Mt Kinabalu and Poring Springs

Kota Kinabalu Travel Blog

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We spent today at Kinabalu National Park on tour. We started out by driving to the Mt Kinabalu entrance of the park (with a stop at some markets on the way) where our guide showed us around the headquarters and the mountain garden. The mountain garden was excellent, with examples of most plant species found at Kinabalu. Our guide told us about the various medicinal plants, which ones to use for fever, high blood pressure, setting bones, and so on, and how to use them all, such as chewing the leaves of guava trees for food poisoning, or boiling young bamboo into a paste to cover a broken arm (the calcium seeps into the bone they say). We also saw many orchids, including the rare (RM 1000 / flower) Rothschild slipper orchid, and many pitcher plants, plus oddities like the world’s largest moss, which stand 10cm tall. We saw eight different species of wild ginger, and the rabbit orchid (or as a guide told us, the ‘playboy orchid’).

Our guide also showed us the plants to eat to avoid getting pregnant, which apparently only works ‘50-50’.


For lunch we went to the Fairy Garden restaurant for quite a nice meal and a look over the valley surrounding Mt Kinabalu (most of which is farmed for cabbages).


After lunch we continued on to Poring Springs on the other side of Kinabalu National Park. We had a short trek through the jungle to the canopy walk (so hot and humid! I felt like I was swimming not walking), which is a series of four suspension bridges ~30m up in the canopy of the dipterocarp forest.

We had an excellent view of the rainforest with the lianas, rattan and epiphytes all at eyelevel, although Jodie wasn’t feeling terribly comfortable on the unstable bridge, especially when I was stomping along it. To cool down after the hike we went back to the Japanese springs and hopped into the cold swimming pool (piped from the river). Then we used the hot baths which were discovered by the Japanese during possession of Borneo in World War II (geothermal heating to 40-50°C with a slight sulphurous smell), relaxing in a private bath for an hour.


With a two and a half hour bus ride back to Rasa Ria, we were tired enough to have a short dip in the pool, a meal at Coast (not bad, great bread and terrible music) and then straight to bed without seeing the nocturnal watch.

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