Highland Retreats

Malaysia Highland Retreats

COOL HIGHLAND HOLIDAYS

Welcome to Malaysia’s cool highland. Located on the main mountain ranges of Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo (Sabah and Sarawak) in the East Malaysia, these refreshing change for those seeking a respite from the warmer tropical weather.

 

With temperatures averaging 16o to 21o C. Malaysia’s highlands offer generous open green expanses, fresh mountain air and breathtaking flora and fauna. Be it the exciting city in the clouds, Genting Highlands, or the idyllic hamlet of Fraser’s Hill, each highland destination is a unique getaway with its own distinctive character. Come discover enchanting Penang Hill and tranquil Bukit Larut up north. In the state of Pahang is the charming Cameron Highlands and invigorating Bukit Tinggi. Across the South China Sea in the scenic island of Borneo, lies Kinabalu Park, a World Heritage Site. Whether you stroll through cool tea or strawberry plantations, trek through misty jungles to catch glimpses of rare fauna and flora, or tree off above the clouds, Malaysia’s highland resorts will provide you with an uplifting experience.

 

BUKIT TINGGI / BERJAYA HILLS
PAHANG – East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia

Bukit Tinggi | Berjaya Hills

Just an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur, Bukit Tinggi Resort nestles amidst 16,00 acres of rugged hills surrounded by lush tropical rainforests. Here you will find a unique resort that captures the essence of different cultures of the world in a single destination. In the vicinity are other resorts such as the Selesa Hillhomes & Golf Resort and Janda Baik, a resort-cum-residential development.

 

Be it the picturesque French styled Colmar Tropicale, a replica of the original 18th century Colmar Village in Alsace, France, or the Zen inspired Japanese Village, you will relish Bukit Tinggi Resort’s interesting surroundings. Standing some 800m above sea level, Colmar Tropicale has retained the feel of its European counterpart in its architecture. Its tastefully decorated rooms are all clustered around Colmar Square, a cobblestone courtyard, where outdoor dining and street performances take place. Nice touches like a wishing well, a cuckoo clock tower and a viewing tower add to the French flavours. A casual stroll along the same courtyard will render more French style attractions.

Bukit Tinggi Resort - French styled Colmar Tropicale

The La Cignone restaurant offering authentic French cuisine, the 24-hour coffee house Le Blason with its international buffet, the La Flamme Sidewalk, Deli affording pizza and pasta, and the Le Poulet Roti with its roasted chicken delights, will definitely whet your appetite in the cool highland air. On top of this, there are the La Boulengarie bakery, and cigar place, and the Haagen Dazs ice cream corner to tempt you. The Les Cadeaux French souvenir shop and La Lavande Creations craft centre complete this pretty picture. The Chateau De Colmar Hotel & Spa, a French themed boutique spa hotel modelled after an 18th century medieval castle in French, will join Bukit Tinggi’s charming attractions in the near future.

Japanese Village - Bukit Tinggi Resort

Some 1,000m above sea level is a painstakingly conceived, environmentally friendly Japanese Village. The village setting comprises the the Japanese Tea House, the Ryo Zan Tei Japanese Restaurant, the Botanical Gardens, Tatami Spa, Ume Tatami suites and a Japanese souvenir shop. Here you can experience a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, feed the ‘Koi’ or Japanese carp thriving in the natural freshwater streams and pools, indulge in a luxuriating hot bath at the Tatami Spa, revel in the serenity of the exclusive Tatami suites, or stroll through the peaceful Botanica Gardens. The tranquility and sheer beauty of these settings will thoroughly invigorate and inspire you.

Deer Sanctuary - Bukit Tinggi

The undulating terrain of the 18-hole golf course at Bukit Tinggi Golf & Country Club, offers one of the most challenging and picturesque golfing experiences in Malaysia. The golf club is equipped with luxuriously furnished suites, golfer’s rooms, a full-fledge sports and recreational facility, as well as a paintball tag range. The nearby Meranti Park Suites provides additional accommodation. At the resort’s Rabbit Park, there are over 200 furry rabbits which you can cuddle and feed. A deer sanctuary, donkey rides, and archery and painting sessions are sure to captivate the children. One of the highlights of this resort is its horse trail rides. Be it the adventurous Creek and River Rides or romantic Picnic Rides, a team of certified instructors and professional trainers will help in choosing the right horse and guide you on your trails. Choose from the resort’s majestic Quartar horses, Australian Stock, Arab-Draft Cross, Appaloosa, tough Standard Bred or Palominos as you catch the stunning sunset amidst the serene surroundings of Bukit Tinggi.

 

GETTING THERE
Located 10km off the East-West Karak Highway, Bukit Tinggi is a mere 60-minute drive from Kuala Lumpur. The turn off to the Bukit Tinggi Resort is few km down the highway after the exit points to Janda Baik and the Selesa Hillhomes. The drive up to the Bukit Tinggi Resort is a pleasant one with well-paved roads although there are some precarious bends. Lush flora and fauna surround the route. Bukit Tinggi Resorts operates a shuttle service to ferry passengers between KL Plaza and Berjaya Times Square in the city, right up to Colmar Tropicale and back.

 


 

CAMERON HIGHLANDS
PAHANG – East Coast Of Peninsular Malaysia

Cameron Highlands - Malaysia Highland Retreats

There is much to see and do in Cameron highlands, the largest of Malaysia highland resorts. Be it walks through lovely little villages and charming butterfly, strawberry and honey bee farm. Situated 1,500 metres above sea level, about 2 hour away from Kuala Lumpur, Cameron Highlands comprises a series of little township that include Ringlet, Tanah Rata, Brinchang, Tringkap, Kuala Terla and Kampung Raja.

 

THE ADVENTURES BEGIN
The journey from the foot of the hill to the summit is an adventure in itself. You can get there via the town of Tapah or through the new highway at Simpang Pulai. the route via Tapah take you past natural waterfalls, hot springs, Orang Asli (indigenous people) villages, religious shrines, souvenir shops, roadside markets and much more. A quick stop at Kuala Woh, unveils a recreational park with natural hot springs, while further on at Chenderiang and Lata Iskandar, beautiful cascading waterfalls beckon.

RINGLET
The first of the Cameron highlands townships lies 1,135 metres above sea level. If you are driving, you will probably want to stop here for petrol and to take in the surrounding attractions that include a market, a temple, a magnificent Tudor styled hotel called The Lakehouse and several delightful flower nurseries. A right turn just after Habu will lead you past a multitude of vegetable farms and and straight to the sprawling Boh Tea Estate where you can tour the Boh factory and indulge in a cup of hot tea. If you are feeling a little adventurous, you may want to get off the beaten track and try the Dayang Endah trail that will lead you to the Robinson Waterfall. This hills also offer a host of other trail that involve either a gentle scroll or a half-day trek for the very fit. Back on the main road to Tanah Rata, you will come across Cameron Bharat Tea Plantation and the Tea Shop with its unique souvenirs, scrumptious scones and more tea. In the valley below, the enchanting dark green terraces of the tea plantation are the perfect backdrop for a photo.

 

TANAH RATA
Tanah Rata - Cameon Highlands

At 1,300 metres above sea level, the main township of Tanah Rata offers attractions like the Nine Emperor God Temple, the Parit Waterfall, a Hindu Temple and the Rainbow Garden. There is no lack of accommodation here as you can choose from a range of first class hotels, motels and apartments. If you want to experience a bit of nostalgia, drop by Bala’s Holiday Chalet & Restaurant or the Smokehouse Hotel, both reminiscent of country inns. The Smokehouse Hotel has mange to retain much of its country house charm complete with latticed windows, wooden beams and rose garden with white iron-wrought garden furniture. Its interiors filled with antiques from a bygone era, portraits of the British Royal Family, rich dark carpets, heavy sofas and four -poster beds, complete the pretty picture.

 

BRINCHANG

5km up the road is Brinchang, the highest -lying township in Cameron Highlands. Its attractions include a Sikh temple, the ornate Sam Poh Temple, numerous amenities and a handicraft centre. Golf enthusiasts will enjoy teeing off at the 18-hole Cameron Highlands Golf Club, the only course on the hill. The nearby Cactus Valley which features thousands of cacti on display, also boasts a comprehensive variety of plants and foliage as well as apple trees, passion fruit and other temperate climate fruits. Several strawberry farms dot the area.

Strawberry Farm - Cameron Highlands

Some grow strawberries organically in coconut husks placed on stilt-like platforms off the ground. Here you can pay a small fee to pick fresh succulent strawberries or simply purchase the assortment of homemade jam or dried strawberries. A short distance away, the Multicrops Central Market and Kea Farm offer you fresh highland produce at a fraction of city prices. From big ripe brinjals and juicy avocados, to multi-coloured dried flowers and dainty little souvenirs, you will want to spend some time here exploring the many delightful finds.

Butterfly Garden - Cameron Highlands

On your descent, stop by the Butterfly Farm and Butterfly Garden to view the many beautiful species, including the renowned Raja Brooke. Nearby, strategically placed giant comic replicas of honey bees will lead you to the Ee Feng Gu Honey Bee Farm. Here you can view bees gathering pollen amidst the plush sweet scented gardens and orchards, as well as savour and purchase bottles of pure honey. Do also drop by the adjacent Rose Valley where about 450 varieties of roses flourish. On the left of the Butterfly Farm is the picturesque Sungai Palas Boh Tea Estate. Stop by at the factory to learn about tea processing or watch an audio visual presentation and sample some Cameronian tea. The same road leads you to Gunung Brinchang, reputedly the highest road in Peninsular Malaysia at 2,00 metres above sea level. Enjoy the panoramic views from the mountaintop.

 

GETTING THERE
Cameron Highlands is accessible either via Tapah or the new highway at Simpang Pulai. If you are driving up from Kuala Lumpur, the Simpang Pulai exit is another 45 minutes north of Tapah along the North-South Expressway. The ascent along this route is much smoother and less precarious than the route from Tapah. Bus and taxi services are available from the Pudu Raya Terminal in Kuala Lumpur and take you all the way up to Tanah Rata. Alternatively, take a train to Tapah and then continue your journey via taxi or bus up to Tanah Rata.

 


 

FRASERS HILL
PAHANG – East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia

Frasers Hill - Malaysia Highland Retreats

Sitting pretty amidst the Pahang rainforests is the little hamlet of Fraser’s Hill. At 1,524 metres above sea level, this highland resort is a naturalists’ paradise boasting innumerable plant, bird and animal species. This resort is popular with those who are interested in gentler nature-based pursuits such as trekking, bird-watching, horse-riding, fishing and camping.

 

The town proper is relatively small, with much of the activity centred on a market square dominated by a little clock tower. Most of the town’s amenities are housed in colonial styled buildings. The Scottish charm has been carefully replicated elsewhere throughout the resort so as to harmonise with the environment. From Ye Olde Smokehouse’s country home ambience to the many Tudor styled public rest house and privately owned bungalows, right up to the Paddock housing the resort’s horses and the myriad flower gardens, the colonial influence is evident everywhere. To support the many conservation efforts being carried out in this naturalists’ paradise, the Fraser’s Hill Nature Education Centre (FHNEC) was set up in 1997. Sitting smack in the centre of town, it would be the first stop for those looking to learn more about the resorts and its abundant flora and fauna. To maintain the relatively unspoiled beauty, FHNEC and various other parties are undertaking conservation efforts to preserve the eight scenic nature trails in the vicinity.

Birding at Fraser Hill - Malaysia Highland Retreats

Considered one of Malaysia’s premier locations for bird-watching, this hill resort hosts the annual Fraser’s Hill International Bird Race. This bird watching competition requires bird-watchers to race against time to spot as many bird species as possible within the resort’s routes. Visitors to Fraser’s Hill have an abundance of relaxing activities to indulge in. From a game of golf at the 9-hole Royal Fraser’s Hill Golf Club or the 18-hole Fraser’s Hill Golf & Country Club to fishing and boating at Allan’s Water, from strolls among the many beautiful flower gardens and parks to splashing about n the icy cold Jeriau Waterfalls, there are enough leisurely pursuits to kept you busy. Accommodation at Fraser’s Hill includes serviced apartments, medium to large bungalows and hotels.

 

UP & DOWN FRASER’S HILL
Fraser’s Hill is an hour and a half away from Kuala Lumpur by ca. En route, you will pass the town of Kuala Kubu Bharu and the journey thereafter will take approximately 45 minutes along winding stretch of road. When you arrive at the foot of Fraser’s Hill, you will need to stop at the ‘Gap’, a stretch that utilises a gate control system to regulate the flow of ascending and descending traffic according to a fixed schedule. Because the road is very narrow, uphill traffic is allowed through at odd hours from 7:00am to 7:00pm, while downhill traffic is allowed through at even hours from 8:00am to 6:00pm. During these times, traffic is only allowed through for the first 45 minutes of each our (no traffic is allowed through in the last 20 minutes). This 20 minute buffer acts as a safety measure to ensure all vehicles have adequate time to get to their destinations. Traffic between 8:00pm and 6:40am is not controlled and the gate remains open on both lanes of the Gap.

 

BUS & TAXI SERVICE
There are regular bus services (Bus no. 66) between the Pudu Raya Bus Terminal and Kuala Kubu Bharu every half hour. From Kuala Kubu Bharu, take the 10:00am bus up to Fraser’s Hill. Taxis are also available at the Pudu Raya Bus Terminal and will coast between MYR120 and MYR180 per taxi.

 


 

GENTING HIGHLANDS
PAHANG – East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia

Genting Highlands - Malaysia Highland Retreats

If you are looking for round-the-clock excitement in the cool highlands, the glitzy ‘City of Entertainment’, Genting Highlands beckons. Situated some 1,800 metres above sea level and just under an hour’s drive from Malaysia’s capital city of Kuala Lumpur, is popular among both locals and overseas visitors for fine mix of tranquil and thrilling attractions.

 

The pace of life quickens as your journey upwards from the foothill towards Genting Highlands at the summit. The idyllic township of Gohtong Jaya and the peaceful Awana Genting resort nearby, give way to the fast paced international resort ambience at the top. The main draw of this ‘city in the clouds’, is the abundance of heady indoor and outdoor theme attractions. Experience first-hand the exciting Sky Venture, Asia’s first skydiving simulator; give your lungs a good workout with the heart-rending Corkscrew, the adrenaline-pumping Space Shot or the mind-numbering Spinner.

Outdoor Theme Park - Genting Highlands

Genting Highlands Indoor Theme Park

Be it the romantic gondola or stomach-churning roller coaster rides, the wild, wet Water Park or mesmerising Snow World., the bountiful bowling alleys or the taxing X-pedition rock climbing wall, Genting promises endless thrills. Aspiring pop divas will love the Be A Star Karaoke sessions, while party animals can dance the right away at the Cloud 9 Discotheque.

Shopping At Genting Highlands

Accommodation atop Genting Highlands is plenty with numerous apartments and hotels to choose from, including the First World Hotel & Plaza, reputedly the world’s largest integrated entertainment complex. The combination of all these attractions, together with over 8o international and local food and beverage outlets, 7o alluring shopping outlets, and much much more, certainly make this City of Entertainment live up to its name. You will never be in want of an exciting experience at Genting Highlands.

 

SKYWAY (Cable Car Services)

Cable Car - Genting Highlands

To get to the summit, you can board a cable car at the Awana Lower Skyway Station that will take you straight up to the Genting Hotel. Alternatively, take the 3.4km cable car near the Awana Horse Ranch, which will link you to the Highland Hotel. Both rides offer you panoramic views of lush tropical rainforests and the environs.

 

PRACTICAL TIPS
If you are driving, do not overload your vehicle on the way up the hill, as the roads are rather steep. Ensure your car brakes are functioning well for the trip to Genting. Above all, drive carefully as there are many precarious bends and heavy traffic during public holidays. During poor visibility or misty conditions, it is advisable to avoid driving up to the resort.

 

GETTING THERE
51 km northeast of Kuala Lumpur, Genting Highlands is accessible via the new scenic 6-lane Karak Highway or the Batang Kali Road up north. At its foot lies a rest and recreational area where you can indulge in a quick meal or shop for groceries before continuing your journey up the hill. Midway, lie Gohtong Jaya and the 5-star Awana Genting Highlands Golf & Country Resort. At Gohtong Jaya, you will find several good restaurants, while Awana Genting offers well-appointed guest rooms, an award winning 18-hole golf course and an eco-sports centre with over 30 innovative recreational activities. The nearby Awana Horse Ranch offers good horse riding facilities while the ornate Chin Swee Temple serves as a spiritual retreat.

 


 

PENANG HILLS
PULAU PINANG – Northern Region of Peninsular Malaysia

Penang Hills - Malaysia Highland

Across the Straits of Malacca, you will find Penang Hill located on the island of Penang. Here you can ride on the funicular railway, explore enchanting nature trails, walk among 30m high trees, and glory in the gorgeous views of the island. Situated about 800m above sea level on the northern part of the island, Malaysia’s oldest hill resort has much to offer in the way of its cool unpolluted air, historical heritage and environmental significance.

 

At the foot of the hill is the Penang Hill Railway, one of the world’s oldest funicular systems. Built in 1897, but commissioned only in 1923, the railway has a track of about 2,007m ascending to a height of 710 m above sea level. The pleasant ride up takes about 30 minutes with passengers having to change trains midway.

Train up and down Penang Hills

On the way up, look out for the various residences dotting the hill, the lush vegetation and occasional Macaque monkeys. Upon reaching the summit, you will be rewarded with spectacular vistas of Penang Island. On a clear sunny day, the entire eastern half of the island and the mainland, as well as the Straits of Malacca are visible. At the summit, a food court, fruit and souvenir stalls and a hotel can be found. The original funicular train is also on exhibit here.

Restaurant at Penang Hills

Several private bungalows dot Penang hill. Most of these Victorian styled buildings have stood the test of time because of the hardy materials used in their construction. Among these, stands the fill’s oldest bungalow, ‘Bel Retiro’, the holiday residence of the Governor of Penang. Many of the hill’s bungalows that were once open to the public, are now privately owned and are thus not accessible to outsiders anymore. The hotel’s Aviary Garden boasts a unique collection of pheasants, pea fowls, crown pigeons, parrots, hornbills, macaws, Bali mynahs and Nicobar pigeons. A wide collection of art works by local and regional artists is scattered throughout the hotel.

Canopy Walk - Penang Hills

2km away lies the Canopy Walk. It is supported by towering tree trunks all along its 220m walkway. You are literally walking among the trees as you traverse the length of the canopy walk some 30m high in the air. Penang Hill also offers visitors various nature trails. The Penang Hill Forest Challenge trail comprising the jeep track and forest trail, begins from the Upper Station and ends at the Telok Bahang Recreation Park. The entire 11.3km route takes about 6 hours to complete. The best time to experience Penang Hill is at night when the island lights up and Penang turns into a dazzling jewel. Following your return trip down, take some time to visit Penang’s myriad attractions.

Buddhist Temple - Penang Hills

The Kek Lok Si, Asia’s largest Buddhist temple, just a stone’s throw away from the foot of Penang Hill, is a good place to begin. Scroll to the picturesque Botanical Gardens or journey into the past at the many heritage sites in the city. From its spectacular golden beaches to its evergreen hills, from its rich mix of modern and colonial architecture to its sizzling potpourri of tantalising cuisine and enchanting cultures, this Pearl of the Orient is a truly mesmerising tourist destination.

 

PRACTICAL TIPS
The Canopy Walk is not recommended for those who have fear of heights. For your own safety, you are advised to inform the Forestry Department if you are trekking into the forest. You may also want to carry a light jacket or an umbrella as there may sudden showers at the top of the hill.

 

GETTING THERE
Take public buses No. 101, 85 or 351 or mini bus No. 21 from within the island to Air Itam and from there take bus No. 8 to the foot of Penang Hill.

 


 

BUKIT LARUT
PERAK – Northern Region of Peninsular Malaysia

Bukit Larut - Malaysia Highlands Retreat

Bukit Larut, the smallest hill resort in Malaysia, towers over Taiping, famous for its lake gardens. The unique thing about this hillside resort is that nature has been left alone to flourish so bountifully.

 

Gazetted as a permanent forest reserve in 1910, Bukit Larut’s untouched montane forests are filled with bird life while squirrels and gibbons roam around freely. This resort is especially popular with nature lovers, bird-watchers, day trippers and others looking for a tranquil getaway. Bukit Larut, perched 1,250 metres above sea level, was formerly called Maxwell hill. It derived its name from George Maxwell, a British Resident of Perak who set up the hill station about a hundred years ago to serve as a cool retreat for colonial officials from the humidity of the lowlands.

Jungle Trekking at Bukit Larut

With Taiping’ lush greenery, giant trees and placid lakes, it is easy to see why Maxwell chose this hill. Before you ascend the hill, it is worthwhile to visit Taiping’s many attractions such as the Taiping Zoo and night Safari, the war cemetery, museum and its beautiful lake gardens. Transportation up to the summit of Bukit Larut is by government Land Rover, for which a small fee is charged. In the olden days, pony back rides and sedan chairs were the only mode of transport up the hill.

Land Rover Transport - Bukit Larut

Today, 13km of tarred road takes you to the summit. The roads are still narrow and steep with 72 very sharp bends. Among the many trails here, the Gunung Hijau trail is the best for bird-watchers. It spirals up towards Gunung Hijau at 1,449m above sea level. On clear day, you can see all of Taiping town and even the Perak coastline from this vantage point. For nature lovers, the Mountain Giant Fishtrail Palm, wild orchids and many other exotic species can be found here. There are various bungalows and rest houses offering comfortable accommodation, most of them built about a century ago. The Bukit Larut Rest House serves local and western cuisine.

 

PRACTICAL TIPS
It is advisable to bring along rain gear as it rains quite regularly in Taiping.

 

GETTING THERE
Situated about 290km from Kuala Lumpur and 9km from Taiping, Bukit Larut is accessible only via government vehicle. This service operates between 8:00am to 5:00pm daily.

 


 

KINABALU PARK
SABAH – East Malaysia / Malaysian Borneo

Kinabalu Park - Malaysia Highland Retreats

On the rainforest-clad island of Borneo, you will find Kinabalu Park, Malaysia’s first World Heritage Site and home to Southeast Asia’s tallest peak, Mount Kinabalu. Revel in the wealth of rare flora and fauna and spectacular waterfalls that seem to cascade from heaven itself.

 

From the giant Rafflesia flower and many nocturnal creatures, to the spectacular trek through primordial jungle up misty peaks, and finally above the clouds to catch an awe-inspiring sunrise – this is the one adventure you will never forget. Kinabalu Park, a scenic two-hour drive from Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah, is a popular retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life, the park covers a staggering area of 754 sq km, has four climatic zones and also one of the richest collections of flora in the world. The majestic 4,095m Mt. Kinabalu is its main attraction. The KadazanDusun, Sabah’s largest ethnic group, believe that the mountain is the sacred resting ground of the spirits of their ancestors. The KadazanDusun practice shifting cultivation on the hill slopes and serve as reliable guides and porters to visitors trekking up Mt. Kinabalu. The gateway to the mountain is the Kinabalu Park Headquarters, situated 1,563m on its southern boundary.

Rafflesia flower at Kinabalu Park

A variety of accommodation, restaurants and exhibition centre are available here. This is also where you pay the entrance fee to the park and register if you are an overnight visitor or a climber. Popular attractions here are the Mt. Kinabalu Botanical Garden and the Mountain Garden. After viewing the slide shows on the park’s rich history and biodiversity, you can explore the gardens on your own, or join the park’s naturalist on a guided walk. You do not need any real experience in mountain climbing to conquer the highest peak in Southeast Asia, but it pays to be fit.

Botanical Garden at Kinabalu Park

While the summit of Mt. Kinabalu can be reach in two days, a three day climb is less strenuous and allow you more time to indulge in the natural beauty of the surroundings. However, champion mountain runners at the annual Mt. Kinabalu International Climbathon, proclaimed the ‘toughest mountain race in the world’, have been known to run up and down the mountain in under three hours! To reach Low’s peak, the summit, climber can either follow the more popular Summit Trail or the newer Mesilau Trail which begins at the Mesilau Nature Resort. The former, which begins at the Timpohon Gate, roughly 4.5km from the park’s headquarters, is equipped with clear paths and ropes to help you in ascending the steep and rocky terrain.

Climbing Mount Kinabalu - Malaysia Highlands

One the four to five-hour climb, you will pass Carson’s Falls, three trail shelters and telecommunications towers before reaching Layang Layang (the place of Swallow) at 2,703m above sea level. here, the Summit Trail meets the more scenic Mesilau Trail. From Layang Layang, the journey upwards passes the Villosa Shelter and helipad where you can catch sweeping vistas of the Summit Plateau. Further on, you will come upon the Paka Cave shelter where the first explorers slept. You will break journey and spend the night at Laban Rata which offers climbers hostel accommodation and a restaurant before they resume their climb to the peak. After a short night’s rest, you need to be ready by 3:00am in order to catch the sunrise at the peak. It takes about three hours to reach the peak and there are ladders and ropes to help you over the steeper terrain. En route, marvel at the rugged landscape of cliffs gorges, gulleys, plateaus and precipices. At 4,095.2m above sea level and in the freezing darkness, you reach the summit of Mt. Kinabalu. In an almost sacred moment, the dawn of a new day unfolds gloriously before you.

Poring Hot Springs at Kinabalu Park

Following the vigorous descent, unwind at Poring’s hot springs, the perfect antidote for tired and aching muscles. Located at Ranau, a short drive from Kinabalu Park, the open air baths contain hot sulphuric minerals said to have curative properties. The nearby Poring Canopy Walkway provides a close-up view of the giant Menggaris treetops. Those who prefer more down-to-earth attractions can trek through the lowland forests, head for the waterfalls, or explore the Tropical Garden where deer rest in their natural habitat. You may even chance upon the world’s largest flower, the exotic Rafflesia. From the Poring Butterfly Farm and the Poring Orchid Conservation Farm, to the lofty Mount Kinabalu Golf Club at Kundasang, there is much to see and do at Kinabalu Park.

Poring Canopy Walkway - Kinabalu Park

 

PRACTICAL TIPS
All climbers up Mt. Kinabalu must engage the services of a registered guide on their climb. You can hire a guide and porter by registering at the Park Headquarters with Sabah Parks or Sutera Sanctuary Lodges. Walk-in bookings at the Park are subject to availability, so pre-booking is advisable.

 

GETTING THERE
Kinabalu Park is situated about two hours or 90km from the international gateway of Kota Kinabalu. It is accessible by car, van, coach, for-wheel drive, taxi and even chartered helicopter. There are also regular buses and mini buses plying the 83km route between Kota Kinabalu and the park. About 5km from the park’s main entrance, you will find the town of Kundasang, home to the local Dusun farmers. Here, you will find many stalls selling everything from vegetables galore to souvenirs and handicraft.

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