Photo: No peak is like it.


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Borneo is known for its abundant natural wonders, but Kinabalu Park may just be the most spectacular. The main attraction is Mount Kinabalu, a 4,095-metre monster of granite that takes the title of the tallest mountain in Malaysia by a long shot.

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The mountain, along with the expansive treasure-trove of biodiversity hidden within the surrounding jungles, has earned the park a place on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Kinabalu Park contains at least half of Borneo’s plant species, creating habitats for numerous birds, mammals and insects. The park covers three local districts, and the towns and villages clinging to the outskirts offer some alternative attractions and accommodation options.

Simply breathtaking. Photo taken in or around Kinabalu Park, Malaysia by Sally Arnold.

Simply breathtaking. Photo: Sally Arnold

If you’ve been hoping to cross “climb a mountain” off your bucket list, Mount Kinabalu is a good place to do it. No special equipment is needed to climb; just a good pair of shoes, a warm jacket and a reasonable level of fitness. However, you’ll need to do a little planning as you can’t just turn up expecting to be able to climb. Since a tragic earthquake in June 2015, climbing numbers have been severely limited, and it’s recommended that bookings be made at least six months in advance. Six months.

If you have neither the inclination, time nor fitness to tackle 4,095 metres (or you simply didn’t plan ahead), Kinabalu Park is still worth a stop on your itinerary with plenty to offer nature lovers. Extensive trails around the base provide a good chance of seeing some rare species and are easily worth a day or more to explore. The park extends to the small town of Poring, a popular stop for many post-mountain climb, where at Poring Hot Springs you can soak your weary legs in pools of mineral water or give them a stretch on one of the trails or a canopy walk suspended 40 metres above the forrest floor. Poring is the Kadazan-Dusun word for bamboo and many giant bamboos grow in the ... Travelfish members only (Around 600 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Kinabalu Park.
 Read up on where to eat on Kinabalu Park.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Kinabalu Park.
 Read up on how to get to Kinabalu Park.
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