Kinabalu National Park is one of Sabah’s most visited attractions and not just by adventurous types who specifically want to climb Mt. Kinabalu.
Kinabalu National Park was established as one of Malaysia’s first national parks in 1962, and in 2000 also become Malaysia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park is renowned for its diversity of habitats, exhibiting from tropical low land forest at the base of the Crocker Range hills, through tropical mountain forest to sub-alpine forest and scrub at the higher reaches. And such is the fauna and flora diversity of the park, that it been designated as a Centre of Plant Diversity for Southeast Asia exceptionally rich in species with examples of flora from the Himalayas, China, Australia and Malaysia.
Of course, the peaks of Mt. Kinabalu can’t be ignored where it towers at 4,095.2 meters above the island of Borneo. It’s inarguably Malaysia’s tallest mountain and one of the top 10 highest mountains in South East Asia.
A little further along past the Kinabalu Park headquaters, lies Poring Hot Springs. Poring, the Kadazan word for Bamboo, aptly describes the surroundings of the hot springs where they’re nestled in the foothills of Kinabalu Park beyond the town of Ranau. First harnessed by the Japanese during WWII, the hot, sulfur-rich waters have been channeled into baths with a distinctly Japanese influence.
Between the splendour of bath Kinabalu National Park and Poring Hot Springs, there’s plenty of paths on which to explore the rich diversity of plant and animal life that the two unique destinations have to offer along with mountain views, rivers, waterfalls and even bat caves.
A typical day on this excursion starts with a pickup from your hotel in Kota Kinabalu around 7:30 and then the journey to Kinabalu Park HQ that takes around 2 hours, which fluctuates according to the prevailing weather and traffic conditions.
At around 9:30, close to the HQ, there’s a rest stop at Nabalu town for a taste of local fruits, veggies and handicraft. Upon arriving at the park around 10:00, there’s time for you to explore at your own accord, taking in the scenery, walking along the jungle paths, visiting the gallery and being one with nature.
At 12:45 we’ll have lunch at a local restaurant before setting off for Poring Hot Springs in Ranau. At Poring you can opt to visit the butterfly sanctuary or the canopy walk, wallow in the hot waters or walk along the raging river.
We depart from Poring at 15:45 for the trip back to Kinabalu Kinabalu, where we expect to arrive back at your accommodation at around 18:00.