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Mount Kinabalu

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There’s something about Mount Kinabalu — its awesomeness, its grace, its spirit — but it’s no wonder so many people are drawn to climbing Malaysia's tallest mountain. And the major drawcard of Mount Kinabalu is that it’s possible for someone with little or no previous mountain climbing skills to have a go.

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Because it’s there, right? Photo taken in or around Mount Kinabalu, Kinabalu Park, Malaysia by Sally Arnold.

Because it’s there, right? Photo: Sally Arnold

Climbing this mountain is the main reason many travellers come to Sabah in the first place. It’s regarded as been a relatively ‘easy’ mountain to climb. However, don’t take the challenge lightly; you really do need to be prepared and have a reasonable level of fitness.

Since a major earthquake in June 2015 caused massive damage to the mountain trails and several fatalities, climb permits have been limited to 135 climbers per day, and a number of those are reserved for locals. Climbers are required to pre-book accommodation on the mountain, even if you’re fit enough to do the climb in one day.

Accommodation must be pre-booked. Photo taken in or around Mount Kinabalu, Kinabalu Park, Malaysia by Sally Arnold.

Accommodation must be pre-booked. Photo: Sally Arnold

Sutera Sanctuary Lodges manage most of the accommodation, both in the park headquarters and on the mountain. Mountain Torq operate a via ferrata climb and have their own accommodation on the mountain at Pendant Hut. Their bookings also make up part of the 135 climber limit. Both companies recommend that you book six months in advance (we don’t know what we are doing next week…) There is the off chance in low season that you can book last minute, but don’t ... Travelfish members only (Around 1,900 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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How to get there
From North Bus Terminal Inanam, all buses bound for Sandakan, Lahad Dat and Tawau will pass the park entrance (1.5 hours), but you’re better off taking a minivan (20 ringgit) or share taxi from Padang Merdeka Terminal. A private taxi from Padang Merdeka is 160 ringgit.

Location map for Mount Kinabalu

Popular attractions in Kinabalu Park

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Kinabalu Park.

Best places to stay in Kinabalu Park

A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Kinabalu Park.

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.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Kinabalu Park? Please read this.
 Browse the web securely while travelling with TunnelBear. Try with a 7–day free trial.

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See below for more sights and activities in Kinabalu Park that are listed on

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Kinabalu Park? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Malaysia.

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