08.01.2008 - 13.01.2008
We had a 6 days 5 nights trip to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah where we stayed two nights at Kota Kinabalu town, one night at Kinabalu Park, one night up at Mountain Kinabalu Laban Rata and one night at Poring Hot Spring.
The first day, after we checked in to our hotel
(Hotel Holiday-although near to many places around the town but will not be my choice of hotel in the future.), we just walked around Kota Kinabalu town using a map that we got from the KK airport.
(Wiya Chicken Rice...located near Hotel Holiday)
Most of the tourist spots were within walking distance if you are staying in the town area..
We walked around Filipino market which sold all kinds of hand made crafts,
central market selling local fruits, pastries etc...try a local food called kuih cincin..quite nice but remember to check the expiry date...some stalls got different expiry dates), KK Plaza, night market (mostly selling bracelets, necklaces, earrings, T-shirts) and had our meals in a centre where there were a lot of seafood restaurants to choose from. There were also some dance performances in the middle of the area. This restaurant is located opposite Ruby Hotel (where we stayed the second night after checking out Hotel Holiday).
A clean hotel but unfortunately when we were out sightseeing the next day, someone broke into our hotel room. Although nothing had been stolen, the zipper on my luggage bag was broken. Inside my luggage bag were all the things that I brought for climbing Mt Kinabalu...(think they were not interested in those things)...so becareful of your belongings if you do stay in this hotel.
The second day, we took up a package available from Ruby Hotel to go to Manukan Island (RM43 per person) . So out we went to this island which had a wonderful view and clean beach.
Many water activities were available here such as snorkelling, parasailing, banana boat, jet ski and many more. We tried parasailing (RM90 per person)and it was quite fun albeit a bit expensive. We departed back to town in the evening.
(yu wat mi fun...yummylicious)
The third day, we had our breakfast around the town area and departed to Kinabalu Park where we stayed a night before beginning our adventurous trek up the mountain the next day. In Kinabalu Park, we had a walk in the botanical gardens and attended a briefing by the guides there on guidelines to climb Mount Kinabalu. All those who wanted to climb this mountain must be accompanied by a guide.
(View of the summit from our lodge at Kinabalu Park)
The day finally came where we ascended the highest mountain in Malaysia. We registered at the Park HQ and were assigned a guide. At the HQ, they sell walking/hiking sticks for your use during the trek up. It is advisable to buy the sticks as you will soon realise during your trek up the mountain. I wouldn't know how I would had made it up there without it. It provided support during my trek up and down the mountain. They were sold at RM5 per stick at the Park HQ but sometimes if you are lucky, your guide will sell to you for RM2-RM3 per stick. Our guide was also our porter who helped us to carry our bags for RM7 per kg. (Our total bag weight is about 25kg). The guide even joked that he could carry us up for RM200 per km. There were two trails up the mountain, Timpohon and Mesilau trail. Although Mesilau is 2km longer than Timpohon on the way up, I would still recommend Mesilau Trail as there were many things to see along the way and the view was just amazing.
(Worm like creature)
Along the Timpohon trail, there were not many views to see and all along the way, besides a small waterfall, it's just large steps all the way up to the resthouse. Rest stops are available along the way up and there were toilets and water tanks available. Lucky for us as our water in our backpacks wouldn't have lasted until we get to the resthouse. Water from the tanks are safe for drinking but for safety reasons and to avoid having an upset stomach during your trek, put a purification tablet in your water bottle before you drink it. The higher you trek up the mountain, the clearer the water. Bring enough energy food and drink to last you all the way up. We took about 8 hours to reach the rest house near the top of the mountain.
Reaching the resthouse was already an achievement itself... There is a cafeteria in Laban Rata resthouse and the only place that you can get food up there.
Food up there costed more than anywhere down in the towns as supplies are carried up by porters everyday. (It's not an easy task to carry a gas cyclinder tank up there but the locals are used to it). So appreaciate the food that you get up there. After eating our dinner at the cafeteria, we continued to trek another 200m to our resthouse 'Gunting Lagadan'. It is consider fortunate if you manage to book a room in Laban Rata resthouse which has a heater in every room. The other resthouse around the area does not have a heater. During our time, the temperature was 9 degrees celcius up at Laban Rata and it was raining all the way when we trekked up the mountain. Once you reached your resthouse, the first thing you are advised to do is to take a shower. The later you get to the shower, the chances of showering in cold water is higher. After your shower, get to bed early as the next day, you need to wake up around 2am in the wee hours of the morning to prepare for your climb to the summit of the mountain to see the sunrise. We prepared our headlights and start our climb to the summit around 3am. We ascended in the dark with only the headlight to lead the way as we climbed steps and rocks using rope to pull us up. I finally gave up my attempt to climb to the summit of the highest mountain in Malaysia when I reached the last checkpoint 'Sayat-Sayat checkpoint'. My friends proceeded with the climb. I will try again next time.
(St John's Peak)
(Our guide cum porter giving the thumbs up)
(View from Sayat-Sayat checkpoint)
The descend from the resthouse was not an easy task either as it was also raining when we went down through Timpohon trail. Descending the mountain took us about 5-6 hours from the resthouse. After we reached the end of the trek, we went to the Park HQ to get our certificates and proceeded to Poring Hot Spring where we stayed a night. We went to bed straight after dinner as we were all exhausted from the climb. All our muscles ached. The next day, we soothed our aching muscle by relaxing in the hot spring there. Although our muscles were aching at that time, we still walked another 1km to the canopy walkway in Poring Hotspring Park. :p
(Claypot yee mee)
We checked out around noon and headed back to Kota Kinabalu town, where we had lunch and a walked around town before we proceeded to the airport for our flight back home...