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Sabah~ Kinabalu Park

History & People Kota Kinabalu Kinabalu Park Kudat Sandakan Wetlands Nature Retreats
Other Places Mantanani Island Pulau Tiga Danum Valley Pulau Layang Layang Sipadan Dive Islands

Kinabalu National Park or Taman Negara Kinabalu in Malay, established as one of the first national parks of Malaysia in 1964, is Malaysia's first World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO in December 2000 for its "outstanding universal values" and the role as one of the most important biological sites in the world.

Kinabalu Park, the entrance to Mt Kinabalu, is located at 1,585 metres above sea level and is the main starting point for the summit trail that leads to the top of Mt Kinabalu. As the keeper of the treasures of Mt Kinabalu, Kinabalu Park showcases an eco-system unrivalled anywhere else in the world. A 2 hour journey from Kota Kinabalu, the visitors to Kinabalu Park can experience cool climates and rich varieties of fauna and flora in Malaysia' first World Heritage Site.

It has a very wide range of habitats, from rich tropical lowland and hill rainforest to tropical mountain forest, sub-alpine forest and scrub on the higher elevations. It has been designated as a Centre of Plant Diversity for Southeast Asia and is exceptionally rich in species with examples of flora from the Himalayas, China, Australia, Malaysia, as well as pan-tropical flora.

More than 1,200 species of wild orchids and 40 species of oaks can be found in the park. The world's largest flower, the Rafflesia, is found from 600 to 1,000 metres above sea level on the pri­mary forest floor. Other unusual flora include the nepenthes pitcher plant which digests insects; the Dawsonia; the worlds largest moss and Low’s Rhododendron, whose flowers can reach 30cm in width. 

Mountain ground squirrels and tree shrews can often be seen in the scrub vegetation. Along mountain trails, an occasional red­necked keelback snake can be seen sunning itself The variety of birds in the park include mountain black eye, mountain black bird, Borneo eye bright, pale-faced bul­bul, and the Kinabalu warbler.

The Journey to Kinabalu Park
Leaving Kota Kinabalu at 8 am, the journey to Kinabalu Park HQ will take about 2 hours. The Kinabalu Park Headquarters lies at an elevation of 1,563 meters (5,128 feet) above sea level. The 90 kilometers (50 mile) drive along sealed road takes an easy journey but not until the road passes the little town of Tamparuli, after about 45 minutes, does it start to rise. Although clouds usually cover the summit by midday, in the early morning the mountain is often clear, the view constantly changing as the roads winds up and up. Some of the best views come near Kampung Kelawat at the kilometer 55 (to Ranau) mark, when the mountains rises dramatically ahead as you round the corner.

Shifting cultivation covers most of the hills around here, and at kilometer 33 the roadside stalls of Pekan Nabalu are well stocked with local produce. This is a regular tourist stop where a variety of good quality handicrafts can be purchased as well as the deliciously nutty flavored brown hill rice - a specialty of the area, together with extra sweet pineapples.

At kilometer 29, at the turn-off to Kampung Kiau, the air is already cooler and yellow daisies become increasingly common, scattered through the grass at the edge of the road. Soon you pass the Kiau Nabalu restaurant on the roadside, 6 kilometers (4 miles) from the Kinabalu Park HQ, where there are good views of the patterned fields of shift cultivation above the Kampung Kiau. If the day is clear there are also excellent views of the long trailing waterfall of the Kadamaian from here onwards to the Tenompok Pass. A rough road to the right at the pass leads down to another historic village, Bundu Tuhan, where the most famous of the mountain guides, Gunting bin Lagadan, lived, well-known as a teller of tales and legends and now the stuff of legend himself.

After the kilometer 22 mark, at the Tenompok Pass, you cross over to the main massif and within five minutes reach the impressive arched entrance of the Kinabalu Park HQ.

You will arrive at Kinabalu Park HQ at about 10.00am. From here you can see the mountain more clearly and closely. You can go to the information center and get all the information about Mount Kinabalu and Sabah Parks, know more about the flora of Mount Kinabalu in the mountain garden guided walk or maybe go to their mini-theater to watch video show about
Mount Kinabalu.

There are two restaurants and a small sundry shop in Kinabalu Park HQ. You can have your meals in the restaurants and buy climbing equipments in the shop. The shop provides only the very basic climbing equipments used climbers. Liwagu Restaurant and Kinabalu Balsam Cafe have a very nice food and ambiance, and they usually open up until 10.00pm at night. The two restaurants serve both western and oriental food and provides interesting settings inside Kinabalu Park wherein to enjoy a meal along side the vistas of Mt Kinabalu. You can also cook your dinner yourself in your hostel or chalet. They have basic kitchen utensils for you to use.

Kinabalu Park accommodations range from private chalets for small groups and families, to dormitories for the backpacker and semi-luxury suites for honeymoon or romantic couples.
It is advisable to book a place to stay before one enters the park. During the months of April, July, August and December, visits to the park are popular and early bookings are necessary. Alternative accommodations are available at Kundasang.


Treks & Trails

Kinabalu Park trails that offer treks to spectacular views and an opportunity for studying a cross section of Kinabalu Park’s plant life and animal species at close range

Poring Hot Springs

The springs are known for their therapeutic properties and the waters with their sulphuric minerals are reputed to ease aching muscles.

The Hot Springs - Canopy Walkway - Other Attractions - Accommodations


Mount Kinabalu

The highest mountain between the Himalayas and New Guinea.

The mountain - Park regulations - Accommodations -
Best time to go

Mountain Trail & Climb
Climb Tips & Necessities







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