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“Deserves title of 'Majestic'”
Review of Mount Kinabalu

Mount Kinabalu
Book In Advance
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$58.00*
and up
Kinabalu Park & Poring Hot Springs Tour From Kota...
Ranked #5 of 188 things to do in Sabah
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed July 23, 2013

We only went to the base with the kids but the 2.5 hour journey there offered plenty of breathtaking views of this mini-beast. The weather changes by the hour so the scenery can dramatically alter as you wind up and down the mountain roads. We started the day in bright sunshine and ended up in thick fog with a driver who obviously knew every twist and turn of the road as we headed home at breakneck speed!

Thank Jill K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"laban rata"
in 310 reviews
"via ferrata"
in 41 reviews
"pendant hut"
in 37 reviews
"low's peak"
in 65 reviews
"timpohon gate"
in 81 reviews
"summit climb"
in 41 reviews
"head torch"
in 45 reviews
"altitude sickness"
in 51 reviews
"base camp"
in 45 reviews
"mesilau trail"
in 36 reviews
"packed lunch"
in 25 reviews
"coming down"
in 38 reviews
"walking poles"
in 33 reviews
"warm clothes"
in 44 reviews
"high altitude"
in 21 reviews
"next morning"
in 67 reviews
"energy bars"
in 22 reviews
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613 - 617 of 1,388 reviews

Reviewed July 17, 2013

Due to booked out main lodge, stayed in the lodge run by the via Ferrata organisation just up the hill. Cost more because the excursion is included but itself a great experience. Well organised guide system, many easy stops on the way up. The huts are basic for a very brief sleep & a bit cold. Make sure to take plenty layers + head torch. You see plenty of lightly equipped poorly prepared walkers - you CAN make it with little experience, but it is a slogThe descent is the real killer on the legs, and you need to allow 2 full days for the whole excursion. Views at sunrise are spectacular

Thank sciat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2013

The journey to the peak of Mt KK is tiring and it requires lots of hardships and determinations. When you are the summit, all the hardships that you have been through is all well worth.

The wonder of nature is amazing! Go for it!

Thank FeliseToh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2013

Best experience for me. This is a starting point of my other journals. It's such a tough way from the base to Laban Rata.
Anyway, everything there is worth enough. Next day morning is more tough on the way to the summit. But everything at Low's peak is much more incredible. It's still in my memory. I already got it, Kinabalu mount.

Thank goooootle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 15, 2013

I am a first timer for trekking/climbing. This is my first time writing a review, hope it helps anyone out there. Sabah is a really great place with very warm and friendly locals. Mount kota kinabalu is a must-go in my opinion. I would definitely visit sabah again.

While climbing the mountain, we met climbers from the age of 7(Caucasian boy) to age of 70.
It is definitely physically and mentally challenging , but a reasonably healthy person would be able to complete the climb. Be mentally prepared to meet endless of staircases and up-slope for 6-8hours. I can't walk properly the next morning after completing the climb, calf and thigh muscles are aching badly. Me and my buddy only did jogging 2-3 times a week for 2-3 months before climbing. Advisable to do staircase training before going.
It is advisable to train before going for the trip. Being physically prepared will let you have a more enjoyable time while climbing. We were focusing all our strength on climbing and couldn’t enjoy the scenery fully.

There are 2 starting point for the climb. The mesilau trail and the timpohon trail.
The Mesilau trail is 2km longer than the timpohon trail, but it offers a greater scenery as compared to the timpohon trail. While climbing the mesilau trail, we pass by hanging bridges, "waterfalls" and open areas that are picture worthy.
Timpohon trail does not have these. Timpohon trail mainly consists of staircases
From the airport to kota kinabalu park is 2hours car ride.We reached our accommodation at mesilau around 5pm. It is already quite cooling when we reach mesilau(around 2000m above sea level). Buffet dinner is served at 730pm.

There is a buffet breakfast in the morning. Advisable to eat more as you will need a lot of energy for the climb. After the breakfast, we meet our climbing guide Zul at 830am. We moved out immediately after he gave us a short briefing. Most locals there are able to speak simple English.

My attire from Mesilau to laba rata was running shorts, plazma skin for thighs (abrasion prevention) and dry fit T shirt. I would recommend not wearing too many layers for the first part of the climb. It took us 6-7hours to reach laban rata.

Note: Remember to water proof everything in your bag. It rained when we were climbing. Keep your poncho/ rain coat / wind breaker at accessible place so you can take it out easily and wear it fast when it starts to rain. Try not to get wet, it becomes really cold.

We sleep around 7pm after having our dinner at laban rata. Woke up at 130am to have our buffet breakfast before starting our summit climb at 230am. I would recommend to start earlier for the summit climb. Almost all climber will start at 230am but there is only one trail to the summit and we got jammed up at the starting point when we left laban rata. Can checked with your mountain guide if hes ok to start at 2am or 130am.

Note: You can leave things you do not need for the summit climb at laban rata and come back to collect it after the summit climb. Check out timing is 1030am at laban rata.

We reached the summit around 6 am. Sun will start to rise around 5 to 530am. It’s a pity I missed the sunrise but the view was still breath taking. Attire for the summit climb is very important. I wore long-john , sweater, track pants, wind breaker ,winter gloves and snow cap. Wind breaker is the most important, the wind at the summit climb is very cold and strong. Wearing many layers will not help, unless you have a wind breaker. I would recommend water proof gloves because the ropes will be wet. My gloves were not water proof and I regretted it because it was so cold when my gloves get wet from gripping the ropes. It is also advisable to get a scarf /mask, so that you can cover your face from the cold wind.

After taking some photos at the summit, we make our way down to laban rata for breakfast. We reach laban rata around 9am.

Moved out again at 1030 am after eating breakfast at laban rata. This time we took the timpohon trail. Going down was much more easier. I would highly recommend knee guards for the trip down. It is very strenuous on the knees for the downward climb.

We end our climb at timpohon gate at 3pm. From there, we took bus back to Kota kinabalu park HQ and have our lunch before leaving for the hotel.

I would highly recommend Kampong Adidas ( A local rubber studded-shoe) for the climb. It only cost me 6 ringgit to get a pair. Ask the locals where you can buy the shoes before going to kota kinablu park. It is water-proof and easy to wash and dry. The terrain is quite muddy and the rocks are slippery but kampong Adidas have very good grip on the rocks. I think Water-proofed shoes are great idea because it gets really cold when your feet are wet. The only bad point about kampong Adidas, there is no ankle support.

Walking sticks is highly recommended for climbing up/down. Wooden walking sticks could be purchased at 5RM at the mesilau trail. Not sure for timpohon gate.
The only bad thing about the wooden walking sticks is you cant bring it for the summit climb. It is too long to be kept in the bag. Some part of the summit climb will require you to use both hands to hold on to ropes. Even if you do bring walking sticks, you would not be using it much.

Headlamps is essential for summit climb, because you will be climbing in darkness and hands on rope.

11  Thank zheheng
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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