Mount Kinabalu Park
Dates: 19 Jul
Mount Kinabalu is the highest mountain in Malaysia at 4,095m, and if you’re up for it you can climb to the peak. The climb would have cost too much for me – travelling long-term has made me budget tightly and I limited myself to one expensive tour while in Borneo – the Kinabatangan River. So instead of climbing the mountain I opted to take a walk around Mount Kinabalu Park instead, a series of trails at the base of the mountain.
I stayed at D’Villa Rina Ria Lodge, which is 10-15 minutes walk down the road from the entrance to the park – and is also by far the cheapest accommodation in the area. It’s very basic, which can be expected when it’s so cheap, but it certainly did the job for a couple of nights. If you’re staying up here be sure to bring something to sleep in – it gets very cold at night. Be sure to bring a waterproof too as it rains a lot, when I got there it had rained every day for two weeks solid.
Entrance to the park was 15RM (~£3) which is slightly less than the 1000RM+ that it costs to climb. You get a paper map on arrival, but maps.me has all the trails on it and works offline, so I’d use that instead.
The walks were fairly nice, most of the trails close to the entrance were similar to jungle walks I’ve done in other places, but when you get closer to the base I believe it opens up a little. Unfortunately for me when I got closer to the base of the mountain where it’s supposed to open out into more countryside views as opposed to jungle trails, it started to rain pretty heavily. I waited under a sheltered bus stop for a little while to see if the rain would die down a bit but it kept getting worse, so by 2pm I was back at my accommodation drying off. I did enjoy Mount Kinabalu Park but I’m disappointed that I didn’t get to explore more because of the rain.