Location : Papar, West Coast Division, Sabah, Malaysia.
The name ‘Papar’ comes from a Bruneian word meaning ‘flat or open land’
We had intended to take the one and only train in the whole of Borneo to Papar & Beaufort just for the heck of it. Although I had been travelling in and out of Sabah for more than 30 years, never for once did I ever thought of using the train to explore. Perhaps, the aging process makes us sentimental and more appreciative of antiquity. But on the day that I planned on boarding this 125yr old steam engine train, we missed it despite the fact that we were putting up at Adel Hotelabout 100m away from the Putatan station. The guy at the station could not give us that day’s schedule as the train ran off rail the day before and was not sure if it could run that day. By the time we heard the steam engine roaring down the track and running to the station, the train had already left. Such a disappointment.
Train station at Putatan
Looking out from hotel room. The early morning sun casting a shadow of Adel Hotel owned by my friend Tom. 5min away from airport which explains Air Asia in the background.
So Plan A failed and my friend Tom came to the rescue with Plan B, which was to drive us direct to Paparminus all the nice sceneries from the train’s window. Although I have passed Paparyears ago while on the way driving from Miri to Kota Kinabalu I never had a real good look of the town.
Having lunch at a very busy food court where locals go.
We came in on a Thursday, our lucky day, as it was the day of ‘Pasar Tamu’ where everything and anything was sold in the town centre, like a weekend market. Full of nice colourful flowers, most ladies would love to shop here.
The local market, Pasar Tamu
Flowers displayed at the 5ft way
Very ancient art of making ‘dim sum’ tray
Dusun dancing costumes
Very expensive ebony dagger
Medical cigar demo by snake oil man
Tasting local medicine for stuffy nose, in the form of a cigar.