Large animals are rare and difficult to see but a lot of interest and pleasure can be had watching smaller creatures, particularly insects. Butterflies, moths and beetles are particularly diverse and colourful and can be examined closely clustered on walls or bushes under lamps in the early morning.
It is within reach for most visitors as long as you are reasonably fit and well prepared. The Park requires all climbers to be accompanied by Park guides. This is particularly important if you are using trails other than the standard climb to Low's Peak but even for this is compulsory.
Mount Kinabalu is also one of the most accessible and spectacular mountains in the world. The mountain was first climbed by Sir Hugh Low in 1851 who collected many of Kinabalu's unique plants.
Established as a park in 1964, Kinabalu is now accessible to visitors who travel from around the world to experience its wonders for themselves.
Recommended: climb the mountain via Mesilau Trail and go down via Timpohon (Kinabalu Park) Trail. Stay one night at Laban Rata and continue climbing to the peak around 2 or 3am. If you're lucky, you can see the shooting star while climbing to the peak and you can even watch the sunrise if there's no mist. Make sure you take lots and lots of picture.
A climb that was well worth the effort, energy and altitude sickness! Register at Mt K Headquarters when you arrive to secure a guide. Make sure you buy plenty of energy snacks when you're in Kota Kinabalu as it is cheaper from supermarkets. Set off nice and early, like 8AM. We arrived at Laban Rata Resthouse at 1PM. There are plenty of sheltered stops along the way and tandas (toilet) huts.
BYO toilet paper and ofcourse plenty of H2O. Wrap your spare clothing inside a plastic bag inside your backpack. We perspired so much from the climb that the spare tshirts inside our packs were sodden and couldn't be worn til dry! Peopled advised me to climb with hiking shoes for the uphill and open toe sandals for the descent. I just wore an old pair of sneakers for ascent and descent, they were just fine. Whilst we were making our painstaking ascent up the relentlessly steep uphill rockface, other groups were making their descent, skipping down the mountain like billy goats. If one more person making their descent said 'don't worry! it's all worth it', I could have slapped them! Paracetamol came in VERY handy. From laban rata to the summit we all had altitude sickness in the form of headaches and nausea. We bought anti-nausea tablets for RM2 up at the LR resthouse. The website stipulates that there are hot water showers at Laban Rata. I never experienced any such luxury!
The descent is tough on your knees. Our knees felt like jelly and our muscles ached for five days afterwards (and I do step aerobics frequently!)
It is great place for Bird Watching !! so much and so easy to watch them here in the kinabalu park also in the mersilau resort area. 4 days is just not enough for me. Hope I will return and have more endemic birds.
Also, I found out http://www.endemicguides.com have very comprehensive information about national park in Malaysia.
Malaysian Borneo Is just rice in everyhng.
Never seen so many pitcher plants in my entire life. And the Mersilau trail is the best place for it, Bako National Park has a lotta pitcher plants too, but those in Mersilau is better and bigger. And a lot more species can be found here. Not to mention the different types of faunas here.
Kinabalu park has a lot of jungle treks. The treks are clearly marked on the map from the tourist office at the entrance. Almost all the treks are inter-linked. I prefer the treks in Kinabalu park, due to the higher altitude, it's a pleasure to walk in the forest, the air is fresh and chilly. And with iPod playing my favourite music, I can do this everyday.
You can see the Carson Waterfall during the first part of the climb just a short walk after the Timpohon Gate. This is a very nice welcome to the many trekkers who hope to reach the summit of Mount Kinabalu.
Poring Hotsprings is also managed by the same people at Kinabalu Park. Before we left the Park HQ, we asked the receptionist to call Poring to book our accomodation. Luckily, there's an available room at Serindit Hostel. It's a dorm-type room with 4 bunk beds and yet again we had the room to ourselves.
Rate at Serindit Hostel: 46 ringgit/person
As if we haven't had enough of climbing stairs, cuz and I climbed up many steps to the Poring canopy walk. We had a blast scaring each other as we walked across the hanging bridge. Later, we soaked our tired feet at the hotsprings as we smoked our lungs away...
So that's our adventure to Mt Kinabalu. I hope you had fun reading.
Wet but victorious we started our descent from Laban Rata at about 9:30am.
The hike down was generally pleasant altho' hard on the knee. The hikers are more animated, perhaps due to the euphoria of reaching the summit. I forgot to mention this about our previous day's climb but whenever we meet hikers on their way down, we'd greet each other and they would say 'goodluck'. Now its our turn to give the encouragement...
Arrived at Timpohon Gate at 1pm.
Back at the Kinabalu Park HQ, we received colorful certificates for our 'bravery'. Gave Bungin our heartfelt thanks (and tip) and left for Poring Hotsprings.
I'm proud to report that cuz and I are hikers #5 and 6 who logged in at the checkpoint at Sayat Sayat hut. But from there, it's all downhill (or rather, upmountain?) for me. The rain started to pour again, it conspired with the darkness and the howling wind to turn us hikers into some sort of zombies. No talking. All I could hear was my mental drill --- 1,2,3,4. Move those legs!
As we navigated the granite face, I turned off my headlamp and just followed the white rope fixed on the granite. Just as well because it's more intimidating to see the rainwater flowing down. My cousin the veteran climber was already lightyears ahead of me. I was thankful that Bungin stayed with me.
Met my cousin on his way down not far from the summit. He warned us not to stay long up there because of the threatening lightning. Bungin decided to skip the summit traffic by leading me away from the roped path and over the craggy boulders. Crazy man. Anyway, we made it to the top at 5:35am, snapped 2 trophy photos and quickly descended to rejoin my cousin.
Minutes after we checked in at Laban Rata, it started to rain like crazy. The rainwater flowed over Mt K's granite face like waterfalls.
Woke up at 1am and left for the summit at 2am. It stopped raining when we started to climb but poured again halfway up.
At 7pm we attended the climb briefing conducted by the park rangers at Balsam Restaurant. It's suggested that climbers attend this briefing as the rangers give many pointers about the climb: the trail, what to expect, how to negotiate the granite surface, what to wear etc. Some pointers that I can remember are:
a) Hikers can wear shorts on the hike to Laban Rata, long pants to the summit
b) On the granite slope near the summit, if windy, walk with your back hunched
c) It almost always rains past the 3000 meter elevation
d) Leave them heavy rucksacks in the Park HQ storage, just bring stuff needed for the climb
Any questions?... When the ranger asked this, my cousin the chimney wanted to know if smoking is allowed on the trail, hahaha. The answer was yes.
The first thing we did was to register at the Kinabalu Park HQ. We paid our climbing fees and got the key to our room at the Hill Lodge.
100 - climbing permit/person
7 - insurance/person
70 - guide/for 2 persons