Tuesday, November 29, 2022

[Activities] The magnificent waterfall in Telupid : Tawai Waterfall

Don't you just miss my hiking stories? Me too!!!

Side note: If you prefer a faster method of understanding the route, watch my reel or TikTok video ok.

So I finally went hiking and joined a group to Tawai last 26th Nov 2022 (mind u, I book this a month prior with sis Rose). 

The trip costs RM180 including return transport to and from Telupid (excluding meals, will stop by restaurant at the designated location for a meal at own expense).

Check out rosesabahlady or tantisuria for other trips planned till next year!

The waterfall is said to be the 2nd tallest waterfall in Sabah, towering at 95m.  It has been on my bucket list for the longest time.

Elevation: 500m.

Estimated time: 5 - 6 hours (return trip).

Distance: 11-12km (my watch clocked around 12km).

Difficulty: Moderate.



My level of fitness is not at best but I try to cardio whenever I can.

We did a day trip by van.  Our pick up point was at Likas Plaza.  Arrived at 3:30am and left at slightly before 4am.  Couldn't get a shut eye coz I was at 2 food reviews on Friday and was back later than I should haha.

The journey to Telupid takes about 4 hours and 30 minutes from Kota Kinabalu.

Things to bring during the trip:

  1. Water (1.5L is sufficient unless you are a heavy drinker).  Can get from the mart at Telupid town.  Our organizer also provided water.
  2. Light snack - buns, rice, chocolate bars, candy (whatever rocks your boat and get you going).
  3. Trekking poles/umbrella - recommended.  Some part of the trails can get a bit slippery especially during wet season.  Most part of the trail is not shaded, so if you don't wanna get tanned, umbrella is useful.
  4. Raincoat/windbreaker.
  5. Med kit (muscle spray if needed).
  6. Comfortable shoes.

The day finally came, over packed my bags hahah.  Also, was winging it with my trail shoes (haven't worn them for 2 years, bad idea).

I nap most of the journey.

2nd pick up point for my friends at Kundasang town at 6am (we arrived around 5:30am I think).

Toilet break at Petronas - Kg. Kilimu, Ranau at 6:12am.  Only one toilet is usable though, so there was a line.

Arrived Telupid town at almost 8am for breakfast.  I was so drowsy that I almost wanna vomit.

I do get car sick.  I can't explain it.  I had this problem since I was a kid.  I travel from KK - Tawau by road growing up and always get car sick.  

The choices was this or the Nasi Kuning/Nasi Lemak restaurant.  Had to go with this coz I needed soup and hot drinks to at least fill something in (mind you I had 2 food reviews the night before consisting tons of meat).

Had bakso that were a bit salty and hot tea for RM10.  Wish I had nasi kuning instead.

Arrived Tawai Rainforest Camp by 9am to register.  

Entry fee for Malaysian citizen is RM5 and non Malaysian is RM10 (I think).

The camp is currently closed for the public for renovation but it is open for hikers to shower before returning home (not funny balik 4 jam kalau bangas k).  Definitely somewhere to come back to coz they have natural pools and resting area there.  

Might also want to check out Tawai 4 Peaks next time.

Left the camp in a lorry that fit most of our group members which takes us to the starting point.  It takes about 30 - 40 mins through gravel road (not too bad).

Toilet is available on site but needs some fixing.  Make sure you unload before starting your hike.

Briefing from the guide before starting our hike at 9:44am.  Everyone was flustered that we didn't get a group photo.

You go through the typical single trail (like the ones in Bukit Padang), the occasionally mud and river crossing before getting to the more open area that are mostly clay (apabah durang panggil ni?).  

This area can get a bit slippery during rainy season, hence why poles are useful.  It was hot and humid most parts.  I was sweating profusely like in a race.  I kinda miss trail running but dear god!  The heat was just crazy.

My right shoe started to fall apart at 9:45am.  Thanks Hafiz for sacrificing the string from his pants for this.  Might need to bring tapes and ropes next time (for emergencies).

Spotted these along the way. 

There's a marker at each km with Sabah flag.  It gets easier (faster going down, accept that slippery section somewhere at km 2 -3) on the way back.  Trust me.

A hut can be seen before making your way down to the waterfall, which is a 300m descent technical trail.  Arrived at the area at 11:48am and arrived the waterfall at 12:15pm.

I lost both of my outer sole at this point, haha!  And brought it home, bulih jahit balik!  

There's ropes to assist you down.  Can be a bit challenging for some but it is possible to complete for most people.  

Magnificent view of the waterfall.  Taking turns to take photo and videos.  You actually can go further down for photos but it was slippery.  Best not take unnecessary risks.  Safety first.

Had late lunch, thanks to Ndutt.  Climb back up at 1:07pm.

It started pouring at 1:30pm.  We took shelter at the hut till the rain subsided.

Took group photo before heading back (not full member though).

Arrived back at the starting point at 3:30pm.  Transport was full that we had to wait for the next trip.


We waited around 30 minutes for the lorry to return.  It was raining cats and dog at this point.  OMG sharp rain.  Super cold.  Shivering.  So thrilling.

Back at the camp and took a shower at the pool before heading back.  Didn't take any photos here coz I was rushing showering and going back haha. 

Arrived Kundasang at 8:30pm for dinner at D'Surya Jaya Restoran & Catering.

Had Wantan Ho seafood and Ginger Honey Tea for RM14.50.

Slept most way back, thank God didn't feel like vomiting this time.  I think I was positioning my right leg at a weird angle that I pulled a muscle.

Arrived KK at 11pm, drove home, showered and only to sleep at 2am, AGAIN! I have issues.

Overall it was a fun trip.  Day trip was crazy to say the least.  A day sore and it disappeared for a bit and reappeared with more sore (I think coz of aircond or delayed fatigue) the next day.  

I can say am fully recovered now after a day's rest and the soreness is from the lack of sleep/rest.

Hope this post is detailed enough and everyone enjoyed reading it.  Will do my best writing more post like this.

Where to next?

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