9 Fun Things To Do at Tolungan Riverside, Penampang!


Written by Geena Roslyna 


It’s 2024, and if there’s one thing that Sabahans constantly crave, it’s some “healing-healing” time to relax and recharge over the weekends or holidays. 




As the saying goes, nature is the best therapy, and Sabah is renowned for its abundant, unexplored natural sights and sounds!


If you’re looking to escape the city, a hidden gem in Penampang awaits. Offering fresh air, crystal-clear river waters, lush greenery, and Instagram-worthy views. Tolungan Riverside in Penampang is the perfect retreat. Here’s nine things you can do on your next adventure here!


1. Go For a Relaxing Swim in the Babagon River at Tolungan Riverside


Dip your toes in, take a deep breath, and release your tension as you soak in the crystal-clear water. Enjoy the soothing sounds of the Babagon River at Tolungan Riverside as the water laps against your skin. 


This river is suitable for the whole family; just be sure to watch over your kids in the slightly deeper area. But do not worry; there are also life buoys and life jackets for rent at RM3 (kids-sized XS) and RM5 (Adults-sized M & L).


For those who would like to slip into the role of a mermaid for a day, you can rent a mermaid tail for just RM5 per hour! 


2. Experience a Unique “Tagal” Fishing Activity

If you’ve never fished, it’s never too late to try! “Tagal” fishing at Tolungan Riverside is not typical fishing — it follows a ‘catch and release’ approach.


You might wonder, “But… Why do we need to release them back into the river?”


Fishing is typically done once a year at Tolungan Riverside so that the river can replenish its fish stock. This is a unique method that the nearby villagers use to help increase the number of fish in the river.


The best time to go “Tagal” fishing is early morning when the fish are more active and closer to the water surface. If you catch a “Pelian” or Tilapia, you would have to release it. This practice helps preserve fish populations, ensuring their sustainability for the future.


However, you can take other fish such as “Haruan” (Snakehead Murrel) and “Keli” (Catfish) home with you. 


For only RM15 to fish for 3 hours, everyone can have fun fishing while ensuring the river is full of fish. Oh, just be sure to bring your fishing gear and bait! 

3. Live The Camping Life


Camping is fun as you get to learn hands-on stuff like pitching tents, tying knots, sparking up a fire, and whipping up a meal that’s not just microwave magic. Plus, you get to do all this with your friends, family, or special someone, breathing in that fresh air that our city lungs love. 


At Tolungan Riverside, there’s room for everyone – whether you’re travelling solo, with your partner, or bringing the whole gang. It’s affordable too, just RM3 per person for a day trip with your gear and RM6 if you’re planning to stay for the night. Don’t just take our word for it; come and experience the abundance of trees, a perfect cold river, and nights just chilly enough to make snuggling in a warm blanket feel like heaven. 


No camping tents? No worries, Tolungan Riverside has you covered. You can rent one that fits up to four people for a comfy night’s sleep. Plus, parking’s a breeze, with lots of spots for small and medium-sized cars.


For overnight guests, starting at 9 am until 9 am the next day, you have 24 hours to soak it all in. Just remember that no loud noises are allowed by 11 pm, so that’s your cue to start winding down. And yes, essentials are covered, too – toilets, bathrooms, and a little shop for grabbing some food, bottled water, or a refreshing lemonade to beat the heat.


4. Bond With Loved Ones by Feeding the Fish!



Another fun activity you can do with your family and friends, especially with the little ones, would be feeding the fish. At only RM2 per cup, drop by the shop selling fish food and be on your way to feed the fish in the river! 

5. Netflix in Bed? ❌ Picnic and Barbeque in Nature ✅

Discover three sweet spots by the river, each with its charm – one tucked behind the ticket counter, another shaded by the trees, and a bamboo area on the opposite side. 


Snagging one of these chill spots costs you only RM25 a day, and they come with all the perks: tables, chairs, a solid brick BBQ pit, and even a sink or water tap. 


With 12 huts, big families can snag a bunch next to each other, fire up the grills, and turn it into a picnic paradise by the riverside. If you’re feeling the vibes too much to leave, you can keep the good times rolling for just RM40 a night.


6. Sweat it Out at Tolungan Riverside’s Multipurpose Court 


Kick it up a notch at Tolungan Riverside by boosting your endorphins and breaking a sweat with your favourite sports!


The multipurpose court at Tolungan Riverside offers games like “Sepak Takraw,” volleyball, and badminton — all included in the RM5 entrance fee. 


Ready to showcase your skills? Set up on the court for friendly matches, team-building activities, or just some good ol’ sports fun. Grab your gear, gather your team, and let the games begin! 


7. Feel a Wave of Nostalgia in The “Walai eGaman” Huts 

Translated as the “home of an uncle” in Dusun, these huts are perfect for friends and family looking to reconnect. Settle on the veranda, surrounded by nature and cool breezes, for a delightful chat. 


Each of the three “Walai eGaman” units ensures your comfort with amenities like electricity, tables, chairs, a BBQ pit, a water tap, and a fan in one unit. Built on stilts, these houses offer a rare glimpse into traditional architecture, evoking a sense of nostalgia for locals and visitors alike.


For a day trip, prices range from RM35 to RM50, and for those wanting to extend the experience, overnight stays are available for RM75 per night. 


8. Find Joy in the Simplicity of a Wooden Guest House Room 

It’s the best of both worlds at Tolungan Riverside; why? Because you also get to rest indoors while soaking in nature. For those who like staying indoors while feeling the outdoor vibes, especially when it’s time to hit the hay, we get you. 


For just RM160 per night, a wooden guest house room at Tolungan Riverside has all you need. Think cooking hut, comfy mattresses for 5 to 6 people, a big table, chairs, barbecue pit, sink, plates, spoons, knives, solar lamp, flashlight, mirror, and a handy bag hanger. 


Check-in kicks off at 1 pm, and you have until noon the next day. So, if you’re all about cosy wooden stays that won’t break the bank, book your spot at Tolungan Riverside now! 


9. Explore Additional Facilities 

Now that we’ve shared all the cool things you can do at Tolungan Riverside, here’s some extra info before packing. 


While the network line may not be as strong at Tolungan Riverside, free Wi-Fi is available for all guests. Social media buffs, you can still stay connected, and keep those posts coming!


Need a spot for your event or gathering? There’s an open-air multipurpose hall that can fit 100 people. For just RM250, you get electric connections, tables, chairs, a BBQ pit, and a sink. It’s a steal!


If you want to amp up the fun, these are available for rent too: portable gas, karaoke sets, tables, mats, chairs, and canopies. Make your time here extra special.


Making a Reservation 


Walk-in customers are welcomed at Tolungan Riverside, but reservations are recommended for facilities and equipment access. To make a reservation, give them a call at +60 17 839 6332 (Gary) or WhatsApp them here.


Entrance fee: 

  • Malaysian: RM5.00/adult (12 and above) 
  • Non-Malaysian: RM10.00/adult (12 and above) 


Free Of Charge: 

  • Senior citizens (60 and above)
  • 12 years below
  • Individuals with special needs (OKU) 


Opening hours: 8am-5pm, Daily

Contact: +60 17 839 6332 (Gary)

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Eager for more travel destinations in Sabah? Stay tuned for our “Lokan” hunting, river cruising, and more adventures at Taburan Beach Eco Camp, Kota Belud!