Sunday, January 25, 2015

[Activities] Padas River White Water Rafting via Tenom, Sabah

How long has it been?  *brushes off dust and spiderwebs.

The thoughts of blogging is always there but I can never take the time to sit in front of the computer (I actually could) and type it out (and my nails are so long that typing on a keyboard is a bit slow, ain't gonna sthap meh).  Actually, I was busy (yes I'm making excuses, I have so many japanese words to memorize.).  On a happier note, I am somewhat fully recovered from my back injury and got another injury after that (will blog about it next time).  This time, I'll be blogging about the above mentioned title hee~.  I'll try to summarize this post.

One of my bucket list.  Now mind you, I used to be the type that's always scared of everything.  Every time I wanna try something new, I would over think (like over 9000 *exaggerate.  It's usually more than 10 times repeated in a loop.).  This time around, I've decided to just DO IT!  I'm not getting younger, though I look kinda young (*vomits).  I was contemplating joining this trip cause I haven't been swimming and I'm scared that I might drown.  Mind you, this is my first time.  I never even been to the one at Kiulu.  Grade III - IV for Padas River Water Rafting while Kiulu is Grade II, correct me if I'm wrong.  One day when we went for our weekend run, my pacer brought up the topic and somehow a decision was made.  The friend who organize the trip was running with us at that moment.  I would make a note in the future not to respond to people when running *sweats.

This trip cost me less than RM170 (inclusive of traveling to Tenom via van, light refreshments, lunch, photos, the trip back and tons of memories).  We had this group chat on whatsapp for this trip and it consists of probably 20 or more people.  Big group, mostly runners (sorry, ultra marathoners!!! the level of hardcore in this one is strong. *gulps.  I'm a roadrunner a not so fast one at that.) .  I was excited and nervous.  Excited cause I finally get to do it.  I'm even more nervous when my friend posted photos from his previous trip.  I needed more convincing, a conversation with the friend's wife helped.  Ease the tense a bit.

It was raining cats and dogs few days before the trip and I was worried.  It was flooding at certain parts of Sabah.  Kinda alarming.  We decided to just proceed with it since the weather started to change.  Slightly windy though.  Initially, we were supposed to gather up at Donggongon Library parking at 4am but plan changed and meeting up time were at 5:30am.  I probably had 3 hours of sleep from the night before, must be anxiety kicking in.  I've packed my extra clothes, sunblock, mosquito spray and whatnot in my small pack.  Had bread for breakfast but my level of appetite wasn't that high.  Nerves kicked in.  My other concern that it would rain and my car would get flooded.  Thank god that did not happen.

Left the house at 4:45am, reached meet up point slightly after 5am.  Two (2) rented van, there's probabaly 18-19 of us including a couple from Korea.  A somewhat estimated 2 hours drive from collection point to Tenom Railway Station.  There's another route via Beaufort, that's a longer train ride.  Don't worry, got toilet break / pit stop around Kimanis-Keningau Highway.

Is this even a wishing well?  Why is people dropping money in it?

Interior crocodile alligator, I drive a chevrolet movie theatre.

Photo credit: Sham
We're missing 4 members for this group photo

Arrived Tenom Railway Station at before 9am.  Toilet at 50 cent fee for those who wanna change clothes before heading to Pangi by train, probably takes around 30 minutes to reach this station.  Applied sunblock, mind you, the stitches on my knee were still on and had the waterproof patch on just in case (cause I had to meet the doctor on the same day to remove the stitches hahaha.).

Photo credit: Glen
In the old skool train hee~ group pictar!

Old skool train.  Not much place to sit but it was definitely an experience.  It's way fun with friends.  Especially with this group of people.  I didn't get to see much of the scenery heading there though.

Arrived at Pangi.

Photo Credit: Glen
Notice my faded purple hair hehe

Light refreshments!  Watermelon!  By this time, I already kept my phone and all geared up.  Life jackets and helmets.

Photo credit: Glen
Briefing by master rafter.  Look at the amount of people on that day.

Gathered up for briefing.  Safety precautions, like how you should hold the paddle.  Your left/right hand fully covers the grip like grabbing an item, avoid any minor accidents while paddling.  How to get back into the raft if you happen to fall into the water.  Body rafting, how to place your foot in the raft so you won't fall, how to sit in the raft (unless you purposely wanna fall down the river, please sit at the edge lol!) and etc.  Best if you pay attention.  Good information.

The adrenaline rush excursion covers a distance of 9km from Pangi to Rayoh. (roughly an hour worth of fun!  *gulp! an hour? what did I get myself into? that's what I thought.) of this rather muddy 200km river that holds seven (7) exciting and tough rapids!  These rapids carries amusing names such as Merry-Go-Round rapid, Break Point rapid, Scooby Doo rapid, Cobra rapid, Curve rapid, Lambada rapid and Head Hunter rapid.  Each rapid will give you the feel of the motion as the name.

Now that's done.  行きましょう!!! (I looked nervous for sure).


 The good thing about sitting in the middle is, whenever you see a photographer, you start going crazy.  Oh look! Me! In the middle, like a princess hahaha.  I should have strike a pageant pose lmao

The group was divided into a group of 7 people with 1 rafting guide.  Safe seating arrangement.  Two (2) swimmers in front, two (2) moderate swimmers in the middle and non swimmers at the back with the guide.  I was placed in the middle.  There's a photographer stationed at some parts of the river, so whatever you do, SMILE!  Even if you're freaking out lol!  I was princessing (if there's such a word) from starting to the first rapid, I didn't know what to do so I just cheer and spotting camera lol.  I started paddling after the first rapid cause the guys insist that I should do it.  Lol, I was actually scared but thank god I did.  It was absolutely fun!  Pure adrenaline rush.  I was on the left side, so my left arm does most of the work, it felt like cramping, fret not, the guide will let you take breaks in between paddling so you won't get tired.


Lets get em muscle working!  Paddle strong and hard!  Just follow instructions and you'll be fine.

Photo credit: Glen
Lets get wet!!!

We stopped for break at 5km were we gather with the other peeps for some photos. I'm still not convinced doing body rafting, I want to but not yet.  Heck, I'm my convinced with my swimming ability.  I tend to over think, hence I don't float that well.  Lol!

Photo credit: Glen

We finally reached Rayoh Train Station just in time for lunch.  By that time, I think some of us think that whole course were not enough and wanted more.  Lucky we were somewhat the first one to arrive for food, place started to get crowded after awhile.  Train back to Tenom Railway Station at 2pm.  It felt like a long ride back and the weather did not help a bit.  Some slept on the way back but god! it felt like I went through sauna.

Once reached Tenom, had a change of clothes and off go home.  The other group arrived early, we had a pit stop at Kimanis-Keningau Highway like last time.  Had some fruits.  I was starting to get a bit drowsy from the lack of sleep, probably from dehydration.  I was reaching a point of vomiting if we didn't stop.  The ride back was a quiet one, most definitely.  I think we reached Donggongon town at slightly before 6pm.  I was contemplating to go to the doctor's to get my stitches removed.  So instead of going to the clinic, I went home, thinking that I would shower first and go later.  Did not happen.  I was feeling so sick that all I could think of is lying down.  I nearly stop at the side of the road just to vomit, but I manage to hold it in till I get home.  And the first thing I did was, lie down hahaha.  I end up sleeping till midnight haha oh god.

Totally worth it!  Another trip in May? Woohoo!  Who's in?  Thanks again Glen for the awesome photos and everyone else for making the trip a memorable an fun trip, you know who you are! :)

Next on the wishlist:  GoPro!

Regrets:  Did not wear my Fenix2 to record the route and did not own and action camera to record all these awesomeness.

Thank you for reading! :)


  1. wow !!! the river looks 'full' as in penuh air due to the rain ? or memang it's like that?
    congrats Mas!! One wishlist/bucket list down, more to go. :)

    1. Yeah a bit deras actually but no worries, it's safe :)