Remember too much work with no play makes Jack a dull boy. The only way to stay fresh at work is having a break from work and doing something different. Outings are a great way to catch up with family and friends. The big question is where to go for fun. Mount Kinabalu & Kinabalu National Park has a way to trigger everyone’s fantasy regardless of how the interests may differ.
Where is Mount Kinabalu?
Locally known as Gunung Kinabalu, Mount Kinabalu is a mountain in Sabah, Malaysia. It has the same protection as that of Kinabalu Park, which is a world heritage. Kinabulu is the highest peak in Borneo’s Crocker Range. It is also the highest mountain in the Malay Archipelago as well as the whole of Malaysia. By topographic prominence, it is the world’s 20th most prominent mountain.
The Mount Kinabalu height
Mount Kinabalu stands at 4095 meters (13,435 feet). It takes two days to climb the mountain, so it is not all hard. Well, it is not a piece of cake, when we say this, we are comparing it with Matterhorn, Everest and the like.
The trait starts at Timpohon Gate, besides the less popular and longer Mesilau route. The starting point is 1866m above sea level. Since the path is straight, the actual distance climbed is 2229m. The distance traveled around is 8.7KM.
Mount Kinabalu Climb
Most people climb Mount Kinabalu for two days. Initially, some climbers used to take one day until it was banned indefinitely. Here is a snippet of what to expect in the two days;
The Climb: Day 1
After making the necessary payments and registrations at Park HQ., you take your guide and get a bus to take you to the starting point which is Timpohon Gate. The path is clear and consists of rough and uneven steps.
At the beginning of the journey, you pass through the rainforests. At higher altitudes, you will find moderate vegetation.
If you are climbing the mountain for the first time, you may have questions like, what happens if I want to use the washrooms. What if I finish my water during the climb? Will I carry all my rubbish the whole time? Okay, there is no reason to worry about all this stuff; there are several shelters on the way for this purposes and of course catching your breath for a bit to keep you going.
On the first day, most people take 4-7 hours to get to Laban Rata, 3272m, where there are some small huts and a larger hostel. Here there are toilets, hot showers, sharing rooms with bunk beds, and cooked food.
Despite the rush you will find during the lunch hour or any time you get to Laban Rata, there is enough food for everyone at the end of the day. After eating, with all the fatigue that you will be feeling, the best thing to do is to take a nap. This will help you relax and ready for the following day.
Mount Kinabalu Climb
The following day, your journey will start as early as 2 or 3 am. At first, you will use ladders and ropes to help you get past the most challenging parts. Having woken up at the same time with other climbers; the whole path may be a bit congested, but as the day unfolds, it reduces because people hike at different speeds.
At this hour of the night, you will probably love the scene of the many headlamps of all climbers in the dark.
The vegetation disappears when you get to the top of Laban Rata. As you come to the end of the climb, the paths are smoothed and furrowed. At this level, altitude sickness may kick in hence causing leaden limbs and nausea. Plodding on at this juncture becomes a mental struggle. At the Low peak, people stop to take photos as they await the sunrise.
Mountain climbing is only a success if you complete both ways. Contrary to what you would expect, coming down is not as easy. In fact, many people confess it is a bigger challenge than climbing up. Well, it is a bit easier on your lungs and heart, but it may not do much justice to your knees.
The first hours before you get to Laban Rata, you will be fine. However, the next hours towards the Timpohon Gate are not a piece of cake with the rough terrains and aching knees.
You might not comfortably walk in the next few days after the climb, but it’s not personal; it happens to a majority of the climbers. Then the best part comes where you receive your beautiful certificate from Park HQ to mark your success on the process.
Mount Kinabalu Weather
To survive Mount Kinabalu weather you need to be prepared with clothes of all weathers. You got to pack light clothes such as t-shirts and some shorts. Also, you have to carry a raincoat and additional rain cloth for your entire bag.
It can rain a lot in Mount Kinabalu. The mountain is 4,000m (13,123 ft) above sea level and has a varying landscape. The latter leads to different weather patterns. Alongside the hiking pants, remember to carry multiple pair of socks just in case you got to hike in the rain.
Kinabalu National Park
Where is Mount Kinabalu National Park?
Kinabalu National Park is in the State of Sabah, Malaysia, on the Northern side of Borneo Island. The park sits on 75,370 ha of land. It is the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in the country. It is dominated by Mount Kinabalu which as aforementioned is the highest mountain in Malaysia. Geologically, its granite formed more than 15 million years ago and thrust by tectonic movements one million years ago. It was then shaped by forces that define its landscape.
Kinabalu Park Botanical Garden
It is an elite biological site with more than 5,000 species of plants together with more than 400 species of mammals and birds. It has 50% of Borneo’s plant species in a variety of habitats. The habitats include but not limited to; rich tropical lowland rainforest, the sub-alpine forest at higher elevations, to tropical montane forest with ultramafic forests taking up to 16% of the park.
Kinabalu Park Canopy Walkway & Poring Hot Spring Tour.
Climbing Mount Kinabalu is one of the main activities in Kinabalu Park. However, if you are not the hiking type; you will still have fun doing other stuff.
Kinabalu park canopy is one of the fun activities you can undertake in Kinabalu Park. The canopy way is not for faint-hearted individuals. It is made using planks of wood and rope. It will, therefore, be swaying all the way and you will be catching your breath the whole time. Remember once you are in the middle, you got to complete the “15 minute-longest” hike you ever had. To take any photos, you must pay a small fee, but hey, you wouldn’t miss capturing the moments at any cost.
Kinabalu Park Canopy Walkway
Kinabalu Park Poring Hot Spring Tour is another amazing stop. There is nothing that restarts a body than a good bath. This is exactly what you get to enjoy this location. Although the park poring water is part of the park, you got to drive out of the Kinabalu Park HQ to access it. No extra entrance fee will be paid.
There are both public and private baths. If you can’t stand hot water anymore; you can immerse yourself for a cooling session in a rock pool filled with cold water from a nearby river. There is also a pool with a waterslide.
Remember to carry a towel, clothes change, swimwear, and some sandals.
Other Exciting Adventures to Enjoy in Kinabalu Park
- Visit the Botanical Garden to enjoy the diverse plant types.
- There are several trails to explore depending on your energy and time. They include; Bundu Tuhan View Trail, Silau Silau Trail, Mempening Trail, Liwagu River Trail, and Bukit Burung Trail.
- Go to the Sabah’s first butterfly farm which protects the endangered butterfly species. The scene is smooth and has beautiful colored flowers.
- See Rothschild’s Slipper Orchid, which is the most expensive orchid in the world costing up to USD 5000 per plant.
- Take the chance to see the largest flower in bloom by visiting the Rafflesia Garden. It takes a whole year to bloom fully and only six days to die.
- Visit the Kipungit Waterfall and Langanan Waterfall for refreshing air and cold splash.
You cannot exhaust the fun in Kinabalu Park in a million years. There will always be several other things that you haven’t done. The venue is friendly to all ages as they are different activities that a family can enjoy. You can explore the world with your friends, spouse or family by starting with climbing Mount Kinabalu or visiting the Kinabalu Park.