Good for: hiking, nature, adventure
- Kinabalu National Park
Lonely Planet review for Mt Kinabalu
Towering 4095m above northern Borneo, Mt Kinabalu is the highest mountain between the Himalayas and the island of New Guinea. Known as Gunung Kinabalu in Bahasa Malaysia, the mountain is quite unlike any other on earth, rising almost twice as high as its Crocker Range neighbours and culminating in a crown of wild granite spires. When the summit is visible (usually in the morning, before the clouds close in) the mountain literally demands your attention. .
It is clearly visible from many parts of Sabah, including Kota Kinabalu and the islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park. Even if you decide not to do the climb to the summit, the park itself is a beautiful spot, and many visitors come just to escape the heat and humidity of the coast. There are several fine walking trails in the rainforest at the base of the mountain, the climate is agreeably cool and accommodation both inside and outside the park is good. The hard part of climbing the mountain is jumping through the bureaucratic hurdles to get there. Assuming you are able to secure a reservation for an accommodation package, you still must pay for an expensive climbing permit and hire a guide to climb the mountain, despite the fact that the mountain is no more dangerous than many commonly climbed mountains in other parts of the world. But it is definitely worth jumping through the hoops to get to the summit of Kinabalu. Once you see that sun start to come up across Borneo, we're sure you'll agree.