Southeast Asia Highest Mountain: Mount Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

One of the tourism attraction in Sabah especially among nature lovers is Mount Kinabalu. This highest mountain in South East Asia in between the Himalayas and Puncak Jaya. With 4101 meter above the sea level, this mountain is one of the must climb mountain in Asia especially for those who are into long hard mountain climbing.

Mount Kinabalu as my background
When climbing this mountain, you can the different of nature surface from the base to the coniferous forest before you can face to oak forest, alpine meadow before ending up with a massive granite area at the peak.

How to Get There?

The Kinabalu Park headquarter is located in about 88 kilometres from Kota Kinabalu. There are numbers of daily flights from Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Japan and Hong Kong to Kota Kinabalu. Next, you can go to this Kinabalu Park by chartered car rental, express bus or minivan. 

Express Bus
Route: Kota Kinabalu - Ranau - Sandakan
From Kota Kinabalu to Kinabalu Park: 3 hours
Departure Time: Starts at 7.30am (4 times daily)
Price: MYR20/person

Guidance before Mount Climbing

Hiring a guide is a must for those who wants to climb Mount Kinabalu. Prior to that, climbers need to pay RM15 for the entry fee, RM100 for climbing permit and RM3.50 for the insurance.

Guide Fee
1 - 3 person: MYR70
4 - 6 person: MYR75
7 - 8 person: MYR80

Porter Fee
1 - 3 person: MYR60
4 - 6 person: MYR80
7 - 8 person: MYR90

The porter can be hired to carry maximum of 10kg of load and this price is from Timpohon Gate to the peak. If you choose to climb from Mesilau trait, the porter fee will be higher.

Start your Climbing

After you had cleared all payments at Kinabalu Park headquarter, you may proceed with your climbing plan with your guide and porter. Normally, climbing Mount Kinabalu will need two days for most of climbers.You also need to be prepared with the temperature and other altitude sickness.

The first day of climbing will start from Timpohon Gate t Laban Rata as your first pit stop. Its a 6 kilometres climbing and will take around 4 to 6 hours, depends on your fitness level. You will overnight at Laban Rata before continue your journey as early as 2.30am. The next journey will take around 3 to 4 hours with distance around 2.7 kilometres. After some photo snapping at the mountain peak, you will head back to the Kinabalu Park's headquarter.

Mount Kinabalu view from Kota Kinabalu - Ranau - Sandakan route at 6.00am

Mesilau Trail

Mesilau trail is another option for any climbers who are looking for a more challenging track with large dirt step, over-sized rock; sometimes you need to haul yurself up by using rope. This Mesilau trail is located at Mesilau Nature Resort, located 20 kilometres by east road from the Kinabalu Park's headquarter.

Some frequent climbers shared that the secret of climbing Mount Kinabalu is personal fitness and stamina. Most of amateur climbers are too harsh at the start and getting slower when in the middle of journey, besides taking more time for resting before continue the climbing.

The best time to be at the mountain peak is around 6.00am to 7.0am before the mountain all covered by thick cloud an hour later.


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