Mount Kinabalu

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Borneo, Malaysia

Mount Kinabalu Borneo Reviews

AussieMel82 AussieMe…
60 reviews
Exhilarating two day trek Jan 24, 2014
This two day trek is one you can't miss if you're in South East Asia.

I came across this trek as it was mentioned in the lonely planet guide and I set out researching the cost for an organised group. According to lonely planet, you can organise on your own much cheaper if organised well in advance. There is much to consider such as guides, accomodation and transport etc if you do it yourself.

After doing my research, I booked myself and my partner with Jackz Lee of

We paid 900 malaysian each which worked out about 330 AUD. It sounds expensive for a two day trek, however Jackz organised our transport and picked us up from Kota Kinabalu along with one other couple. Jackz ensures small groups and we were just a group of four, plus himself and our mountain guide. The price we paid was the average price across all tour operators I found online.

Our mountain guide was amazing, i cannot speak more highly of him. I was the least fit in our group and had problems breathing due to the altitude and he stuck with me the whole way, making sure I rested and took my time.

On the trek, we only had to pay for breakfast on the first day and drinks at the guesthouse accomodation. Everything else was provided for, including lunch at the bottom of the mountain when we finished.

Jackz had excellent knowledge of the area and of the mountain and treated our mountain guide very well, paying for him to eat in the main guesthouse with our group rather than having him eat outside with the other guides.

The mountain was extremely busy the day that we completed the trek and it poured with rain most of the way down which made it quite hard on the knees. It is mostly a challenging trek, with the first 6km up to the guesthouse being moderately hard and the rest of the way up being very steep and rocky. The way back down is easier but by no means easy. A moderate level of fitness is required to complete the trek comfortably.
Mt Kinabalu
At the start of the climb, 1866 me…
The guesthouse
At the peak
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IldikoTF IldikoTF
20 reviews
Magnificent and spectacular Mar 31, 2012
We visited Mt Kinabalu in March 2010 (I know it's taken ages to finally write my reviews, it's been a busy year).

A little bit about us: we are from London, a 36yr old couple. We like nice and luxurious holidays but probably appreciate the real, local experiences even more. Borneo was part of our honeymoon, travelling in Japan and Malaysian Borneo. It was a busy trip but we enjoyed every minute of it. After Tokyo, geishas in Kyoto, snorkelling near Kota Kinabalu etc we travelled through Sabah expecting to see wildlife and jungle.

We travelled from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan via Ranau and decided to visit Mount Kinabalu so booked a night at Celyn Resort, in Ranau - later became 2 nights. Taxi was cheaper than coach from KK, but if you go for this option be prepared that local’s cars are old and dusty (don’t wear your best clothes ☺ )

We loved this little, simple resort. It is great value for money. You get what you pay for – simple resort… but the location is fab and the view is just unforgettable. Exactly what I wanted: view to Mount Kinabalu – and on the other side a beautiful valley.

The KK taxi driver didn’t know where it was so we just asked the locals. It is located on a steep hill, a bit scary going up in an old car but worth it.

When we arrived it was a bit cloudy so we didn’t see the mountain so just waited with anticipation. In the evening when it was getting dark one moment I looked up and I saw the top of Mount Kinabalu peeping out – until then I didn’t look up as I didn’t expect it to be so high from that distance… and it was very cloudy anyway.

We took a taxi to the entrance of the mountain but didn’t climb the 2day trek.. instead we decided to spend the day walking around the treks at the bottom, underneath the most beautiful and humongous ferns we’ve ever seen. Lots of orchids too.. all shapes, sizes and colours... and saw the wold's smallest orchid! :) it was so small my camera couldn't take a clear photo (and it is quite a good one for a non-professional like me)

If you want to climb the mountain you need to train a bit and also acclimatise. You are recommended to stay for a couple of nights for that. But you can just stay the one night at half way up if you feel ready. There is accommodation at the bottom near the entrance, quite cheap, if you would like to stay around a bit longer. It is lovely, and sooo peaceful. A real nature experience.

There is an entrance fee to the park, and then another fee just before you start the trek up. It is owed by a company who charges those who want to climb the mountain.

We would have done a trip to the Rafflesia flowering side too but unfortunately it wasn’t flowering then.

The best view of the mountain we had in the afternoon on the way back to Celyn Resort, and again on the clearest morning when we left... from the bottom of the hill where the resort was, along the main road by the waiting spot for the coach to Sandakan.

We had a lovely time and would go back again any day!!
the top peeping out between clouds…
Kinabalu Park complex, you can sta…
hundreds of types of ferns and orc…
on the mountain trails around the …
Sukey-Lou Sukey-Lou
3 reviews
Mount Kinabalu climb May 18, 2011
At 4095.2m, Gunung Kinabalu is the 20th highest mountain in the world. It stands in the spectacular setting of Kinabalu National Park, and has reached World Heritage status.

The trek takes place over an arduous two days, with a night spent at Laban Rata (3272m) to re-energise before the ascent to Low's Peak.

The first day, usually starts from the Timpohon Gate at around 8am. The first leg of the climb is tough and roughly averages 4/5 hours before reaching Laban Rata. The road is marked and not wholly that steep, but with the change in altitude, can be a struggle. Although it is said that Mount Kinabalu is suitable for a whole variety of fitness levels, it does take some preparation, both physical and mental to take on the climb.

The accomodation at Laban Rata is comfortable, but found to be quite cold, so maybe back a thin base layer as it gets colder as you ascend the mountain. The food is expensive, as it's carried by incredible climbers who load massive weights onto their backs. You're likely to spot them on your ascent.

The second day is not so easy. Up in the early hours of the morning you begin the final-leg in darkness so a head-torch is a must! The path steepens, noticably harder than then first day.. as well as often struggling with aches from the previous day. Be warned, it's not easy. The path flattens out after a while, and ropes are attatched to the rocks not only indicating how steep it gets but the effort needed as this point. Be careful. As you reach Low's peak, the sunrise is visible before 7am, and is absolutely unmissable. It's glorious to say the least, and well worth the climb.

Descent begins sortly after, which is by far easier but still dangerous so watch your footing! The average climber touches base-camp, or Timpohon Gate, at about 10am. From there transport waits to transfer you to Park HQ, where you receive a much-deserved certificate.

Honestly one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life so far. Please, if you visit Borneo be sure not to miss this. You will regret it!
Enigmaa Enigmaa
63 reviews
Absolutely breathtaking! Jun 09, 2011
Look at the pictures and I need say no more!!! Mt. Kinabalu is simply amazing, and more so!

Its a two day operation minimum, since you need to calculate in a "climatise" stop at around 3000 meters at the cabins. Both the climb up there, as well as the decent is stunning experiences in itself. Climbing to the top at 3am to reach it for the sunrise is both a challenge as well as stunnung views, and odd sensations when the temperature gradually changes fom 35 C at the bottom, to -2 C at the peak!

THis is an experience you will never forget, and its not everyday you get the opportunity to climb to 4100 meters!

Sure it is a tad expensive. We paid around 1150 MYR for the thing, but its all worth it! If you are in Borneo, and you dont do this, you have definitely missed out on a great adventure and experience! Just do it!
At the start
hummingbird50 says:
Thanks for was a great hike!
Great photos:)
Posted on: Jun 11, 2011
NicLouden NicLouden
1 reviews
Mount Kinabalu May 23, 2011
Mount Kinabalu stands at 13 455ft and is thee highest peak in SE Asia. Being thee 20the highest mountain on topographic prominence it holds amazing views from thee top, and bottom!

After a small fee and your mountain pass is given at thee bottom you head up. All is catered for, whetheer it be hard climbing/scrambling routes or a reasonably easy walk up you'll find it here.

Long, steep, winding, muddy 'pathes' take you up therough thee jungle.

The last stop before thee top gives everybody a chance too get some sleep in a hostel like building. A few hours sleep and some food is followed by an early rise (about 0200).

Moving from thee dense jungle to thee barren rock withe a head torch (and moonlight) and a fleece on, a short hike (2-3 hours) to thee top.

Once at thee top you wait for thee Sun rise to happen.

A majestic sight as thee jungle fog is lit by thee Sun and slowly burnt off.

Cant describe thee view in words and shall leave theat for you guys to find out.

If you are in thee area I recommend you do theis, easiest route takes best part of two days but you could make it as hard and long as you want :) or short if your feeling energetic!
nsenft nsenft
2 reviews
Hiking Mount Kinabalu Jun 21, 2011
This was one of my all-time travel highlights! The climb is not too strenuous, but tough enough to feel like your working! It can definitely be done all in one day, but definitely opt for the overnight stay-I've seen a lot of what were supposed to be "best ever" sunrises at a lot of tourist spots, but this one outshone the rest by miles.
hazeea hazeea
1 reviews
Awesome experience Jun 12, 2008
Not a walk in the park but and amazing experience and very rewarding. A sense of achievement is surely gained and the views when summiting on day 2 for sunrise are spectacular! A 4095.2m climb not to be missed! Take the Mesilau Trail up to Laban Rata, it is slightly longer but less touristy and so worth it!
Sukey-Lou says:
I've done this climb too! I can't say I did an awful lot of preparation for it, but it was pretty tough. No experience is necessary, but it helps to be pretty fit, as it's more arduous than enjoyable otherwise! Anyone with a healthy body can make it of course, but it's about your mentality too! Just remain positive and i'm sure you'll be absolutely fine! Good luck if you're planning to do it, let me know how you get on!
Posted on: May 18, 2011
Sahult says:
Wow, thanks for that review!Sounds awesome!How fit and how much experience do you need to have to climbe? Can anyone with a healthy body make it?
Posted on: Jan 05, 2011

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photo by: chriswebb1988