Kinabalu National Park: An Introduction
At 754 sq km's Kinabalu is easily the largest of Sabah’s National Parks and being just two hours south of Kota Kinabalu is easily included on any holiday in the Malaysian State. A number of day-trippers make the journey to enjoy the fantastic walking trails and also the extremely popular (read over-crowded and in our opinion disappointing) Poring Hot Springs.
Whilst an extremely pleasant day-trip should not be discouraged, a night or two in the park is usually the preferred way to enjoy the scenery, the flora and fauna, the cool climate, and of course Mt Kinabalu itself. Every day up to 150 climbers make the ascent of Mt Kinabalu with the assistance of guides and porters, most using the Laban Ratan huts near the mountain peak for an overnight stop before an early morning completion of the ascent. The ascent (4095 m) is not considered to be particularly testing although a good level of basic fitness is required, as well as good walking gear and waterproofs.
The National Park was designated with UNESCO status in December 2000 for the incredible diversity of flora and fauna, many species being unique to the region, and some only existing in specific localities or on particular slopes of Mt Kinabalu. Many botanists and zoologists consider the region to be amongst the worlds most important.
Whether you're walking, climbing or simply there for the wildlife and nature, the Kinabalu National Park is a few days very, very well spent.