Named after a species of giant bamboo
that grows abundantly in the area, the Poring Poring is known for its hot
springs. The springs are known for their therapeutic properties and the waters
with their sulphuric minerals are reputed to ease aching muscles.
3 hours drive from Kota Kinabalu, it is located about 30 kilometers from Ranau
or 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Kinabalu Park HQ. Laying in the humid
lowlands, the area is a complete contrast to the cool environment of Kinabalu
Park HQ area.
road to Poring leads past the vegetable and flower farms of Kundasang and
beyond to the town of Ranau and the lowlands. A number of local gift stalls
that have been set up just outside the entrance gate selling a variety of
souvenirs made of rocks collected from the nearby Mount Kinabalu area. The
rocks, which include types such as jade, crystals and marble, have been
transformed into various souvenirs such as key chains
and pen-holders, etc.
The headquarters of the Poring Hot Springs ranger station, at an elevation of
550 meters (1,800 feet), lies on the Park boundry at the edge of Mamut river.
Offices, visitor chalets and hostels are situated here as well as the Orchid
Conservation Centre and the fenced 5 acre tropical garden nearby containing an
animal rehabilitation centre. The main attractions here are the hot and cool
pools in a forest clearing on the other side of Mamut river.
The Hot Springs
There are 5 hot springs with temperature ranging from 49º to 60º C (120º to
140º F). The steamy sulphur water is channeled into several tiled open-air
Japanese-style baths, replacing the original wooden ones installed by the
Japanese during their wartime occupation. Soaking in a hot water bath is an
ideal way to recurperate from an ardous mountain climb. After a cool dip in
the swimming pool you should feel completely refreshed. Most people who visit
Poring come just for the day - over 150,000 a year, to enjoy the hot waters.
The hot tubs are built slightly below the actual source of the hot water. The
hot water is piped (as at the source it is hot enough to hard boil eggs) and
presented at the tubs along side a cold water tap. Due to reasons of hygene,
the tubs are drained after each use, but they are also fairly large and thus
sometimes take some time to fill. There are several other sized tubs scattered
about nearby, which are not tiled and communal. Hot water flows freely through
these and are always at the ready.
There are also two or three indoor tubs for private use. The better of the
ones is the Raffelsia, which is quite new, spacious and nice and clean. The
other tubs are fairly basic, almost like what you would find at home, but do
feature two big tubs side by side. The facilities are also basic, but clean.
The other pools in the part of the facility are cold-water pools. There is a
freely accessable rock pool, as well as the paid-access slide pool, which is a
series of 4 cascading pools, the upper 3 of which are margined by a
water-slide. The water in these pools are fed by a river and are thus
constantly replenished. This part of the facility is quite popular amongst
tourist and locals alike, especially during weekends and public and school
A 20 minutes hike into the forest, take you to the entrance to the Canopy
Walkway. At the end of the path is a tower leading to the walkway. The 157
meter long walkway comprises of 4 sections laid out in a "Y" shape. At its
highest point, the walkway is 41 meters above ground. Single planks are placed
on aluminum ladders with rope handrails and nettings, like a suspended gateway
to the secret world of the forest canopy.
Other attractions here are the Poring Orchid Conservation Centre, a small
butterfly enclosure, a forest trail system, waterfalls, a Canopy walkway and
picnic area. The chalets and hostels can accommodate 90 persons per night and
all have self-catering facilities. There are also stalls serving local food
just outside the entrance gate, and a restaurant at the hot pools clearing,
serving both western and oriental food.
Poring Orchid Conservation Centre
With 1,200 species of orchids found with Kinabalu Park, the centre has the
largest collection of Sabah's endemic orchids. The main flowering season here
is from Oct to Feb. Six of twelve Borneo slipper orchids including the rare
Rothchilds slipper orchid are endemic to Kinabalu
Borneo's first butterfly farm features a garden, nursery and hatchery. Here
you will find several species of colourful and striking butterflies.
Kipungit Waterfall is a 30 minute walk from Poring Hot Springs. Signboards and
a well-marked path through the forest will lead you to your destination. The
waterfall is smaller than the 100m high Laganan Waterfall, which is a 90
minute walk from Poring Hot Springs. With its shady canopy and beautiful
rocks, the area is private, peaceful and a great place to spend a lazy
afternoon with family and friends.
Affordable options include the economical Serendit Hostel as well as the
Kelicap Hostel which is a series of twin-share rooms with shared facilities.
The two Rajah Lodges are well equipped can accommodation up to 6 people in 3
The two units which have recently been refurbished, in fact, virtually totally
rebuilt from scratch, includes the Jungle Lodge and the River Lodge. Suitable
for Honeymooners, the bathrooms are exotic with marble surfaces and outside,
covered areas, while the bedrooms are large, air-conditioned and spacious. The
units feature living rooms with satellite televisions as well as pantries with
equipped with a fridge and coffee/tea making facilities.
Designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO as one of the most
important biological sites in the world and as the keeper of the treasures of
Mt Kinabalu, Kinabalu Park showcases an eco-system unrivalled anywhere else in