Ever since my dad went for the Mount Kota Kinabalu hike few years ago , it has became one of a must place for me to visit after hearing how awesome the view on top of the peak of this 2nd tallest mount in South East Asia. Low cost flight Air Asia “zero fair ” is always the best saving deal for travel . Without second thought , grabbed the Air Asia promo flight rate with RM146 for 6 days round trips in a year advance with bunch of adventurous buddies (13 buddies) . ( FYI , my friend bought RM58 round trips flight deal to Kota Kinabalu with luggage included !! So it can be super cheap if you got to log in the page on time ) .
The mount KK hike reservation was done half year ahead before our planned date as it was peak season in August (Avoid Monsoon Season Oct ~Feb*). Well in the same time early bird always has better deal of course . We picked our climb package with Sutera Sanctuary Lodges for 3 days 2 nights via Timpohon Trail. (Optional route will be Mesilau which is 2km longer and claimed with breathtaking view compare to Timpohon route ) . Normal price range with small group will be around RM600- RM800 per pax for Malaysian . Due to big group , we got pretty good deal which is RM510 per person for the 3 days 2 nights with almost everything included ( 1 day stay in HQ park, 2 days hike ). Please never ever shy to negotiate the price , there are plenty of hike agency there. You may find some other over charge with similar accommodation and foods provided that cost you around RM1000+ !!
**There are also optional hardcore big saving way which is to choose 1 day summit hike !! It cost you around RM100 ++ . Definitely will not suggest for normal people unless you are frequent and experiences mount trekker with good fitness condition .
We reached Kota Kinabalu airport around 8pm night (bad timing) for the first day . Looked at the clock , we knew we gonna miss our 1 days package buffet dinner @ Balsam Restaurant that served at 6.30pm – 9pm . Anyway, we just ask the driver brought us to some where economic seafood restaurant to kill our hunger.
You just cant miss out crabs in Sabah !!
After the late dinner, it took us 1 and half hours to reach Kinabalu Park Head Quarter in Kundasang with the driver “splendid” driving skill. The time has hit mid night clock when we reached. Realised our early booked bunk bed has been fully occupied !! Perhaps we shall be thankful as due to full occupied room , we were upgraded to big chalet without extra pay ! scream !
Big chalet with 3 rooms serve for 6 people attached with living room and kitchen ( sad case we don’t have time to use them… ) . Even there is heater hot shower provided , the water still freezing cold ! Night time temperature in park may drop to range 15- 20 degree Celsius .
Chill sunshine morning. Woke up at 6:30 am for light packing preparation.
Reached the gate around 9:30am , Group photo before the hike start ! ( look at the porter backpack !)
No idea but we just took a lot of photos with each 1km achievement along journey to Raban rata , LOL
Starting ,it was quite relax for the first 4.5 km until we met few really steep rock path where you need the guidance of rope.Then I start to feel ” yea we are climbing Mount KK ” . When we found the the weather start to drizzle and we started getting slow due to most energy drained. Immediately put up our rain coat and we started to walk individual with different speed according to one fitness ability to ensure we able to reach Raban Rata before the day get dark.
I was so excited and relief when I got to see Raban Rata from this point and thought that ” Yea ,I gonna reach soon !! ” . After few more meter walk then only i realised indeed there was still 1.5KM more to reach Raban Rata check point. Finally, I was the 3rd person to reach for my group around 4:45pm. ( I just cant wait to sit down). While waiting for others , we start our energy restoring meal buffet !! Suddenly , most of us were attracted the by spectacular sunset view from the balcony of the restaurant. That is beauty of mother nature .
Our hostel located at the nearest gate point entrance which is Panar Laban Hut. It started getting really cold in the night (5-13 degree Celsius ). I still need to walk up with short and thin jacket due to laziness of taking out my wind-breaker. After got super quick freezing water splash on my body , I decided not not to continue shower but just used the wet tower to wipe of the sweat stickiness. To prevent attack of altitude sickness , all of us just took the acetazolamide pill before sleep . We woke up 1:30 am to have light breakfast (own preparation) By plan we shall start our hike by 2:00 am but due to some issue delayed our hike to start at 2:55 am. Understand that we truly running out of time if we seriously wanna catch up the sunrise view. Therefore , we started to hike according to own speed capability and most important was adjusting our breathing pace. Basically , I only rest for like 10 second whenever I feel I need a pause as long rest may cause one stamina get haul down unconsciously.
Peak Hike Essential List
Top – Inner polypropylene T-shirt ( to keep dry) , inner long sleeve (can be cotton if really afraid of cold )
– Outer wind breaker to keep warm from wind and low temp
Bottom – Inner 1 gym pant/legging (polypropylene material) > I didn’t wear as I am okay with the temperature
– Outer water resistance track pant
Miscellaneous – Hat , face mask , acetazolamide pill (altitude signal pill) , scarf (don’t use wool , take as light as possible ), water resistant glove ( household glove / leather can be) , RAIN COAT is a must , 2 pairs of socks & hike/running sport shoes with thicker padding . (depends which one you are comfort with)
Inside backpack – Water , extra torch light , chocolate and small towel
It was really motivating when I saw the peak just few more meter to reach. We encouraging each other ” Fast fast , we are almost there ”
It truly took us some time lined up to snap photo with this significant landmark . The limited space on top of the peak was full with tourist around .
Mission accomplished check *
Have you been to Mount Kota Kinabalu ?
Share me your thoughts !