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

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$655 per night from Jan 28 to Jan 29
Situated in the mountains, this guesthouse is steps from Poring Hot Spring and Mount Kinabalu National Park. Viviane Rafflesia Garden is 0.8 mi (1.2 km) ...
4.4/5 Excellent! (53 reviews)
Cosy and spacious chalet
"Absolutely amazing!! We stayed in river lodge and everything is perfectly fine as photo shown on the apps. The large spacious glass dining area are so remarkable! The eco-friendly and tropical forest surrounding is really good for travellers who look for wellness and quietness. Inside the park provides ..."

Reviewed on 2020/2/1

Sutera Sanctuary Lodges at Poring Hot Springs
Laban Rata Resthouse at Mount Kinabalu
Laban Rata Resthouse at Mount Kinabalu
2 out of 5
Kundasang, Kota Belud, Sabah
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
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is NT$4,961 per night from Feb 8 to Feb 9
Situated in Ranau, this chalet is within 1 mi (2 km) of Poring Hot Spring and Mount Kinabalu National Park. Viviane Rafflesia Garden is 1.4 mi (2.2 km) ...
3.7/5 Good! (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

OYO 90257 Rocky Mountain Lodge
OYO 90257 Rocky Mountain Lodge
2 out of 5
Jalan Cinta Mata Mesilou, Kundasang, Ranau, Sabah
The price is NT$589 per night from Feb 4 to Feb 5
OYO 90257 Rocky Mountain Lodge
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
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$655 per night from Jan 28 to Jan 29
Sutera Sanctuary Lodges at Poring Hot Springs
Mesilau Mountain Retreats
Mesilau Mountain Retreats
3 out of 5
Mesilau, Past Kinabalu Golf Course, Ranau, Sabah
The price is NT$4,961 per night from Feb 8 to Feb 9
Mesilau Mountain Retreats
Spring Garden
Spring Garden
3 out of 5
Spring Garden, Kundasang, Ranau, Sabah
Spring Garden
Kinabalu Poring Vacation Lodge
Kinabalu Poring Vacation Lodge
2 out of 5
Kampung Poring, Ranau, Sabah
The price is NT$855 per night from Feb 15 to Feb 16
Kinabalu Poring Vacation Lodge
T Paradise
T Paradise
3 out of 5
Kampung Mesilau, Kundasang, Sabah,, Malaysia, Ranau, Sabah
T Paradise
Sutera Sanctuary Lodges at Kinabalu Park
Sutera Sanctuary Lodges at Kinabalu Park
3 out of 5
Kinabalu National Park, Mt. Kinabalu, Ranau, Sabah
The price is NT$874 per night from Jan 28 to Jan 29
Sutera Sanctuary Lodges at Kinabalu Park
D'La Sri Cottage - Asia Camp
D'La Sri Cottage - Asia Camp
2.5 out of 5
Unnamed Road, Ranau, Sabah
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.