Tea factory tours
Published/Last edited or updated: 3rd October, 2016
You don’t even need a sip to feel the relaxing effects at this organic tea farm; the wonderful views alone of the sprawling plantations will give you a lift. Daily 45 minute tours of the factory are conducted on request, but preferably between 08:00-12:00 when the operation is in full swing. A friendly guide will take you step by step around the factory floor explaining the various processes. We got more of a thrill seeing the huge industrial machinery used to do the job than the actual process. All manner of brews are then laid out before you, with explanations of the whys and wherefores of achieving the perfect infusion. A collection of tea packaging from around the world on display allows you to compare the local product with other varieties. The tour ends in the gift shop (surprise!), but it really is a quality product, and worth stocking up on. A stroll around the plantations, breathing in the cool mountain air is good for a stretch after the tour; if you go early you can wander among the pickers too.
Return to the attached cafe, where your eyes can savour the miles of green while you tastebuds savour its produce. Sabah Tea Garden run longer tours that include hikes around the estate and offer a variety of accommodation packages in a Rungus-style longhouse or cottages. The plantation tour is a pleasant stop if you’re passing, but the effort to get here if you’re not may not be worthwhile unless you plan one of the longer treks or you’re a tea devotee. Call ahead to book a tour. Factory tours by appointment are officially 14 ringgit but for some reason we were only charged 10.
From Ranau, Sabah Tea Garden is a further 16 kilometres past the turnoff to Poring. It’s a bit out of the way by public transport, but buses heading to Sandakan will pass by the turnoff. It’s then another two kilometres walk up a steep dirt road (you’ll need a cup of tea then). A taxi from Ranau is 60 ringgit one way, but highly negotiable.
Address: 17 Kampung Nalapak, Jalan Ranau-Sandakan, Ranau
T: (0884) 40882; (0888) 79611;
Coordinates (for GPS): 116º47'6.55" E, 5º56'50.87" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Admission: 14 ringgit
Sally spent twelve years leading tourists around Indonesia and Malaysia where she collected a lot of stuff. She once carried a 40kg rug overland across Java. Her house has been described as a cross between a museum and a library. Fuelled by coffee, she can often be found riding her bike or petting stray cats. Sally believes travel is the key to world peace.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.