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  Kinabalu Park

kinabalu.JPG (13351 bytes)Towering 4,101 metres (13,455 ft) above the mysterious tropical jungles of North Borneo in Sabah, Malaysia, Mount Kinabalu is the majestic centerpiece of Kinabalu Park and is also the highest mountain in South-East Asia. 

Despite its intimidating size, Mt.  Kinabalu is one of the easiest mountains in the world to climb.  No special skills or equipment are needed, and each year, thousand of visitors climb to the summit of Mt.  Kinabalu, Low's Peak.  Keep in mind, however, that the ascent is a physically tough and challenging climb, requiring a minimum of two days to reach the summit.  Because of lack of oxygen in the higher mountain altitude, those with high blood pressure and weak hearts are advised not to make the climb. 

Merely being able to climb to the top of Mt.  Kinabalu - as intense as it undeniably is - isn't the only experience that awaits you, Mt.  Kinabalu is a botanical paradise, with an amazing number of plants, many unique to the area.  The Park Reserve surrounding the mountain provides plenty of nature trails weaving through the majority of the park area.  Hikers are free to explore the trails on their own and guided walks are also available. 

Planning An Iterinary

Climbing Mt Kinabalu
The clim is normally accomplished in tow days but this can be quite tough.  A more comfortable option is to take it easy and make it in three days, spending two nights in mountain but along the trail . It gives you the chance to look around and absort the sights and sounds of your surroundings.

Complimentary Programmes. The park organises complimentary visitor programmes for first timers to the park.  This includes slide/film shows and guided trails walks conducted by park naturalists. Take advantage of these to gain some informative and educational insights on the parks's flora and fauna

Pre Climb Information

Prior to arrival at the Kinabalu Park and before the actual ascent of the mountain can be made, guests need to make necessary arrangements for transportation, accommodation, and climbing reservation. 


The park is approximately 90km from Kota Kinabalu and the journey takes about 2 hours.  Mini buses depart daily from Kota Kinabalu to Ranau, from 6.00am-3.00pm and stop at Kinabalu Park along the way.  The fare is RM8.00 one way per person.  Bus services regularity depends on season and demand.  For transport from Kinabalu Park to Kota Kinabalu, mini buses pass 

Kinabalu Park around 8.30am and 12noon - l pm daily.  You'll need to stand by the side of the main road to wave them down.  The fare to Kota Kinabalu is around RM8.00 

Taxis can be chartered from Kota Kinabalu.  Fares vary but can be gauged to an average of RM80.00 for four passengers per taxi.  It's advisable to negotiate the taxi fare before departure. 

Groups can charter mini buses from Kota Kinabalu.  Prices range from RM224.00 for non air-conditioned 24 seaters to RM300.00 for air-conditioned 28 seaters. 

Groups up to 12 people can also charter Land Rovers from Kota Kinabalu.  The Land Rovers and minibuses depart Kota Kinabalu for Kinabalu Park around 8.00 am and Kinabalu Park for Kota Kinabalu around 1.00 pm daily. 


Overnight accommodation is provided at the Kinabalu Park, Poring Hot Springs and in mountain huts at 11,000 feet and 12,500 feet on the summit trail.  Ideally, these reservations should be made at least one week in advance and climbers should note that on school and public holidays and particularly on weekends, accommodation may be fully booked.  I'he sooner reservations are made, the better. 

Kinabalu Park 

Nepenthes Villa (2 bedrooms/4 persons) - 1 unit RM250.00 per night (Weekends) RM180.00 per night (Weekdays)

Rajah Lodge (5 bedrooms/10 persons) RM,000.00 per night
Kinabalu Lodge (4 bedrooms/8 persons) - 1 unit RM360.00 per night
Double Storey Deluxe Cabin (3 bedrooms/7 persons) - 1 unit RM250.00 per night. (Weekends) RM180.00 per night (Weekdays)
Single Deluxe Cabin (2 bedrooms/5 persons) - 1 unit RM200.00 per night (Weekends) RM150.00 per night (Weekdays)
Duplex Two-Bedroom Chalet (6 persons in each) - 4 units RM200.00 per unit/night (Weekends) RM150.00 per unit/night (Weekdays)
Annex Suite (2 bedrooms) 4 person - 4 units RM1600.00 per annex/night (Weekend) RM100.00 per annex/night (Weekdays)
Twin Bed cabin (2 persons in each) - 10 units RM80.00 per cabin/night (Weekends) RM50.00 per cabin/night (Weekdays)
New Fellowship Hostel. (52 persons in dormitory room) RM15.00 per adult/night RM4.00 per student/night
Fellowship Hostel RM 10.00 per person. RM 5.00 per person below the age of 18 years

No fireplace and kitchen facilities are provided.  Each of the above cabins is provided with a fireplace, kitchen, shower, gascooker and a refrigerator and cooking and eating utensils. 

Visitors must bring their own food if they want to cook.  Otherwise, simple meals (both Western and Local) are available at the Clubhouse and Canteen in the new Administration Building.Electricity, piped water and firewood are ill provided free of charge. 

All accommodation fees are subject to 5% Government Service Tax. 

Poring Hot Springs

The prime attraction here is the Hot Springs, first developed by the Japanese during World War II and now piped into several open-air Japanese style baths.  For visitors with more time there are graded paths leading through rich lowland forest to mountain rivers, waterfalls and the tumbled bat caves. 

Visitors can often see birds and wildlife along the trail.  A playing field and courts for volleyball and sepak raga are also available. 

The hot springs contain sulphur water which has curative properties for skin diseases. 

Visitors going to stay overnight at Poring Hot Springs must bring their own food as there is no canteen facilities there.

Accommodation facilities at Poring Hot Spring

Old cabin (3 bedrooms-6 persons)
New Cabin ( 2 bedrooms-4persons)
Camp Ground (30 persons) 
Mountain Huts At 11,000 feet

Lodging facilities on the mountain at two altitudes, 11,000 and 12,500 feet, are provided for climbers as an overnight rest area prior to the ascent to the summit. 

Laban Rata Resthouse. 54 bunks (dormitory with heater) - RM26. 25 per person per night 
- Gunting Lagadan Hut-44 bunks 
- Climbing Arrangements (Climbing permit rates : 
- RM 10.00 per person per climb -  
- RM 2.00 per person below the age of 18 years per climb 
This 15-minute journey will cost RM 4.00 per person for return trip.

The mountain huts cost RM 10.50 per night l adult and RM5.25 per night l student.  Wooden bunks with mattresses, gas cylinder cooking and a limited supply of eating utensils are provided.  Climbers must bring their own  food for cooking. 

Personal Accident Insurance Coverage

Every climber is compulsory to take up this scheme at RM3.50 per person per climb.  To be paid in cash term at Kinabalu Park before the climb. 

Climbing Arrangements 
Park regulations require all climbers to be accompanied on the ascent with a registered mountain guide.  Porters are also available.  Reservation for their services must be made at least one day in advance at Kinabalu Park. 

As the guides and porters are not park employees, their fees of RM60.00 each should be paid before the ascent. 

Those wishing to make the ascent must obtain a climber's permit, available at Kinabalu Park, before the climb. 

Climbing permit rates
Adult -                   RM10.00 
Student -               RM2.00 

Lockers are available free of charge at the Park reception office to store excess baggage for the climb.  Rental of blankets, pillows, mattresses, rucksacks, and sleeping bags are also available here to take up the mountain. 

The mountain trail begins just past the Power Station and is approximately one hour's walk from the Kinabalu Park administrative office.  You can shorten your walk and save about 500 metres of vertical climb by using the transport available from Kinabalu Park Administrative Office.  This 15-minute journey costs between RM10.00 - RM20.00 per person.  You can prearrange a round trip shuttle for the transport to meet you upon Your descent to the Power Station. 

The Ascent 
Climbers are encouraged to begin the ascent at 7.00 a.m. from the Power Station, although no climbing is permitted before this time.  The climb starts with a graded trail and soon joins a jungle track which eventually leads to the mountain huts at 11,000ft and 12,500ft and finally to the Summit Low's Peak. 

Average walking times: 

Park Headquarters to Power Station
1 hour (or 15 minutes' drive) 
Power Station to Kambarangoh  
1 1/2 hours just 3rd shelter) 
Kambarangoh to Layang-Layang 
1 1/2, hours
Layang-Layang to Pakka Cave 
1 1/2 hours
Pakka Cave to Panar Laban  
1 1/2 hours 
Panar Laban to Sayat-Sayat  
1 1/2 hours

With an earlv morning start, most  climbers will reach the various mountain hut stopping points at 11,000 ft. for the evening - by around 3.00 pm at 11,000ft.  The mountain hut at 12,500ft is appproximaitely one and half hour's walk away. 

Ascent to Low's Park 
Climbers and guides must start this leg of the climb early, by 3.00 am., in order to allow enough time to reach the peak for the brilliant sunrise, usually occurring between 5.30 - 6.00 ant 

The Mountain is particularly windy, brisk and dark at this altitude in the early morning, and it is crucial for climbers to dress warmly with gloves and head covering.  Don't forget your torch light - an essential item indeed. 

Most people climb to the summit in time for the picturesque sunrise and dawn sweeping across the vast openness of the mountain terrain.  In good weather, almost all of Sabah can be seen before the clouds come up.  Clouds usually appear around 9.00am, so climbers should begin the descent before the clouds set in. 

Essential To Bring


Comfortable shoes are a must tennis shoes or hiking boots are ideal.
Warm clothes - at night, temperatures on the mountain can fall below freezing.  Layering of natural fibres is recommended.  Pick ill clothes in plastic bags.  Rain and wind gear, gloves, head covering and bandannas are necessary.
High energy trail food - chocolate, nuts, raisins, high-glucose foods are recommended.
Water bottles
Torch light
Headache tablets, tissue paper, a few plastic bags and plasters are all useful.
Flora and Fauna
Mount Kinabalu is stocked  with botanical beauty and many plants are unique to the Kinabalu Park area.

Besides some of the more extravagant varieties belonging to the orchid family, like the mountain Necklace Orchid, almost one thousand other orchids species have been discovered.  Several varieties of the rhododendron species flourish along the mountain as well. 

By taking time to explore a few metres into the ground on the sides of the mountain path, the hiker can find the insectivorous pitcher plant.  Many elaborate types of pitcher plants grow profusely here in all sorts of shades, colours and sizes. 

One of the largest flowers in the world grows here.  Its giant red blossom, the Rafflesia can grow to over 170 cm in diameter.  These flowers located somewhere between 600-12,000 metres above sea level on the primary forest floor, is a sight the climber should not miss. 

Several bird varieties including the Mountain Bush Warbler, Kinabalu's own Kinabalu friendly Warbler, palefaced Bulbul and Mountain Blackeyes are seen and heard throughout the various altitudes of the climb.  More than 250 bird varieties have been recorded.  Small mammals which inhabit the mountain include mountain squirrels, tree shrews and bats. 

Bring a fast panchoromatic film for use in poor light and a slower film for outdoor photography.  The thick and often shaded forest is inconsistent in lighting, so flash equipment is helpful. 

Park Regulations

Under the Sabah Parks Enactment of 1984, it is an offence to : 

Kill, capture, disturb or remove any animal, nest or eggs.
Remove, damage or set fire to any vegetation or any object of geological, historical or other scientific interest.
Introduce any plant or animal into the park
Deface or write on any rocks, trees or buildings.

For more information, please contact 
Kinabalu Gold Resort Sdn Bhd.
Lot 3.46 & 3.47, 3rd Floor Block C
Kompleks Karamunsing
Locked Bag 179
88744 Kota Kinabalu
Tel:088-243 629/245 742
Fax:088-242 861
web site: http://www.nature.kinabalu.net/

Ground Floor, 
Bangunan EON CMG Life, 
Jalan Sagunting, 
88000 Kota Kinabalu, 
Tel : 088-248698, 242064 
Fax : 088-241764