We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“It's steep most of the time, not for the faint hearted”
Review of Mount Santubong

Ranked #8 of 93 things to do in Kuching
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed December 22, 2013

The climb although just a day climb, there are many steep routes up and down. If you have knee problems like me, going up uses a lot of arm strengths to pull your body up using the ropes but going down was a killer, it really hurts my knees. A good test for physical strength. View from the peak was ordinary if you have climbed other others in India, Philippines and China. I would rate it as a average experience.

Thank EveT205
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (199)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
  • More languages

126 - 130 of 199 reviews

Reviewed December 22, 2013

The mountain itself actually has some legend to it. Be sure to educate yourself about the story before/after you visit this place.

A more detailed version of the history can be found at the cat museum.

1  Thank davidchak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 17, 2013

I made my second trip to Gunung Santubong a few days ago. I had to turn back at the 500m elevation mark on my first attempt a few years back (a friend of mine had aggravated his already sprained ankle). We made it to the top this time, and I would say that the climb/hike is well worth the 1 day of exertion.

I wont spoil the fun by giving away too many details about the route (you can probably get this information from other reviews and websites should you need it) but if getting to the summit is your sole aim you should start the hike at Bukit Puteri. There is a small hut beside the road there where they take down your particulars and charge you RM8 as entrance fee (this hut was not there on my previous trip). I would say RM8 is nominal given the need to maintain the ropes, ladders and random benches setup along the trail.

Hike up takes about 4 hours at a moderate pace (factor in an additional 2 hours if you start at the main entrance where the cafe is located). Descending should take you an additional 3 hours (we took 5 hours as a friend of mine had his boots give way and he had to descend pretty much the whole trail in his socks). Path gets interesting once you are above 500m. Despite taking a chance in visiting this mountain during the rainy season we were lucky to have had good weather on that day. The trail (and climbing the rope ladders in particular) would have been treacherous in wet weather.

All in all this is an amazing trek. It is suitable for beginners with an adequate level of fitness, and yet it will also prove to be challenging for more experienced folks as well. Bring along sufficient fluids, put on sturdy footwear and enjoy the hike!

5  Thank arbasith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 27, 2013

It is a wonderful hike and by far the longest stretch of extremely steep path I have ever been on (I have hiked in over 50 national parks - largely in the USA but also elsewhere). Nothing come close to this one for steep trails for a huge amount of time.

It seemed like at least 50% of the hike was going up or down 75 degrees (very step). You have to pull yourself up by the rope or by roots for much of it. Or, even more difficult, have to do that going down (backwards - where I don't have eyes...).

So it is quite challenging but I like that and had quite a bit of fun. I saw a bunch of hornbills (they are huge - which I didn't realize) and lots of monkeys. The views are wonderful. The forest has a few more vistas than normal (looking into the forest where it isn't so dense you can't see - I think this is partially because it is so steep).

The trail is also slippery and so it is only for those who really know what they are doing I think. But if that is what you want it is excellent. I think it is a bit too risky to try yourself - it isn't very busy (at least at this time of year) and if you got hurt you would be in trouble (though cell phones should work, I think, so there is that).

3  Thank curiouscatMalaysia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2013

Before I rate the hike I feel you should know that I am 40, female, and very fit. I climbed Kinabalu the next week and only took 3hrs to reach Laban Rata, normally 5+ hours. The guides bringing people down kept asking if we were a one day summit attempt. Over the past year I ran a half marathon in 2hrs as well as participating in three mountain runs in NZ. Now back to hiking Mt Santubong ;-)

The summit attempt of this mountain kicked my behind because I didn't show it respect. I let my arrogance and the lack of information about this climb lull me into a false sense of optimism at how easy it would be for a fit couple. The summit trail is a hard climb like very few you may have done. It is not designed for mass tourism and you will be lucky to meet another soul on your climb. It is dangerous with vertical rope ladders suspended from cliffs. And not just one, but 6-8 each getting higher and the rock face getting more vertical. Add sweltering heat and humidity plus the exhaustion of a very steep rooty ascent. This mountain deserves respect. She is beautiful to look at. Saw toothed and very steep with jungle vegetation clinging to the granite.

We ended up turning back at 700m because we understood that we would have to transverse down all the ladders that we were going up. We had not allowed enough time, water, food or mental preparation. Also the weather can change quite quickly and a pounding thunderstorm blow threw. We did not want to be near the summit if this happened! We didn't have enough gear either to keep us safe if we twisted an ankle or cut ourselves. The cellphone coverage is good though!

What we loved were the beautiful trees, awesome views, exposed granite, and the adventure of it all. Though we didn't see proboscis monkeys knowing they were up there was really cool. The rooty nature of the climb was very Borneo and took you right onto a set of Indiana Jones. I'm sure the summit ridge is well worth the effort.

Next time we will allow the whole day, carry more gear, water and food and take our time. It's a hike to be savored anyway, not to be powered up.

A few stats: We entered via the Green Parrot Restaurant and paid maybe 9-10MYR. They took our cellphone number, our planned route and asked us to phone them if we needed anything or if we exited via the other trail. We traversed across the 'jungle trek', past the waterfall and met up with the 'summit' trail. This took about 1.5hrs and did involve ropes and lots of ascent. You could take kids on this trek but once again be prepared. It's rooty, rocky, ropes and ravines. We saw a local family with kids at the jungle pool. We turned back at the last ladder before the rest area at the first peak (the summit is the second higher peak). It took us about an hour to get to that spot from where we entered the summit trail (about 350m). We walked back down the shorter summit trail instead of traversing the jungle trek again. This shortened the journey down the mountain but required walking on the side of the road back to Damai Central for a MASSIVE drink and feed. My partner was really dehydrated by this time so he struggled walking on the road in 35degree heat.

We will return at some point and we will climb Ms. Santubong with respect and admiration for her beauty and her challenge. Until then I hope that all people who love a challenge will either do the jungle trek or attempt the Summit well prepared and ready to enjoy authentic Borneo jungle. You won't regret it!

10  Thank Charity T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Mount Santubong also viewed


Been to Mount Santubong? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing