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Mount Kinabalu National Park
Vacation Travel Guide

Kinabalu National Park showing mist or fog, mountains and landscape views

Tackle the two-day climb to Borneo’s highest peak or enjoy the lower rainforest trails in this park, home to some of the world’s rarest plants.

Kinabalu Park is an incredible environment, home to the towering Mount Kinabalu and hundreds of plant species found nowhere else in the world. The park is Malaysia’s first World Heritage Site.

More than half of the world’s families of flowering plants exist within the park, including more than 700 species of orchid, and the world’s largest flower, the rafflesia. Though the rafflesia are rarely seen in bloom, when the flowers do reach maturity they can grow to a diameter of 3 feet (1 meter)! Many carnivorous pitcher plant species grow in the park, including one which can hold almost a gallon (3 liters) of water.

While exploring the park, keep an eye out for some of the interesting fauna, including Bornean gibbons, spotted giant flying squirrels and leopard cats. Listen out for the more than 300 species of birds that dwell here.

For the local tribes, Mount Kinabalu, the second-highest mountain in Southeast Asia is sacred, and they believe the souls of their dead rise to the peak. The living can also climb to the peak for the incredible views, on a two- to three-day hike with a mountain guide.

Most hikers stay overnight at Laban Rata, before making the climb to the peak in the early morning to catch the sunrise at 13,435 feet (4,095 meters) above sea level. The temperature at the top can be freezing, so be sure to pack warm clothes. While no special mountaineering equipment is required, climbers must be accompanied by an accredited guide and it’s recommended that you book permits and accommodation well in advance.

Buses run daily from Kota Kinabalu to the national park entry, which is about 56 miles (90 kilometers) from Kota Kinabulu. After your climb, catch a bus from the park office to Poring, where you can soak away your aches and pains in the popular hot springs. If you’re planning a few days exploring the park, it’s a good idea to rent a car from Kota Kinabalu airport so that you can make stops along the way and investigate all the park has to offer.

Top Hotels Close to Mount Kinabalu National Park

Spring Garden
Spring Garden
3 out of 5
Spring Garden, Kundasang, Ranau, Sabah
The price is NT$6,197 per night from May 6 to May 6
Situated in Ranau, this golf hotel is 1.1 mi (1.7 km) from Mount Kinabalu Golf Club and within 9 mi (15 km) of Sosodikon Hill Kundasang and Mount Kinabalu National ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (16 reviews)
"It would be much better if TV is provided as well. But the whole place was luxury from the House, Garden as well as its River."

Reviewed on 2020/12/14

Spring Garden
Laban Rata Resthouse at Mount Kinabalu
Laban Rata Resthouse at Mount Kinabalu
2 out of 5
Kundasang, Kota Belud, Sabah
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Situated in Kota Belud, this lodge is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Mount Kinabalu National Park.
Laban Rata Resthouse at Mount Kinabalu
Mesilau Mountain Retreats
Mesilau Mountain Retreats
3 out of 5
Mesilau, Past Kinabalu Golf Course, Ranau, Sabah
The price is NT$5,117 per night from Apr 27 to Apr 27
Situated in Ranau, this chalet is within a 15-minute walk of Mount Kinabalu National Park and Poring Hot Spring. Kokob Rafflesia Conservation Garden is 11.1 ...
3.7/5Good! (9 reviews)
"1) Water Kettle not function. 2) House not prepared when we check in. Need wait 1 hour. 3) View so nice. 4) Electric cooktop/Stove always mulfunction."

Reviewed on 2020/8/11

Mesilau Mountain Retreats
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Mount Kinabalu National Park

Mount Kinabalu National Park

Best Lodging Options Near Mount Kinabalu National Park

Spring Garden
Spring Garden
3 out of 5
Spring Garden, Kundasang, Ranau, Sabah
The price is NT$6,197 per night from May 6 to May 6
Spring Garden
Laban Rata Resthouse at Mount Kinabalu
Laban Rata Resthouse at Mount Kinabalu
2 out of 5
Kundasang, Kota Belud, Sabah
Laban Rata Resthouse at Mount Kinabalu
Mesilau Mountain Retreats
Mesilau Mountain Retreats
3 out of 5
Mesilau, Past Kinabalu Golf Course, Ranau, Sabah
The price is NT$5,117 per night from Apr 27 to Apr 27
Mesilau Mountain Retreats
Dream World Resort
Dream World Resort
Jalan Mesilou Golf Club, Kundasang,, Ranau, Ranau, Sabah
Dream World Resort
Sutera Sanctuary Lodges at Poring Hot Springs
Sutera Sanctuary Lodges at Poring Hot Springs
3 out of 5
Poring Hot Spring, Ranau, Sabah
The price is NT$888 per night from Apr 24 to Apr 24
Sutera Sanctuary Lodges at Poring Hot Springs
Rocky Mountain Lodge
Rocky Mountain Lodge
2 out of 5
Jalan Cinta Mata Mesilou, Kundasang, Ranau, Sabah
The price is NT$341 per night from Apr 26 to Apr 26
Rocky Mountain Lodge
Kinabalu Poring Vacation Lodge
Kinabalu Poring Vacation Lodge
2 out of 5
Kampung Poring, Ranau, Sabah
The price is NT$931 per night from Apr 24 to Apr 24
Kinabalu Poring Vacation Lodge
T Paradise
T Paradise
3 out of 5
Kampung Mesilau, Kundasang, Sabah,, Malaysia, Ranau, Sabah
T Paradise
D'La Sri Cottage - Asia Camp
D'La Sri Cottage - Asia Camp
2.5 out of 5
Unnamed Road, Ranau, Sabah
The price is NT$2,171 per night from May 2 to May 2
D'La Sri Cottage - Asia Camp
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.