About Mount Kinabalu
Mount Kinabalu also ranks as the 20th highest mountain all around the globe, by topographic prominence and is one of the highest peaks in the world that can be easily trekked by most of the people. Mount Kinabalu, along with other upland areas of the Crocker Range is well-known worldwide for its tremendous botanical and numerous biological species biodiversity with plants of Himalayan, Australasian, and Indo-Malayan origin.
Nature lovers will be overwhelmed to be able to witness the many variations of flora and fauna that are to be found on the mountain at different altitudes. Mount Kinabalu can be placed in between the Himalayas and New Guinea in terms of descending elevation.
The majestic Mount Kinabalu exerts a magical quality that is both ineffable and unbelievable. Low's Peak is the highest point and can be climbed without much struggle. From having a stunningly dense tropical forest to the tallest peak in the country with the addition of its wildlife diversity, Mount Kinabalu has a lot to offer.
How to Reach Mount Kinabalu
If you are planning to drive all alone around the city and to Kinabalu National Park, there are a wide range of cars to rent from MVP to vans and others. It will cost you around INR 1951 for a basic sedan. Taxis are also available if you want to travel faster. The standard price for the taxis to take you to the KK city centre is INR 532.
You can also take the public bus available which is in the form of an old minibus. The minibus number 17 will drop you off in the city area at Terminal Wawasan and it costs around INR 35, each way. From the terminal, one can take the City Bus to the city centre for just INR 18.
What Not to Miss at Mount Kinabalu
Apart from the trek, there are plenty of other activities you must not miss at Mount Kinabalu and surrounding.
1. Kinabalu Park
You will get to catch here expensive orchids, Rafflesia - the world's largest flower and even endangered butterflies. Other activities include walking on the Canopy walkway and visiting the eight nature trails.
2. The Poring hot spring
3. Kundasang War Memorial Garden
If you are someone who is intrigued by the incidents that have occurred in World War II in Borneo or for that matter anywhere in general, it is a place that you must visit. This memorial garden is for the prisoners of the British and Australian origin who lost their lives in the infamous Sandakan death marches. The war memorial is also for remembering the lock Sabahan who sacrificed their lives to save the captives.
4. Sabah Tea garden
If you are fond of tea which is in your cup that is lying on the table. Then, you must pay a visit to the Sabah tea garden. It is an absolute treat, the best part is that you would not have to take the sip to feel relaxed.
A tour to the plantation field and the factory will make you feel all the more relaxed. Usually, there are 45 minutes of tours organized by the authorities for the tourists, and they are accompanied by a guide who explains the painstaking process step by step.
5. The Atkinson clock tower
If you want to have a view of the seaside city from a high altitude, then Atkinson clock tower is your place to visit next in the list. The tower was built in the memory of Francis George, he was the first governor, who died at a young age of 28 from malaria. Moreover, The tower was used as a landmark for ship navigation in the 1950s.
6. Shopping at the flea market on Sundays
The flea market on Sundays is an exciting place for shopping with plenty of ethnic and dated items on display. Some of the well known unique collectables include the rattan handbag, colourful batiks, and uniquely embroidered handicraft.
After you are done shopping, you can always head to the seaside food market and restaurants which have some of the exquisite seafood cuisines. The grilled prawns, the poached fish, and the barbecued chicken are some of the things that you indulge in at cheap rates.
7. Sunset at winter fort of Kota Kinabalu
This place is designed in the most premium form possible. It closely resonates with a resort with shopping facilities. The fort acts as a popular place to hang out for the tourists due to its bars and restaurants alongside the beautiful sunset. The view of the setting sun over the South China sea is a perfect way to unwind your day.
8. Kota Kinabalu City Tour
Apart from the above-mentioned places and the trek, you can also have a city tour in Kota Kinabalu. The panoramic view of the city from Signal Hill is indeed a moment to capture.
You can also visit Puh Toh Tze, which is a Chinese Buddhist Temple. To mention, City Mosque and Filipino market can be also included in your itinerary if you truly want to know about the local culture and lifestyle.
Other Essential Information About Mount Kinabalu
The mountain is located in the state of Sabah, East Malaysia on the island of Borneo. Mount Kinabalu’s speciality lies in its location which is a renowned and famous World Heritage Site - Kinabalu Park.
The Kinabalu National Park opens daily from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
A ticket to visit the Kinabalu National Park is INR 266 (RM 15) for an adult and INR 177 (RM 10) for a child. An addition of INR 2129 (RM 120) is required for those who want to climb Mount Kinabalu.
The rugged mountain stands to keep its head high at a height of 4,095.2 meters (13,435 ft) above sea level.
The best months to climb Mt. Kinabalu are February, March and April. Basically, the desired time to visit is the dry season.
The temperature of Mount Kinabalu usually lies between −4°C and 8°C from December to January and 3°C to 12°C from June to September.
It is an 8.8 km trek to the top where the trail runs along the southern side of the mountain over the Tinompok ridge. Climbers usually need two days to complete the trip, up and down, which also includes an overnight stay at the camps of Panalaban. All climbers must be accompanied by the experienced mountain guides at all times.
Distance from Kota Kinabalu
Mount Kinabalu is somewhat, 54.7 km away from Kota Kinabalu.
History of Mount Kinabalu
The naming convention of Mount Kinabalu traces back to its Kadazan natives. This place is considered as the spiritual homeland of Kadazan folks. The root word for Kinabalu is Akinabalu which in itself means revered places for the dead.
Initially, Mount Kinabalu was known as St. Peters Mount. The first man to ascend the highest of mount Kinabalu was Hugh Low. Thus, the low's peak being the highest point makes sense. It is might come off as a surprise that the Kadazans included a large majority of people having Muslim origins, while the remaining were mostly Christians.
Trek Routes to Mount Kinabalu
1. Walk The Torq
It is the most preferred with less steep rocks and cables and rails, as it helps novice trekkers to cross the somewhat tedious section of the trail. If we look at the numbers, the entire journey is about 1.5 km.
Although, we have been reinstating the fact that an individual does not need to be an expert mountaineer this route takes a lot out of you because of its large boulders and loose rocks. It is less preferred and the toughest route.
Places to Stay near Mount Kinabalu
If you are looking for a room that can give you the view of the mountains in the early morning, then Ayana must be your pick. It is around half a kilometre away from Kota Kinabalu. There are two types of rooms to choose from, standard and medium-sized.
Generally, the camps are regarded as the makeshift place to stay, but the Lupa Masa camo is in itself- “a place to visit”. Lying on the fringes of Kinabalu Park gives the closest experience to the rainforest. No wonder the term Lupa Masa means ‘forget time’ as you reach here, you get lost and the scheduling stuff takes the backseat.
Places to Eat near Mount Kinabalu
- Liwagu Restaurant: The Liwagu has provisions for all kinds of meals and is also vegetarian friendly.
- Nabalu Kundasang: Available cuisines include Asian and Malaysian alongside Chinese.
- Sabah Tea House: This one is a cafe and it also provides breakfasts in addition to lunch and dinner. It is vegetarian friendly.
- 89 Station Restaurant: Although this place specialises in Chinese dishes it provides Asian and Malaysian alternatives as well. It serves lunch, dinner and brunch.
Kota Kinabalu is pretty well connected to the city. The Kota Kinabalu City Centre can be reached from the Kota Kinabalu international airport by airport bus, taxi, minibus, car rentals or e-hailing services.
From there you can go to the Kinabalu National park using shared taxi, minivan, coaches or transport services availed by tour operators.
Medical Facilities on Mount Kinabalu
The available medical facilities comprise accident insurance, the Sabah Medical Centre and a few other hospitals. The accident insurance of every climber has medical coverage of RM 5,000.
In cases of emergency, the Sabah air centre and medical centre are aptly designed to tackle the situation. You can also visit the Damai Specialist Centre, Rafflesia Medical Centre or the Queen Elizabeth hospital.
Network Connectivity on Mount Kinabalu
For starters, there won't be any hindrance in your internet usage as most of the resorts and homestays have wi-fi or you can avail the ethernet connections. In addition to that there is also provision for long-distance calling.
Things to Carry for a trek to Mount Kinabalu
1. Waterproof windbreaker.
2. A water-bottle with an adequate amount of water as you begin the trek.
3. Energy bars for keeping balancing your carbohydrate levels.
4. Hiking and trekking poles.
5. Basic medications like painkillers and a small first aid kit.
6. Head torch for climbing in the dark a must.
7. Hiking shoes that are in good condition.
8. Gloves and beanies.
9. Carry a waterproof camera bag.
10. Fleece jacket is also a must.
Traveller tips to visit Mount Kinabalu
1. Before climb
- First and foremost, keep your packings under 8 kg for a smooth trek. Avoid carrying valuables.
- Look for a professional guide, and read through the trekking rule set by the authority. Make sure you do not violate any.
- Try to wear comfortable gear for the trek. Wear boots that can take the challenge of absorbing shocks.
2. During climb
- Avoid running, just walk at a steady pace.
- Also, you must feel comfortable to walk in the initial hour of the journey, if not so turn back to the base.
- It is ideal to have lunch when you are two hours into your trek.
- Rest for at least 10 mins after every 5km.
- Most importantly respect the mountains and its natural biodiversity.