditional long house, a cosy bungalow or-those who wish to sleep under the stars, a campsite. Other facilities include a conference room, restaurant, souvenir shop, a soccer field and tennis court. A stone's throw away from the garden are various places of interests, including the historical Kundasang War Memorial , Kinabalu Park and rejuvenating Poring Hot Spring.

Ask the friendly staff for directions and they will be more than glad to help you out. Be it for business or pleasure, the Sabah Tea Garden awaits you with unforgettable experiences and adventures.

A friendly reminder: No trip to the Sabah Tea Garden would be complete without a taste of Sabah's finest tea!

Sabah Tea Garden - the dining area Sabah Tea Garden - the garden area Sabah Tea Garden - view of mount kinabalu
The dining area - not too grand to say the least - much improvement
needed especially the service as well as the dishes
The garden area, which has some memorable scenery

The view of Mount Kinabalu from the garden area,

with tea plants spiralling below

KM17, Jalan Ranau/Sandakan, Kg. Nalapak,89309, Ranau

Getting There
If you are not joining a tour group, take a bus from the Terminal Bas Bandaraya-Utara (City Bus Terminal-North) for around RM15.00 per person (the bus stops at Ranau town). You can also take a taxi from the station near Merdeka Field for approximately RM160 per taxi. Fares may range around RM300 if departing from your hotel. Note that all fares cited are one way.

Opening hours
Daily 7am - 5pm
Closed on selected Public Holidays
*The best time to visit is between 8am to 12noon.

SOURCE: Sabah Tourism

NOTE: Photos Copyright to


The views at Sabah Tea Garden are simply amazing, and there is something peaceful about the location. Definitely the site with some of the best views of Mount Kinabalu (on a clear sky). The scenery will be different during various time of the day. Of course for me, the fresh morning scenery with the lushes green environment and cool morning air is the most breathtaking. So, it is recommended that you stay a night or two there if you have the chance.

Unfortunately, the accommodation at Sabah Tea Garden is not really up to standard even at the point of writing (first reviewed in October 2008 and up to September 2011, this view still stands). It would be good if the Management of the Sabah Tea Garden can enhance/upgrade the accommodation as well as ensure that all the facilities are up to mark considering the rates that they charged. The landscaping too needs to be further improved.

Sabah Tea Garden - accommodation/chalet

One of the accommodations/"chalets", which is a bit
rundown inside out and not up to tourist's standard

For the more adventurous, you may want to opt staying at their longhouse, but not for the faint hearted. The longhouse offers small dorm style rooms with a shared toilet, shower block, 2-3 matresses as beds and mosquito nets. Its floor is made of split bamboo, which can give you a glimpse of the exterior ground. You can even catch sight of local animals roaming about. Be advised that careful footwork is required when walking on the bamboo flooring. Staying at the longhouse may not be comfortable, but it can be one of the most unique and memorable experience in Borneo.

Also note that part of the infamous Sandakan-Ranau Death March trial can be found inside the area, which is an added attraction. A Mountain Bike Race track is also within the vicinity.

First Published on Travel Borneo Blog on 02 October 2008


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