Best dorms outside the park
For single travellers, if all you need is a dorm, and can’t come at the overpriced offer inside the park, Tahubang Lodge directly opposite the Kinabalu Park entrance has the best dorms in the area.
The lodge is run by the friendly Sabah Park staff cooperative, who also run Restaurant Panataran Kinabalu, next door. By dorm standards, they are not a bargain, and cheaper (but not as good) dorms are on offer nearby, however for an undisturbed night’s sleep close to the park it’s the best value here. Basic, clean and comfortable four-bed dorm rooms with solid wooden bunks or twins and triples are sold on a per bed basis and share clean hot-water bathrooms and a small common lounge. Beds have clean white linen and blankets, so there’s no need to bring a sleeping bag. Towels and soap are also supplied. Enough power sockets ensure everyone can charge their gadgets. Queen rooms are available, but nearby hotels offer much better value, likewise if you are not travelling alone. A water dispenser delivers hot water if you bring your own tea, coffee or instant noodles and cold for bottle refills. Breakfast is not included, but WiFi is.
Tahubang Lodge offer bag storage, and if you’re climbing the mountain, it’s cheaper to leave your bag here than inside the park—that goes for non guests too. For cheaper, but more basic facilities, Mountain Resthouse 400 metres east of the park entrance, is the next best deal with three-bed dorms, and Kinabalu Mount Lodge, a two and a half kilometre hilly walk away, offer slightly claustrophobic pod-style dorms. If you are planning on climbing Mount Kinabalu and travelling with a friend, we recommend spending a few more ringgit for a private room in a nearby hotel to secure a decent night’s sleep—you’ll need it.
Address: Opposite Kinabalu Park
T: (0888) 88094;
Coordinates (for GPS): 116º32'29.09" E, 6º0'16.44" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: Under 60 ringgit
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Dorm fan cooled|
|42 ringgit||42 ringgit|
|Dbl fan private bathroom|
Twin. Double: 127.20 ringgit.
|106 ringgit||106 ringgit|
|Triple fan share bathroom||159 ringgit||159 ringgit|
Sally spent twelve years leading tourists around Indonesia and Malaysia where she collected a lot of stuff. She once carried a 40kg rug overland across Java. Her house has been described as a cross between a museum and a library. Fuelled by coffee, she can often be found riding her bike or petting stray cats. Sally believes travel is the key to world peace.
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Our top 10 places to stay in and around Kinabalu Park