Mount Kinabalu is the tallest peak in Southeast Asia and a National Park of Malaysia. Standing 4101 metres above sea level, the mountain is in Sabah, the East Malaysian state on the isle of Borneo. It is located about 2-3 hours away from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah’s capital.
Top 3 Things About Mount Kinabalu:
1. Scenic Walk: Take in the fresh air as you walk up and notice your surroundings change from the large tropical trees to scrubs to rock. The whole mountain area is a national park – many flora not found at sea level are sighted here. The large venus fly-trap is one to look out for as you walk. You may catch the odd wildlife too.
2. Leisure Climb: At 4101metres, Mt Kinabalu is manageable for the average tourist – not climber or moutaineer – tourist – ladies climb too! There are steps cut all the way up to the top of the mountain, good water fountain supplies (water is probably your heaviest item) and resthouses. You must be accompanied by a guide when you climb, and these folks are willing to carry up to 10kg of your stuff all the way up the mountain for you for what it very little. There may not be many such mountain climbs with all these features available.
3. Sunrise: You have absolutely got to see the sunrise from up there. For many, it may be the highlight of the walk up! From Laban Rata where you stay overnight, there is a buzz as you hike up to get to the peak by sunrise. As you are walking up, the sun just breaks through the clouds, the air is cool and the scenery 360 degrees all round is just reward for 2 days’ climb.
Top Things To Be Wary About:
1. Rain: Its the tropics, you’re walking and.. it pours! Raincoats are essential to make sure you are not drenched, especially when you’re high up in the mountains far from camp!
2. Mountain Sickness: The good news – at 4101metres, if you do get mountain sickness, it may be just a mild headache, dizziness, shortness of breath and at worst, nausea. The bad news – *ugh* – it still sucks. To prevent this, walk slowly, especially as you are going higher. You can also take measures like eating plenty of carbohydrates, drinking a lot of water, and staying away from alchohol during your overnight stay up in at Laban Rata.
3. Why Don’t Asians Visit It? Mount Kinabalu is the highest peak in Southeast Asia. Its one of the highlights of Malaysia and is really quite a sight. You have got the Brits, the Germans, the Aussies, the Japs.. where are all the Southeast Asians?!