Tuesday, 19 May 2015

The Land Below The Winds, Sabah

Hi, Thanks for dropping by for another Borneo Broadcast.  Last year I took a trip to Sabah, the other Malaysian state on the island of Borneo, apart from Island hopping, the beautiful beaches and the seafood, the other attraction in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah is Mount Kinabalu and the Kinabalu National park.  Kinabalu Park or Taman Kinabalu in Malay is one of the first national parks established in Malaysia, if memory serves, the park was established in 1964.  by the way in December2000, the park became Malaysia's First Unesco World Heritage Site.

We decided to drive to Kinabalu Park which is situated on the Crocker Range on the western coast of Sabah. It is located within the district of Ranau, within the West Coast Division. The park is not to be confused with Crocker Range National Park which is a separate park in the south.
Well, here we are near the Park's entrance.  There were quite a few visitors there when we arrived and I must admit I wasn't prepared for how cold it was that day.  Even after spending a night in the area, It felt really cold that day, brrrrrrrrr.

This park is administered by an organisation called Sabah Parks. Accommodations in the form of chalets can be found in the park, mostly around the headquarters. Reservations for accommodation and mountain climbing guides are processed through Sutera Sanctuary Lodges (also known as Sutera Harbour), a private company. Every person who wishes to climb the mountain must be accompanied by a qualified guide. Sutera is now requiring hikers stay one night at their lodge near the entrance, in addition to a required stay at Laban Rata. The cost to stay is considerably higher than at lodging just outside the park, and includes a mandatory purchase of meals, etc.  The mountain summit trail begins at Timpohon. There is also an alternative route called the Mesilau Trail.

I'm looking brave here but I'm actually really cold.  This is the starting point for anyone who wants to climb Mount Kinabalu.  We went up on the observation deck as we saw one climber and his guide set off to climb the mountain.
The cold morning mist that enveloped the park and the mountain as we looked out at the Kinabalu national park on that cold morning.
A few of my adventurous friends have climbed to summit of Mount Kinabalu, they say it's a sight to behold, to see the sun rise, some of them have dared me to try it, I know my "fitness" level and I haven't accepted their challenge....yet.  maybe One day.  maybe.

As we bid a fond farewell to Pondok Timpohon and the park, we find out that the park is
also home to a multitude of endemic animal species, including the Kinabalu Giant Red Leech and Kinabalu Giant Earthworm. The park also plays host to a variety of birds, insects, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles.
Mount Kinabalu is one of the youngest non-volcanic mountains in the world. It was formed within the last 10 to 35 million years. The mountain still grows at a rate of 5 millimetres a year.  Fascinating.

Thanks for dropping by for another Borneo Broadcast.  Until next time, take care and remember you're always welcome here at the Borneo Broadcast!

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