Tambunan of Sabah interior is the greenest part of Sabah. Over 90% of the scenery there are green because of rolling hills covered in lush trees, and wide area of paddy fields and plantation. If you mention Tambunan to a local, keywords such as #green, #cooling and #highland would pop into our heads. Though Tambunan is not a popular destination, most locals wish it remains as a lovely and peaceful place that is isolated from tourists.
In 2017, Tambunan Viewing Point (also known as Sinurambi Tower and Pongimpaan Nuluhon Dandab) is built on Trig Hill that has panoramic view of Tambunan valley, for visitors who want an eyeful of green Tambunan, Switzerland of the East. From Tambunan town, this 45-feet-high (approximately 14 Metres) tower looks like a huge basket left on hill by a giant, quite a prominent landmark.
Indeed, the design of Sinurambi Tower copies the shape of Wakid, a traditional bamboo basket used by villagers like a backpack, to carry fruits, vegetables, forest produce and paddy stalks. Do you know that another name of Tambunan is the Bamboo Valley? That’s why this tower is painted in green, yellow, and brown, the colors of bamboo.
“Green, which is Nature’s colour, is restful, soothing, cheerful, and health-giving.” – Paul Brunton
Situated on Trig hill at Kampung Dalungan Village, the tower is 877 metres (2,877 feet) above sea level. Due to the clean air, you can see really far from the tower and enjoy the view of 50 shades of green, clear blue sky, and fresh air breeze from the Crocker Range.
You can see Mount Kinabalu at the right during clear day, especially in the morning. If you like scenic view of paddy field, you can visit in January or February while they are green.
Sinurambi Tower has three viewing levels, each level can accommodate a maximum of 18 to 25 people, so it can hold over 70 people at the same time, as long as they don’t all stand in one level. The tower is a solid building equipped with curved safety railings and iron ladder to the top.
Sinurambi Tower opens from 8am to 5pm every day. There is a small toilet at the venue. The entrance is free. It can be windy and cooling on the hill, and temperature can drop below 25°C (77°F), so you better have a jacket with you.
How to get there
Tambunan town is about 75 KM (46 Miles) from Kota Kinabalu City, the capital of Sabah, and the tower is about 9 KM from Tambunan shoplot (next to Sompoton roundabout).
Its GPS location is 5.650731, 116.372258 (see Location Map). You can use Google Map or Waze to navigate there.
The drive up to the hill takes about 15 to 20 minutes (or you can hike 45 minutes to reach there). It’s mainly gravel road but quite accessible and you don’t need a 4-Wheel Drive.
Photos taken in Tambunan, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo