Jungle Feeling on Borneo: Kota Kinabalu

After Penang we have flown to Borneo’s Kota Kinabalu. When we were planning our trip, it was difficult for us to decide if we want to visit the South or the North of the island. The North with its mountains and anticipated intense jungle feeling won.

Mount Kinabalu (c) Cedrik Neumann

Here, the Mount Kinabalu (4095 m) is the most important place of attraction! We took a tour for 150 MYR (30 Euro)/ pp which included a transfer (we were alone in the jeep), a decent lunch, a guide, an entrance fee to the hot springs, a ticket to the canopy walk (camera ticket 5 MYR), and a walk in the jungle.

Hanging Bridge

The standard walk lasts about 30 min, but we persuaded our guide to extend it to about 1,5 hours and walked the additional kilometers on our own (follow the Silau Silau Trail sign).

Silau Silau Trail

Good shoes is a must as the path can get very wet and slippery from time to time. The jungle walk was very pleasant but probably not so serious and „into the wild“ as we expected. Next time we have to reserve more days for trekking – one day tour was not enough.

On our way to the jungle

By the way, there are also full hikes to the Mount Kinabalu itself which last about two – three days. However, there were some crazy sportsmen and sportswomen who accomplished this hike during several hours. Incredible!

Jungle feeling
Jungle takes it back (c) Cedrik Neumann

The hot springs were not fascinating at all. If you have a chance, better take an excursion to the upside-down tee house instead.

Enjoying the pause

The canopy walk was in the opposite very nice (under the mandatory prerequisite that you are not afraid of the heights).

Canopy walkway (c) Cedrik Neumann
Pineapple plantation

When you exit the canopy walkway, drop by at the tropical butterflies house and try to shot at least one qualitative photo – it is extremely difficult without a professional gear as the butterflies are on a constant move.

The city Kota Kinabalu itself is quite small and is mainly used by the hikers as a base between the tracks.

The Embankment in Kota Kinabalu

However, you can visit the central and night markets, stroll along the embankment, enjoy a freshly squeezed juice and have a lunch or a cup of delicious coffee at one of the nice and stylish cafes in the backpack­ers street: we tried October and Printcafe and were not disappointed.

The principles of the Printcafe (c) Cedrik Neumann
Printcafe (c) Cedrik Neumann

If you have another half an hour to spend, take a short walk to the Signal Hill – you have to climb several hundred meters of jungle trip stairs to reach it. This short „city jungle tour“ is also accessible for the families with kids (but actually I can barely imagine a family with kids at Borneo who is not planning to climb real mountains, so this little track will be a joke for them).

Way to the Signal Hill

In Kota Kinabalu we lived in a Sky Hotel hotel with an (almost) infinity pool and a nice terrace on the upper floor: you can see the whole city from there! But it you zoom well enough, you can see the conditions of life of different population layers…

Sky Hotel
A view from the Sky Hotel

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