Mount Kinabalu National Park is surely the first choice of every adventure enthusiast and nature lover on their Malaysian holiday. The Kinabalu National Park that surrounds the Mount Kinabalu has abundant natural attractions and hence the number of visitors to this location is growing year by year. With an elevation of about 4095 meters, the great Mount Kinabalu is the highest mountain in the world’s third largest island that is considered to be the highest point between the Himalayas and the New Guinea.
About Mount Kinabalu National Park
Being the highest mountain on Borneo Island, it is sited on the west coast of Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. The Kinabalu National Park or the Mount Kinabalu National park was established in the year 1964, and it is one of the first national parks of Malaysia. Covering an area of about 754 square kilometres, Mount Kinabalu National Park is among the most important biological sites of the world and known as the central diverse plant hub of Southeast Asia.
With more than 4500 species of Flora and Fauna, Mount Kinabalu National Park is Malaysia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. For its “Outstanding Universal Value”, it has gained the status of the World Heritage Site in the year 2000. The National Park has over 1200 species of Orchids and about 40 species of Oaks, spread over its six vegetation zones.
These six zones are Lower Mountain Forest, Upper Mountain Forest, Ultrabasic Rock Forest, Lower Granite Boulder Forest, Upper Granite Boulder Forest, Summit or Subalpine. There are around 326 birds, over 100 species of mammals and almost 110 land snail species found in the Mount Kinabalu National Park and its surrounding area.
Things To Do At Mount Kinabalu National Park
1. Dive Into The Poring Hot Springs
Another popular attraction at the National Park is the Poring Hot Springs. The sulfur-containing hot water springs are known to have healing properties that help in healing fatigued nerves issues and rejuvenate your mind.
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2. Visit The Butterfly Farm
Nearer to the Poring Hot Springs, one can also explore the orchid garden and the butterfly farming site. The orchid garden is known for cultivating and preserving many rare species of Orchids. Also, the suspension bridge through the forest canopy is quite attractive, which is very near to the Poring Hot Springs.
3. Explore The Kundasang War Memorial and Gardens
In the memory of the British and Australian soldiers, who died in the Sandakan POW camp during their death marches to Ranau, the Kundasang War Memorial and Gardens has been established in the Kundasang. The memorial is located about 7 kilometres from the Kinabalu National Park’s gate and has around 4 beautiful gardens within its area.
4. Spot A Rafflesia
World’s largest flower, Rafflesias which is difficult to be found, is another popular attraction in Mount Kinabalu National Park. Rafflesias take almost a year to reach its full bloom and the fully bloom flower last for only 6 days. Only a few lucky people get a chance to catch the glimpse of this rare flower which is a once in a lifetime experience.
5. Enjoy Trekking At Its Best
Though the complete island has so many things to offer, trekking on Mount Kinabalu is the most popular activity at Kinabalu National Park. The trail to Mount Kinabalu is very sharp and hence it requires a lot of preparation before attempting the summit. Trails like: Silau Silau, Bundu Tuhau View, Mempening, Liwagu River, Bukit Burung are the most popular trails in entire Malaysia.
6. Visit The Kipungit Waterfall
The Kipungit Waterfall and the Langanan Waterfall are about a few kilometres away from the Poring Hot Spring. It is the best picnic spot in entire Kinabalu and even popular for camping, swimming etc throughout the year.
How To Reach Mount Kinabalu National Park
Before heading towards the Mount Kinabalu National Park one must plan his/ her trip through Kota Kinabalu. It is the easiest and cheapest way to reach Kinabalu National Park from the Kota Kinabalu. Kota Kinabalu is well connected to this national park and one can readily find many options to reach their final destination and even go to other connect areas.
From the Night Market near the Citi Centre, or from Jalang Padang one can catch a shared mini-van that costs 20 RM per person for a one-way ride. One can also take the Buses or Coaches from Citi Centre. All the buses towards, Ranau, Sandakan or Tawau will cross the National Park’s entrance making it another popular way of transportation. The one-way trip will cost around 10 RM to 15 RM and will take 1- 1.5 hours.
Another popular option is to hire a vehicle from Kota Kinabalu Airport for self-drive. One can also hire the non- sharing cabs which are easily available from Kota Kinabalu that exclusively provides service to you for an entire day at a cost of around RM150 to RM200.
Where To Stay
As the Kota Kinabalu is often regarded as the base camp of Mount Kinabalu, hence one can find “n” number of hotels and restaurants here, which includes hotels, resorts, guest houses, homestay and villas etc. Few of such popular place are Avangio Hotelli, and Celyn Resort in Jalan Lintas, Kinabalu Daya Hotel in Gaya street Market, and more.
Being located in the hilly region, it is advisable to carry warm clothes and raincoats during your trip to Mount Kinabalu and to its nearby areas. As the number of climbers is restricted to 135 people per day, hence it is advisable to make the reservations and take all the necessary permissions at least six months prior to your trip to Malaysia!
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