Kinabalu Park, first day (4km by bus, 10min + 6km by walk, 2h50)


This is the first thing we saw this morning when we woke up. Mount Kinabalu! The weather is fantastic today. We only expect that we can climb this mountain! If I’m not mistaken, we are going at the further peak on the left hand side. Its name is Low’s peak. Let’s start the day!



This is where the bus dropped us off last night at 3:30am. Fortunately we found this place to finish our night.


We are already quite high, something like 1500m. Nice to be above the clouds.


This is where the fun part starts. Paying the 2 days journey. This the first mission and not the easiest one. Kinabalu used to allow people to climb it in one day which reduced the cost dramatically (something like 250 Ringgit) but for now, after the earthquake that happened last June 2015, this option is not available any more. I think that’s a good excuse to get more money from tourists. Here the list of things we had to pay:

  • Accomodation – 670 Ringgit
  • Park entrance fee – 106 Ringgit
  • Insurance – 7 Ringgit
  • Cashier 12 Ringgit (divide 3 of us). We left some non useful stuff to be lighter.
  • Guide – 230 Ringgit (divide 3 of us) Max is 5 people.
  • Minibus – 34 Ringgit (divide 3 of us). The office is about 4 kilometres away from the track entrance.

Total – 875 Ringgit (290 AUD)

There is three different offices (which are almost next to each other) to pay:

  • Accomodation, Park entrance fee, insurance and cashier
  • guide
  • Minibus

When we got to pay the first set, the payment machine did not want to work. So we had to pay another 10 Ringgit each to take a minibus and go to the nearest village (5-10 min away) to get some cash out. This is why the picture above.


Once we emptied our wallet we met our guide (who doesn’t speak English. That’s very useful…) and went pick up our lunch pack.


All done! Let’s go!


This is it, the time where everything starts. The altitude is now 1866m and we will be at the summit tomorrow morning at 4095m!


The track starts nicely, with big steps.


This is already tireing. My tip: being slow and steady. Well if you can be fast, that means you are super fit :-)


The view is very nice already.


2 kilometres done!


A little flower.


More steps to come, few!


I lost the guide already. She was too slow so I kept my pace and kept going.


We arrived to a shelter where there is kind of Squirrels that run super fast. They look for food and are absolutely not afroad of humans.


They come and go in seconds but I’ve finally catch one! (With the camera). They are very little cute things.

They move so quickly!


Later on again, I stopped for another short break. I did not see the guide for a while now… She must be somewhere behind.

Those guys are tough. I’ve heard that they are payed 7 Ringgit per kilo to carry stuff up there. Their backpack seems quite painful, a simple wood boad and some padding for the back. Crazy!


Sometimes, some clouds hit the mountain and the landscape becomes misty.


It’s hazy but far to be cold yet. I don’t know why we must have a guide. The path is very clear, we cannot get lost. At least if she would speak English, I could stay with her and learn about the environment here. I tried at the beginning but she did not understand my questions. This is a waste of money…


There is some more crazy guys here. Those one transport big wooden poles. Some of the guys carry two at a time! When I see how hard is to breath with a 3kg backpack. I don’t want to imagine with 25kg on one shoulder… Of course they are well trained but this is not all.


This part is actually quite steep and the rope was useful.


Wow! Suddenly, no more clouds! All clear :-)


More than 3 hours later, I’m reaching the Laban Rata Hut. The weather is misty again and it’s a bit cold, especially because it’s windy.


Good to be inside :-)


Hop, the sun just came back so I will have my lunch on the terrace. Some French guys who live in KL are doing a weekend trip. They were quite fast this morning.


What a view!


Let’s see how looks our room…


670 Ringgit one night (with food), it must be good. Ok, 6 people in a tiny room… The bed looks comfortable, that’s a good point at least.


Let’s come back downstairs.


Kinabalu is an amazing place but the price feels too high. I mean the service received doesn’t equal the price we pay. 600 Ringgit would be fair enough to me.


Wow! That’s a super nice view. The weather is on our side today. Spectacular!


The sun is gonna disappear soon. Tomorrow we will wake up at 2am to be on the summit before sunrise. I will go to bed as soon as I can! The plan is: Shower > Dinner > sleep :-)


Our hut is not the only one. There is some other options which cost even more.


Last lights of the day.




With clouds.


Roh! There is always a tourist taking the best spot without thinking of the others… Move out! haha.

Cheers! Good night! Tomorrow is THE day!

2 thoughts on “Kinabalu Park, first day (4km by bus, 10min + 6km by walk, 2h50)

  1. I totally agree with you about the guide and the accommodation.
    May be the high price will keep the people away and manage the numbers in the park? ( or just rip off )

    The view from the peak is marvelous ! Thank you for sharing it for free. :-)

Leave a Reply