The quiet and relaxed town is located in a valley and is in the heart of the area inhabited by the Murut people of Sabah. There isn't that much to do in Tenom but you may find yourself here to catch the train to Beaufort, which runs along the Padas River.
Tenom is more or less the southern end of the main road from Kota Kinabalu into the interior. From KK, the road starts from the suburbs of Donggongon and climbs up the Crocker Mountain Range and down to the Tambunan Valley. The road continues in a southwest direction to Keningau, Melalap and Tenom.
There is also a road between Tambunan and Ranau, allowing you to come directly from Mount Kinabalu and Sandakan without needing to go through KK. The road hugs the mountains and is frequently closed because of landslides.
Tenom is 176km from Kota Kinabalu, 163 km from Ranau and 397 km from Sandakan. Another access by road is to drive south of Kota Kinabalu to Papar and take a road junction for Keningau. This road is quiet a climb with gradient reaching 19%. Until you reach a junction off Keningau town. Keep driving down south until you reach Tenom town.
Tenom is served mainly by minibuses and minivans and you will most likely have to change at Keningau if you are coming from Kota Kinabalu or Ranau. At Kota Kinabalu, minibuses leave from the station opposite Wawasan Plaza at the southern end of town. Most minibuses and vans leave in the morning. You can find minibus / minivan from Keningau to Tenom under the trees on Lorong Chu Shin Kee, behind Watsons pharmacy. As of Sept 2020, minivans/taxis are very limited in the afternoon.
Tenom is the southern terminus of the Sabah State Railway's  134km network. About four trains or railcars run daily between Tenom (Station tel: +60-87-735514) and Beaufort, snaking downhill beside the fast-moving Padas River. The journey is interesting but slow, taking about two hours. One-way economy fare between Tenom and Beaufort is RM2.75. You will have to change trains at Beaufort to continue to Kota Kinabalu.
Pork Meat Ball & Meat Egg Roll - In Tenom, you must try the PORK MEAT BALL & MEAT EGG ROLL. In Chinese we call ( 肉圆 Ròu Yuán ，春卷 Chūnjuan ). It is want of the famous and delicious food in Tenom. If tasted once, you want more. Wanted to eat the famous food, come early in the morning. Approx. 8.00-8.30 am finish already. It's located at the PASAR BESAR TENOM (Central Market Tenom), 2nd Mezzanine Floor, facing the Tenom Jaya Commercial Shop (Can be view at the stairscase)
There are several places to stay in Tenom. Prices range from Rm10 to Rm400.