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“Horrible customer service!”

North Borneo Railway
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North Borneo Steam Train With Tiffin Lunch from Kota Kinabalu
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The North Borneo Railway runs two weekly return departures (Wednesday, Saturday) from Kota Kinabalu to Papar, year round. Lasting approximately 4 hours, passengers experience the lush landscape of the coastal and rural regions of Sabah. A typical 'tiffin' colonial lunch will be served on the return trip.
hong kong
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Horrible customer service!”
Reviewed January 13, 2014

Over 3 weeks ago, I sent my completed booking form and payment authorisation form to the North Borneo Railway company directly to make a booking. I have since contacted them 3 times to follow up on the booking, but I have not received any response from the company whatsoever.

This might be a nice train journey - I would not know because I have not been on it - but it sure takes a lot of patience and effort just to make a booking!

Visited January 2014
4 Thank hk_piggy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
163 reviews
80 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“What a brilliant day out!”
Reviewed January 8, 2014

We had an excellent day on the North Borneo Steam Railway. You start by collecting your railway passport and tickets and can board the very atmospheric train. They serve a lovely breakfast of pastries and coffee on the outbound trip and as you head out of Kota Kinabalu the landscape becomes increasingly rural. The first stop is at a small station where you can walk to a small temple in a few minutes. The second, slightly longer stop, allows for a stroll around the main town square and a brief look through the local market. On the route home they serve a delicious tiffin lunch; the food was very generous and it is a real experience with the authentic tiffin tin. Really, the attraction is the train itself and the relaxing pace of the day. We didn't book transfers with our hotel (STAR) as they wanted something extortionate for such a short distance. They recommended we ask our taxi driver to come and collect us upon the train's arrival. Unfortunately he didn't and pretty much everyone else was getting into pre-arranged transport. A taxi did turn up in a few minutes - but we felt lucky rather than this being common - something to be aware of...

Visited August 2013
4 Thank bumbletraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“a step back in time”
Reviewed January 4, 2014

this was a very pleasant way to get to the interior towns of borneo. The train passed through some great scenery that you would not see from the road.

Visited December 2013
Thank josec s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
81 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
“Lovely experience on the train not a lot off the train”
Reviewed December 28, 2013

We took a trip on Christmas Day (train only runs on Wednesdays and Fridays!) 2013. It is a very neat experience traveling in a vintage train car and the music they pumped through the speakers added a bit more authenticity.

The staff are nice and welcoming and the food they serve is pretty good.

The two stops on the route are really not that interesting. Kinarut has a Buddhist temple which is not the prettiest if you have done your fair share of temple hopping in Asia. Papar where you have 30 minutes is a nothing town with a market. And that's it.

You pay for the train journey and what you experience on board; even the scenery is not the most exciting. The best bit is waving to all the local kids!

Visited December 2013
1 Thank Colin G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sibu, Malaysia
Level Contributor
34 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Good experience!”
Reviewed December 17, 2013

Poor reservation by 5 star Sutera Harbour Resort! I've made my booking via email and payment via bank transfer. I've trusted the management of 5 star hotel but end up disappointed. No reservation was found when we're about to 'check in'. Luckily there are customer cancelled their trip and we have a comfortable seat to enjoy the trip. Thanks to the captain for handling this kind of situation. Overall the trip was awesome, a very different experience to try. Food and the hospitality by the cabin crew was great. Will recommended others to try but please improve the reservation management. The fee was RM290 per person (breakfast and lunch provided).

Visited December 2013
2 Thank myLauRaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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