Kinabalu Park Overview

A dream destination for all the wildlife and nature lovers, Kinabalu Park, encompasses around 5000 plant species and over 90 mammal species. The gigantic Mount Kinabalu range forms the major highlight of this park. This heritage park, which is also the starting point of Kinabalu trek, is conveniently located at an altitude of 1585 metres. If you want to add a dash of adventure into your trip, engage in activities like birding, mountain biking, golf, and farm tours. You can also capture the beauty of this place in your camera as a memento your way back home.

Situated on the island of Borneo, overshadowed by rainforests, Kinabalu National Park is Malaysia’s first World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO. It is home to some of the most essential biological flora and fauna and Mount Kinabalu. The park’s vegetation region includes lowland dipterocarp forests, montane cloud forests, and the sub-alpine zone. You can also witness rare mammal species, like tarsiers, Bornean gibbons, and orangutans in this park.

Apart from exploring plant and animal life, you can experience the walk-in-the-park trekking through the mountain forests,gaze at the breathtaking sunrise from the top of the highest mountain in Malaysia or indulge in fun activities like mountain biking, golf and farm tours. The visitors can also relax and calm their minds at Poring Hot Spring and get a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

If you are a bird enthusiast, you will enjoy watching unique bird species like Montane Birds, Spiderhunders, and Sunbirds. Tourists have spotted over 300 species of birds in the park. You will be astonished to know that the park is also the home to the world’s largest flower, Rafflesia, which takes almost a year to reach its full blossom and lasts for only six days. 

Lastly, you can visit the Kundasang War Memorial to commemorate the brave British and Australian soldiers, who lost their lives in the Sandakan Prisoners Of War (POW) camp and the death marches to Ranau during the World War II. 

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• Explore eco-treasures inside the cloud forest of Kinabalu National Park.
• Bring a binocular and spot the endemic birds like Bornean Treepie and Chestnut-crested Yuhina.
• Catch a glimpse of more than 4500 species of flora and fauna at Mount Kinabalu Botanical Garden.
• Witness some interesting collections of plants, flowers, and herbs in the Kinabalu National park.
• Take a Canopy Walk on the tree tops and indulge in a hot bath at the sulfur spring at Poring Hot Springs.
• Take a glance at the world's largest flower, Rafflesia.
• Learn more about the history of the Sandakan POW camp and the famous marches of Ranau during World War II.
• Climb the Maraging Hill to experience the most magnificent view of Mount Kinabalu.
• Shop for fresh fruits and vegetables and enjoy the surroundings in the Kundasang.
• Visit the New Zealand of the East, the DESA Dairy Farm, and try their gelato and yogurt ice cream.
• Trek around the numerous guided nature trails at Kinabalu National Park.

How To Reach

By Bus: The cheapest way to reach Kinabalu National Park from Kota Kinabalu is by taking the shared bus. You can either take the minivans plying from the Long Distance Bus Station near Night Market in the city center or catch a bus from the Kota Kinabalu North Bus Terminal at Inanam. These options will drop you directly to the entrance of the park.

By Taxi: A 4 or 6-seater taxi from the taxi station near Jalang Padang is another favorable option to visit Kinabalu National Park. However, they will only depart once they are full. Therefore, you will have to wait for some time. You can even take non-shared taxis that will drive you to the park and bring you back. 

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Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit Kinabalu National Park is between March and September. During these months, the weather is nice and has a very low chance of rain. Therefore, it is a perfect time to explore all the beautiful attractions in and near this park.

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Other Essential Information

Best Shopping Places near Kinabalu National Park 

1. Imago Shopping Mall: Imago Shopping Mall is the best place to shop near Kinabalu National Park. It is a 4-level shopping mall offering numerous options in retail, entertainment, and dining outlets for its visitors. Each floor fulfills the crucial needs of the visitors, including essentials, electronics, couture, local fashion, amusements, and a lot more. Apart from shopping, you can witness a magnificent dance performance every two hours at the entrance gate of the mall. 

2. Suria Sabah: Suria Sabah is a contemporary mall near Kinabalu National Park that is crowded by both the locals and the tourists. Sprawling across an area of 11 acres, the mall faces the China sea. The mall takes care of all the essential needs of the visitors.

3. Filipino Market: Filipino Market is popular for its wet market, the night market, the handicraft complex, and the hawker center. The place is the most popular for souvenirs, mementos and seafood in the town. It is also one of the highly crowded tourist attractions and shopping centers situated near Kinabalu National Park. 

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Best Restaurants near Kinabalu National Park

1. 89 Station: 89 Station is one of the best restaurants near Kinabalu National Park. Conveniently located on the way to Kundasang town by the side of the road, the restaurant serves delicious seafood, like fish and prawns, and dishes made from eggs and vegetables. This place is also well-known for its vast selection of soups. The restaurant is highly recommended among both tourists and locals for the taste of their mouth-watering delicacies in justified prices.  

2. Restoran Panataran: Restoran Panataran is another restaurant available near the Kinabalu National Park. It is much cheaper and busier than other restaurants inside the park. The place provides excellent value and tasty local meals. Its menu is also extensive with Malay, Chinese, and a handful of western meals. Although the restaurant is highly popular, you have to wait for a table, but not for too long because of their quick service. 

3. SS Chinese Restaurant: SS Chinese Restaurant serves the best Chinese food in Kundasang prepared by well-experienced chefs. You can try some of their signature dishes, like tuaran mee, ginger onion fish, sweet and sour pork, butter chicken, sewed taufu, and tomato scrambled eggs. The most fascinating thing about this restaurant is that the chefs are more than willing to cook vegetables brought by you from the Kundasang farm.

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Tips to Visit Kinabalu National Park

- Bring comfortable walking shoes, sunblock, raincoats, umbrellas, insect repellent, a light jacket, or a cardigan with you. 

- The humidity level in this rainforest is relatively high. Therefore, it is recommended to take plenty of water and appropriate clothing for trekking. 

- Leave early to explore the beautiful scenery and hike at the Kinabalu National Park.

- While climbing Mount Kinabalu, ensure to take bags weighing between 4-8 kg. 

- Pack your lunch and overnight stay essentials while trekking. 

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Point of Interest for Kinabalu Park
Experience the Hot Springs

Experience the Hot Springs

The Poring Hot Springs Of Kinabalu National Park is a popular tourist attraction where hot sulfurous water emits from the ground. It is said to have healing properties that rejuvenate your mind and cure fatigued nerve tissues. The park also provides the option to select the bathtub based on your needs. Each bathtub contains two taps providing hot water from a natural hot spring and cold water from the waterfall. Therefore, it is the best place to enjoy both the natural sources of water.  

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Enjoy at the Kundasang War Memorial and Gardens

Enjoy at the Kundasang War Memorial and Gardens

The Kundasang War Memorial and Gardens are constructed in the memory of British and Australian soldiers who died in the Sandakan POW camp and during the famous marches of Ranau in World War II. It is located about seven kilometers from the Kinabalu National Park. The memorial constitutes four different gardens- the Australian Garden, the English Garden, the Borneo Garden, and the Contemplation Garden and pool. So, explore these gardens and learn more about different nationalities.

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Catch up on Rafflesia

Catch up on Rafflesia

Rafflesia, the largest flower in the world, can be found effortlessly at Mount Kinabalu National Park. If you are determined to catch up on Rafflesia, ensure to check the Rafflesian Information Center, located about an hour from Kinabalu while planning for the trip. Since the flower takes almost a year to reach its full blossom and lasts only for six days, catching a glimpse of it becomes a lifetime experience.

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Enjoy Trekking

Enjoy Trekking

The entire island has a lot of things to offer to its tourists. However, the most popular activity of the Kinabalu National Park is trekking. The trail of Mount Kinabalu is very sharp. Hence, it will require a lot of preparation before attempting the summit. The trails you can explore here include Silau Silau, Bundu Tuhau View, Mempening, Liwagu River,and Bukit Burung. It is such a waste not to explore the scenic nature trails of Kinabalu National Park.

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Watch Kipungit Waterfall

Watch Kipungit Waterfall

Situated 20 minutes away from Poring Hot Springs, Kipungit Waterfall is considered to be the best picnic and camping spot in the entire Kinabalu. The cool water and the small fish called the Garra Rufa make you feel calm and relaxed while they gently nibble your feet. However, ensure to keep energy bars and water with you as the steep hike to reach the waterfal can be quite challenging. You should also be mentally and physically prepared before planning to reach there.

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