Kinabalu National Park

Kinabalu National Park lies a 2h bus ride from Kota Kinabalu and many people visit the park to climb 4095m Mount Kinabalu, which is possible without any special equipment. The trip requires warm clothes, a guide and bookings for the expensive accommodation near the summit (RM450 pp) though.

Mount Kinabalu, view from park HQ

We didn‘t intend to climb the mountain when we started from KK and thus had neither warm clothes nor bookings. When we arrived there and saw the impressive mountain I considered climbing it and we asked for cancellations but there were none and everything was fully booked so we just followed our original plan and checked out some of the trails around park HQ. It is located at a height of about 1800m and it’s already pretty cold up there (~18°C the day we were there), I even had to wear a pullover in the beginning! For the summit you definitely need a jacket and some people suggested bringing gloves — not my cup of tea anyway. ;)

Tree lizard

We walked through the maze of very short trails around HQ and then took the Liwago Trail (5.5km) to Timpohon Gate where the summit trail starts. On our way back we took the power station road. The trail follows a small river through the rainforest and it has many steep sections where you have to watch your step and concentrate on the path instead of the surrounding forest. Most likely this is why we found very little wildlife. The vegetation was interesting though, it differs from the other National Parks we have been to. There are many ferns and mosses and other plants we hadn‘t seen before.

The spires of Mount Kinabalu

Accommodation at park HQ is managed by a private company and extremely expensive (RM160 for a bed in a dorm, wth!). There is a cheaper option outside the park, on the other side of the road, but we decided to head back to KK in the evening.

Some snake we found on the Liwago Trail

Viewpoint next to the road, close to Timpohon Gate

Me near the end of Liwago Trail