Swimming at Taman Bandukan Keningau vs Mahua Waterfall Tambunan

I have always wanted to visit Mahua waterfall located at Tambunan. Finally last saturday I managed a trip there. We took the road beginning from Donggongon. We also made a pitstop at Rafflesia Park, hoping to catch an on going bloom. However the park warden told us that the only one blooming was at its last day and it was already wilthering. This is also a good place to stop for a pee. The toilet is free to use and it was clean enough. We said our thank yous and drove on towards Tambunan.

At the famous Tambunan T junction with a gaint ginger in the middle, we made a left turn heading to Ranau. We kepr on driving and look out for a sign saying Mahua waterfall on our left. Once we got to this road, it is another six km till we reached the park located at the end. 

Surprisingly this park is newly constructed. There is a cafeteria and a rest house if you want to stay over night there. We did not ask the cost for an overnight stay here but the entrance to the park is RM3 per person. There is a proper concrete walkway right up to the waterfall, about 500 metres in. 

Plenty of huts along the way if you want to take a rest and have your picnic. The tempreture in the park is much cooler which made the water in the stream degrees colder. 

I was not tempted to freeze my butt in that cold water. It looked freshing but no way. There were already a few family having their picnic there and a few brave souls drenching themselves under the fall. 

Since we were short of time and did not want to swim in the freezing water. We decided to move on to find the famous keningau river to dip into instead.

Taking the direction of heading to Keningau town, we look out for Bingkor on our left which was our next destination. 

Finding Bingkor was not difficult. There is a small roundabout to knock you off the non stop driving giving you the indication that this is the turning you are looking for. A few kilometres in we saw Bingkor town which turn out to be just a short row of shops. We turn left and took the next immediate right turn that says jalan bunsit bandukan.

There is only one other junction along the way, just keep to your left and you will be fine. You will start to see the river on your right. Keep driving passed the water treatment plant. Do not take the bridge. Take the left road and at the end of it you will reach taman bandukan.

We found a nice spot right under a tree for shade. It is tricky to drive here as there were a lot of big river stones sticking out from the ground. If you are not careful one can scratch the undercarriage of your car.

The water in this river looks much more inviting than at the waterfall. Definately warmer and a better place to swim. The river here is very shallow. Barely reaching my hips but has very powerful current. If you are not careful, you can be sweeped away easily.

After a quick dip, we headed on to keningau for lunch. We stopped at Kedai Kopi Keningau which is famous for their freshly baked bread and buns. They also have very good fried meehoon here and you can order other cooked dishes too. Other than those another specialty that they have at this restaurant is their ice dessert. I ordered an ice kacang or also known as ABC.

After lunched we visited Muzium Warisan Keningau located opposite Hotel Perkasa. It is not difficult to find the hotel as the whole town local would know where it is. However surprisingly many do not know the museum existed. Entrance into the museum is free. It is fully air conditioned so it was a great relieved from the heat outside. There is not much to see at this museum. It took just 30 mins to cover all the exhibits.

Thus ends my tambunan-keningau trip which took almost a whole day. If I go again, I will allocate more time for swimming at taman bandukan and skip the waterfall. The waterfall was nice but too cold for swimming.