We booked the 2D1N Mt. Kinabalu tour with MTT in March 2013.
The Good: Both drivers were on time, friendly, and courteous. Emails were answered promptly. Food provided at Laban Rata was bountiful and good. We finished the climb for my 30th and have a great sense of accomplishment (it is MUCH more difficult than you are led to believe. We are reasonably fit and active and it required every ounce of strength for us to finish). Price was good.
The Bad: Although Abdul responded to emails quickly, information provided was sorely incomplete. Before we left the states, I specifically inquired regarding weather/temperature and was told that weather would be "nice." Our own research revealed that it would be down to 0 degrees C and we would be housed in an unheated dorm! Luckily, we were able to prepare in time. In addition, and this is a HUGE safety concern, we were never advised that we HAD to have headlamps for the 3am, extremely complicated and dangerous climb from Laban Rata guesthouse to the peak in the foggy dark. Again, after doing our own research, we discovered this and emailed Abdul to inquire- the day before we were scheduled to climb. He indicated that we must have a headlamp for safety. We stated that we were extremely frustrated that this information was not provided in an email or on our package packing list on the website in advance and had to race around KK last minute. The return email was rude and no attempt was made to remedy the situation or apologize for the lack of professionalism. This is in STARK contrast to other wonderful tour operators we worked with, both in KK (e.g. Mari Mari Cultural Village & Dive Down Below) and around the world (e.g. Your Morocco Tour for our Sahara trip).
The UGLY: The "guide" MTT provided us with was not a guide at all, was irresponsible, unprofessional, and spoke no English. Jasin Waisin was completely USELESS. On the climb to Laban Rata, he was constantly on his phone- speaking loudly and obnoxiously- and completely disappeared for an hour or two at a time. He practically never spoke to us. When another guide passed and saw me taking Advil, he spent a lot of time to talk with me about altitude sickness and the dangers. Jasin then finally appeared out of nowhere and the other guide spoke to him. Shortly after, Jasin disappeared again for over 1 hour. I was fine- but what if I hadn't been? Additionally, during the ascent to the peak, during the most treacherous parts in the dark and fog, he disappeared (while other guides stuck right by their people and did their job). Lastly, when we were preparing to descend, we found out from another guide that he had left without us-he just took off. We tagged along with some newly made friends and their wonderful guide Rosalie who actually did her job. About 2 hours into the descent, he reappeared and never once addressed us. He frequently disappeared and by the end of the descent, I was ready to yell at him. It was pouring rain, very slippery, and very difficult work. Rosalie guided us and he obnoxiously talked on his phone. We do not think he should have been paid for this and will be filing a complaint with the park also.
Overall, the climb was meaningful but many aspects of the arrangements by MTT (aside from drivers who were great) were unsatisfactory.
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