Friday, December 24, 2010

Kinabalu Park...the beginning

I got my itinerary checked by Berry the previous night, to make it more realistic. Some were shifted to another day, some were cancelled and got few added in too. Take the advice from local resident and be grateful forever :')

I wouldn't want to miss this place, on any given reason. Never. In fact it was the 1st one I put in my itinerary. My previous visit here didn't allow for such exploration around, went climbing from Timpohon and down straight to airport. Crazy! It's one of the not-so-many UNESCO heritage sites in Malaysia. If u haven't know, my travel objective is to visit and cover as many UNESCO sites as possible. Check where i've been here. I have one more site left to cover in Malaysia *it's scheduled for next year and gonna be my 1st solo trip and also a birthday treat from myself :D* 

Special thanks to Nik for letting us rent your car. We got MyVi SE, in black :) If I were in Peninsula, never I would let her disturb my sleep and send the car at 6.30 MORNING! Soon after that I realized I was in Sabah, where the sun rises and sets earlier than Peninsula, it was about 7.30 morning when she called and handed over the car key.

We started the day already late, thanks to Kak Min aka Garmin for making us even more late by let us drive many kilometres just to get to under-renovation mcD for our breakfast. If we knew 1Borneo Mall that attached to Tune Hotel is a hypermall with EVERYTHING inside, we wouldn't use Garmin to locate mcD. There are actually many other hotels attached to 1Borneo Hypermall such as Novotel, Courtyard and Grand Borneo Hotel. So, it was a perfect and practical choice of hotel we made, we can walk down anytime if we run out of shampoo or need coffee break or even need a massage :) The only disadvantage that u would agree with me is, this place is set about 30 minutes drive from Kota Kinabalu town. Forget your walk around Gaya Street and whatnot. Since we rented a car, a trip to town wasn't a big problem to us...of course with Kak Min's help :p

Kak Min was given a task as a co-pilot, taking over my role to help navigate Sayra who was behind the wheel. She directed us to Kinabalu Park, Sabah proudest nature heritage. Me, sitting on a co-pilot seat Kak Min refused to share with, strictly ensuring our car followed Kak Min's direction to avoid her annoying 'recalculating' comment. Her voice is deadly to my ears.

When calculating in kilometer, the distance from KK to Kinabalu Park is only 85km and in about an hour u could reach the place. But that could be true when driving other federal road with speed of 90 km/h, not this one. With single lane for each direction, being the only road connecting each town including for heavy vehicles and sharp corners and curves at areas after Tamparuli, expect to drive in 40-60 km/h all the time. U might be swearing at the speed you're driving when tailing behind lorry and the ascending road. 

It was not really bad after all when at this point u could already see spectacular views.

Looking at the clouds covering the highland and mountain and the breezy wind made me envy Sabahan for they have less polluted air than what I had back home. Fly me again to Sabah now!

The curvy road drive lasted for about 30 minutes then we yelled in excitement after arriving at Kinabalu Park.

The park is dominates by Mount Kinabalu, stood at 4095m making it the highest mountain in Malaysia and Southeast Asia. According to UNESCO, it was justified for incription for having criteria of;

  • to be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals;
  • to contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.

After paying RM3 as a conservation fee, we parked our car at the visitor centre. The fee valid for one day (or 3 days for overnight visitors) to all destinations within the same park.

Having to touch my foot again here, brought back the memory of climbing in 2008. At this visitor centre was where I got my climbing permit, introduced to my climbing guide...super woman Doina, weighted my backpack to see whether I need a porter or not, bought my climbing stick and chilled by the different altitude AND climbing adventures i was about to experience. The only same thing I could do now was taking a picture at this map...with absolutely different attire :')

in Dec 2010 - obviously not for climbing

in June 2008 - for climbing

Nothing much changed except I found Mountain Torq had set up an office down here, while it was all the way up at Panar Laban Hut last time *happy*

I was only thinking to get inside to say hello to Mountain Torq staffs, then when I found out that I can claim my via ferrata certicate for RM10, the simple hello extended to a long conversation and I stayed inside for more than 30 minutes :p While the staffs busily verifying my name and my climbing mates in the system, I browsed through the office and got to know they also sell souvenirs! Bought myself a t-shirt and car decal for my climbing mates. *double joy*

Our backdated Via Ferrata certificates
The park is HUGE. This area is only an introduction section where the main office of Kinabalu Park, souvenir shop, Sutera Harbour Resort office and Mountain Torq office are. The view of Mount Kinabalu can be admired at the vantage point opposite these offices. More breathtaking views are at the peak, of course :')
If u are interested in climbing the majestic Mount Kinabalu and need to be pushed to your limit, check Sutera Harbour Resort, the only authorized accomodation provider in Mount Kinabalu. For via ferrata activity, Mountain Torq website could help u much.

InsyaAllah I'll climb again in 2012...with different climbing mates or with you. Start training now and join me :)

With climbing mates in 2008 at Panar Laban Hut


Lily Riani said...

wow... u did via ferrata?

Traveller's Anatomy said...

yeah, i did :D
let's join me to climb again!

Indian Sarees said...

Good post.. realy informative.. thanks for sharing..

Len♥reNeverM♥re said...

Wow, gorgeous view up the mountain~
I'm sure the air is much cleaner than K Lumpur no?


Biqque said...

mmmm...i nak gak panjat, but i'm afraid of leeches!!!

Traveller's Anatomy said...

@Indian Sarees
Thanks for drop by. Glad u found it informative.

Yeah, so true. Kuala Lumpur's air is highly polluted. Happy New Year there!

Traveller's Anatomy said...

That's the least u have to worry about cz xde pacat pon kat situ. Just prepare the stamina and positive mind set :)

Ayun S. said...

me want to climb again too! next time around will be the colored cert baybeh! :-p

Traveller's Anatomy said...

Let's work it out babe!

Manusia Kerdil said...


hai, may i know what are the training to gain stamina?'s bout 10years i left my hiking activities but after reading n seeing ur blog, it make me feel wanna try it....huhuhuhuhuhu can share with me?


Traveller's Anatomy said...

@Manusia Kerdil
Wsalam. I have stop being actively involve in mount climbing since I started working. But that time I couldn't afford to resist an invitation from friend to climb, so had to work out a lil bit. I usually jog, swim and hike a little as preparation.