Kinabalu National Park which was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in December 2000 for its role as one of the most important biological sites in the world is only 88 kilometres from Kota Kinabalu city.
Day Visit Activities at Kinabalu National Park
Here you can enjoy a variety of activities at the base of the mountain either as a day trip, or spend a few days in the area.
If you haven’t planned to climb the mountain, a day trip gives you
Close views of Borneo’s highest mountain and a chance to explore the lower area around the mountain.
We were day visitors…. and after a pleasant drive through mountainous country with views of Mt Kinabalu wreathed in a thick woolly cloud….
We arrived at Kinabalu National Park and were driven to the botanical gardens Here you can wander through narrow pathways giving close up views of colourful tropical blooms, and quite a few flower species unique to Borneo. The park is known for its carnivorous pitcher plants and orchid species.
Climbing Mt Kinabalu
For many tourists, climbing Mount Kinabalu is on their”to do” list. You need to allow a minimum 2 days usually 3... and a reasonable level of fitness, and to have organized the passes required prior to arriving.
You must have guides, and mandatory paperwork. You will also need to be well prepared with suitable clothing, shoes etc Gear for Climbing Mt Kinabalu
Poring Springs Activities
After a set lunch in a Chinese restaurant, we drove the few kilometers to Poring Springs.
Here you can spend some time walking though bamboo forest, cross a rushing river, and through rainforest to the 157.8 meter long Canopy walk …..narrow planks 41 meters high in places, strung between the Menggaris trees with views to the forest floor and through the tree canopy.
Soak in Poring Springs
If time allows wallow in the natural Poring hot springs….. a favourite spot for climbers to soak their aching bones. There are several pools open to the public.
If you are in Poring Springs in season you may also be fortunate enough to view the huge rare Rafflesia in flower.This huge carnivorous flower can be as much as a metre across. It is only found in specific parts of Borneo. We were fortunate to be there in season and walked from Poring Springs up to the special center where the flower was housed.
Taking 15 months to bloom...the flowers last around 7 days. The tour guides often know where these flowers are and if they are blooming. Some are found in the rainforest. Expect to pay to see this amazing flower. It is worth it!
Sabah’s first butterfly farm is also located in this area.
As with many mountains mist and cloud can often cover the peak. You can see from the photo we had a misty view of Mt Kinabalu. This is a long day but there is plenty of variety of things to see and do along the way.
NOTE: Check the different tour offices in Kota Kinabalu. If you are not keen on large tours I would suggest checking the price of a taxi.....sharing would keep the cost down.
We were told out tour was for a maximum of 9 people but ended up on a large tour bus. It was disappointing to have the young fellow passengers closing the curtains to keep the sun off their faces and shutting out the stunning mountain views!
We regretted not checking taxi prices as we had found this most cost effective in Kuching.