Friday, 6 May 2011

Borneo - climbing Mount Kinabalu

At 4095m Mount Kinabalu is the highest mountain in SE Asia between the Himalayas and the island of New Guinea, and is a real challenge for anyone who likes mountain hiking. 
Mt Kinabalu is about 80 km from Kota Kinabalu, the capital of the Malaysian province of Sabah and the gateway to Borneo for most people. 
You start hiking at about 1500m altitude and the view after an hour or two is like this :

Along the way it's possible to see pitcher plants, which eat insects :

Also hiking up are many porters carrying heavy loads to the Laban Rata resthouse where most hikers spend the night.

Laban Rata at 3270m altitude is very comfortable. Most people arrive during the afternoon, have any early night, and get up at 2am to attempt the summit before dawn to see the sunrise. This is the dining area of the resthouse :

 These are views from the summit :

And this is a view of the summit :

Back in Kota Kinabalu we saw an orang-utan at the nearby Lok Kawi wildlife park. Unfortunately we never got to see any in the wild:

Finally, Kota Kinabalu, which faces west, is apparently famous for its sunsets. We certainly saw some nice ones, of which one is below:

suggested reading :
Borneo (Lonely Planet Travel Guides)

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