My apology for this delay in sharing the last entry of my one week-holiday in Brunei and Sabah. Last week, we had a slight scare when the hubby came home from work on Thursday with a chest pain which seemed to worsen as the evening wore on. Although we were initially worried for the worst … as you know, matter of the heart is always a serious matter! … a check with the doctor the next morning confirmed that he was not having any heart attack … thank you God! But still the pain continued for several days … and I guess my mood to try and finish the last entry of my Borneo holiday which I had already started just went on reverse gear as a result of it! But the hubby is feeling very much better now (almost 100% recovered) and has been urging me to finish this entry. So … this is it, the last excursion that I did in Borneo before flying back to Singapore the next afternoon.
After a full day of sightseeing around Kota Kinabalu, we got ready very early the following morning … for our date with Malaysia’s first World Heritage Site**, granted by UNESCO in 2000 — the Kinabalu Park!
We were advised by our taxi driver, Abang Mohd, that it was best that we departed from the hotel for Kinabalu Park very early … preferably before 7.00am … in order to make sure that we would not miss seeing the peak of Mount Kinabalu, unobstructed. Departing any later than that would mean that the journey up the mountain road would take longer as the traffic would be heavier … which in turn would cause us to arrive at the park a little on the late side … and would then mean that we might not be able to see the peak as it would most likely be covered by clouds by afternoon time.
Now … what would be the point of going to this park famous for this very mountain, if we cannot see the mountain at all, right? So … we heeded his advice and left our hotel very early. Anyway … we could always try to catch up with our naps in the taxi, if we really had to! hehehe … 🙂
The sun was just starting to rise when we left our hotel to head for Kinabalu Park … which is located about 92 km away from Kota Kinabalu.
The morning light was really lovely as the taxi that we took drove along the coast … heading out of the city.
The view of the mountain range as we made the ascent up the mountain road.
As we started very early … we made a breakfast stop at the small town of Nabalu (Pekan Nabalu). We were lucky that on that particular day (Thursday), there was a market going on that morning, thereby adding to the buzz of activity in that little town.
One of the attractions of this little town is this small tower … which is not much of an architectural feature in itself … but more because of the view that one is able to enjoy from the top of the tower.
So after finishing our breakfast … but before doing any shopping at the souvenir market situated just next to the tower … we decided to follow a group of people that we saw making their way up to the tower to do the same! (I was all the more interested in reaching the top of this tower as I have done so several times with the tower in the woods across our place back home, at Sauvabelin).
And here are the 360° views from the tower, anti-clockwise …
The entrance and exit to the very small town centre cum market place.
The view to the left (of the above picture) … of the mountain range.
And more of the mountain range. … which I found quite beautiful.
The roof of the souvenir market below … and that of a shop building on the left.
The majestic Mount Kinabalu rising above the little town of Nabalu … as seen from the tower. Unfortunately, as the sun was shining very brightly that morning from just behind the mountain … it was difficult to get a nice clear shot of the mountain as a result of the strong glare from the sun! Haizzz …
But our taxi driver was kind enough to propose another stop before reaching the park … so that we could admire his country’s famous icon and to take more shots of it.
And fortunately, from the stop here … we could see this famous mountain quite clearly!
At least, it was much, much clearer than when we were at Pekan Nabalu lah! And we were not the only ones who stopped to take some snapshots at this spot.
Besides Mount Kinabalu, the smaller mountains around the area also made for a nice photo shot. You know, I think that this spot here … would be perfect for opening a restaurant or café! hehehe … 😉
After the brief photo stop, we then continued with our way to Kinabalu Park … quite eager to reach it and see how it looked like (since we did not even bother to check the internet or books beforehand).
And we were soon there. The admission fees into the park are different for Malaysians and foreign visitors. And the price difference is quite steep. Luckily for us, our taxi driver was kind enough to try and get us the local admission fees, so we managed to save on the admission cost! Nice …
The peak of Mount Kinabalu as seen from Kinabalu Park … from where we stopped near a group of lodges.
These are just some of the lodges that one can book for a stay at Kinabalu Park … which looked really nice. Beside the different types of lodges, there are also hostels located inside the park. So … plenty of accommodation choices to pick from for those who would like to stay in the park. And seriously, if you intend to really explore the area … even if not to climb to the peak of Mount Kinabalu … it is advisable to stay in or at least near the area, to facilitate your exploration.
Maybe if I should make my way to Sabah again, this time with the hubby … I would love to stay a few days near the area so that we could really explore the various attractions that the area has to offer … especially the hot spring and the canopy walkway.
As all buses and mini-vans must be parked near the entrance, all visitors who would like to tour around the Park have to do it on foot. But since we were in a private taxi, we were spared from having to do so as our taxi driver kindly took us on a short drive around the park.
The operation and reception offices located not far from the entrance to the park.
View of Mount Kinabalu, partially hidden by trees as seen from the parking area near the offices.
And a few more shots of the area … including the look-out point (top right) which offers a good view of Mount Kinabalu … only if the weather decides to cooperate, that is!
But as you can see from this photo … we could already see some clouds starting to gather near this famous mountain in South East Asia by the time we decided to stop by this look-out point!!
I later decided to go into the reception office to get some information on making the climb up Mount Kinabalu for future reference … and realised that there was a rest area cum viewing deck located just beyond the reception office which offers the above view. The slip road on the right leads to the entrance of the Kinabalu Park.
And as we made our way back down the mountain road after leaving Kinabalu Park late in the afternoon … we could see that our taxi driver was right … the clouds had started to block the view of Mount Kinabalu and we could no longer see the peak very clearly. Luckily we had started our park excursion very early!!
But before hitting the city centre … there was still one very last stop that we did en route.
Our taxi driver suggested that we walk across this hanging bridge … a well-known landmark in this area (known as Tamparuli) which was made famous by the song of the same name … Jembatan Tamparuli (Bridge of Tamparuli)
We were game for it … so while the taxi driver patiently waited, we went and walked across this famous bridge to go to the other side of the river. I am quite sure that it must had been quite a thrilling experience for my three nieces being city girls … especially since we even spotted a huge monitor lizard (which we had mistaken for a small crocodile initially) swimming underneath the bridge while we were crossing it! hehehe … 🙂
And then, since there was a market on the other side of the bridge … we thought we might as well take advantage of our crossing and did some food shopping while we were there lah! 🙂
Walking back across the hanging bridge with our food goodies (we bought lots of delicious but cheap banana fritters!) …
… back to our taxi which was waiting beside the road on the other side.
Overall, I had a great and fun holiday with my bestie and my sister (together with her family). And although I am happy that I finally got to visit the famous Kinabalu Park and see Mount Kinabalu with my own eyes … I have to admit that I regretted not having the opportunity to try and do the climb up this famous mountain.
Hmmm … hopefully one day, I will get to come back again for a longer stay and be able to do more. I like to think that this visit was just a teaser for me lah! hehehe … 🙂
** Kinabalu Park was the third UNESCO site I visited in South-East Asia over the past three years, the other two were the old town of Melaka and Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
Other entries related to my trip to Sabah: