The Legends of Mount Kinabalu

The Legends of Mount Kinabalu

The Legends of Mount Kinabalu

07

April, 2017

“Once upon a time there was a giant living…at the foot of Mount Kinabalu.” – Ansow Gunsalam, 1983
Being part of the third largest island in the world, Sabah is abundant with rich culture, diverse ecosystem, and many more hidden gems ready to be explored. One of the many mysteries that stares at us each day (literally, especially when the sky is clear of clouds) is none other than the majestic Mount Kinabalu itself.

A mountain so highly regarded by our ancestors as well as present time by the locals, Mount Kinabalu is known as Aki Nabalu, ‘the revered place of the dead’, Aki also means ‘grandfather and/or male ancestors’ in KadazanDusun dialect. Before the spread of Christianity, a majority of indigenous people here were pagans who practiced animism. They believed in spirits and invisible beings are it good or evil spirits. It was believed (then) that the summit of Mount Kinabalu was the highest point in Borneo, which is why spirits would go there to enter the afterlife.

Before climbing up the treacherous mountain (during those days), locals would perform religious ceremony upon reaching the summit. These rituals were to pacify these roaming spirits who lived there in order not to harm them and giving them safe passage. Nowadays, these ceremonies are conducted annually by the National Park guides. Part of the ritual is to offer seven chickens, eggs, betel nuts, sirih leaves, lime, rice, as well as local cigars.

Another legend has it that the name Kinabalu, Kina meaning ‘China’, and Balu meaning ‘Widow’, put it together in English and you’ll get Chinese Widow.
The Kadazan tale goes like this;-
Many centuries ago there was a Dragon living at the summit of the tallest mountain, deep in the jungles of Borneo Island, guarding a precious pearl. Upon hearing this, the Emperor of China sent all his three sons to steal the pearl from the dragon. Whoever succeeded, would get the throne. There were three princes. So off they went to Borneo Island (on their own) in search of this amazing pearl guarded by the ferocious dragon. The eldest and second prince failed to retrieve the pearl from the dragon whilst the youngest prince, with his ability to outsmart the dragon, was able to steal the pearl at ease and slew the dragon (of course with a few cuts and bruises here and there for added macho-ness).
Descending back to the tropical jungle of Borneo and hurt, the youngest prince was rescued by native villagers who nursed him back to health. There, he met a beautiful Kadazan woman which he fell in love with and soon after, married her. After years of living on Borneo Island, the prince felt homesick, so he decided to go back and visit his family back in China, promising his wife and family that he will return and bring them to China with him.
His wife grew anxious of waiting for him that she would go to the coastal area and wait for his ship to dock. However, her village was so far in that she decided to climb the highest mountain nearby, so she could have a wider and further view of ships sailing the South China Sea. From then on, locals would see her climbing the mountain each sunrise, coming back only after sunset to attend to her children.
Heartbroken, but still determined that her prince charming would come back, she eventually fell ill and died at the top of the mountain. Touched by her loyalty to her husband, the spirits of the mountain turned her into stone, facing the South China Sea, so she could forever wait for her husband’s return.”

Locals say that St. John’s Peak is the stone her body was turned into.

So what happened to Prince Charming? Well, he returned safely back to China and received a grand welcome by his family for slaying the dragon and (most importantly) outsmarting the dragon into stealing his pearl. He told his parents of his new life in Borneo and how he wanted to bring them to China, which they (obviously) disagreed and told him he was already betrothed to a princess from another kingdom.

So what do you think? Do you like it? I love it! This heart-wrenching tale will forever be in my heart and for many generations to come, while Mount Kinabalu will forever stand high and mighty in Borneo Island. Here are some pictures for you to see the beauty of Mount Kinabalu area. If you are interested in climbing Mount Kinabalu, contact us now for more information.

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Mari-Mari Cultural Village Trip

Mari-Mari Cultural Village Trip

Mari Mari Cultural Village Trip

25

April, 2017

“Kota Kinabalu is famous all over the world for its rich cultural heritage”

 

This is a phrase I’ve been telling my clients many times but sadly, I myself have never been to visit or experience my own heritage. So one day, I decided to join a trip with my guests and visit one of the famous places in Kota Kinabalu where I can know more about our own unique Sabahan culture and ethnicity, and honestly I was quite excited I was finally visiting Mari – Mari Cultural Village.

Mari Mari Cultural Village Trip
Mari Mari Cultural Village Trip

We drove from Kota Kinabalu City with my three other guests name Victoria, Gemma, and Kelly, for about 30-40 minutes to Mari – Mari Cultural Village. We finally reached Mari Mari Cultural Village located deep in the countryside, away from the modern and developing Kota Kinabalu city.

As we were reaching, I could see the amount of tourist and local people coming to visit Mari – Mari Cultural Village as well. It was a total shocker for me as I never imagined it to be so packed with people of all ages. At the counter, we were greeted by the friendly in – house guides and we were split into smaller groups of four. Our guide, known as Nursey, was our cultural guide for that day.

We made our way to the hanging bridge above a beautiful small flowing river, which I managed to get a great panoramic view of the landscape. As we walked by, we stopped at the first house of the biggest tribe in Sabah;- the Kadazan tribe. The house was made from rattan and bamboo materials with a river flowing behind it;- my guests and I felt like we were transported back in time. Our guide was very informative whilst bringing us into the Kadazan ethnic house, and showing us how the Kadazan tribe lived and their daily routine life. I was quite surprised seeing the bed layouts of how families lived back in the day;- for a single lady, she will have to sleep above the parent’s bed. So every night, the single lady will climb up a rattan staircase that she later removes so nobody can go up, for added security.

Mari Mari Cultural Village Trip
Mari Mari Cultural Village Trip
Mari Mari Cultural Village Trip
Mari Mari Cultural Village Trip

We were given demostration in making the rice wine or in Kadazan language, it’s called as ‘’Tapai’. Like other guests, I tried the rice wine as well with my other three guests. We took a selfie before we took the shot. HAHAHAHA! Totally insane! The taste was different than other alcohol that I have tried, and a good experience to have too!

Then, we continued our journey to other tribe houses, all different than the other. What really caught my attention was the Lundayeh house. We were all told to stand in one line and before us, was a man in Lundayeh’s full attire, creepily staring at us from head to toe. The said man spoke to the person in front of the line (he was a Japanese tourist) who basically didn’t understood a word he said.

So our guide translated it for us, he was asking questions like,

Who are you?”,

Why are you here?”.

Our guide told him that we came for a visit, in which he responded,

Can you take care of your people?”,

Ay ay” said our guide which meant yes in their dialect.

We were finally given permission to get into the Lundayeh house and while making our way into the house, we got the shock of our lives;- a really small and old Lundayeh lady was at the side of the door giving her blessings to all of us while we made our entry! I didn’t even realize she was there until I was close by! She seemed like a high priestess as I got closer to her, and I thought to myself, being that old, she might know some ancient magic!

Mari Mari Cultural Village

Once we were done visiting all the tribe houses in Mari – Mari Cultural Village, we were entertained by several tribal dances which attracted my attention;- they were using bamboo sticks! This dance is called Magunatip dance. The dance was so enthralling and fun, they also wore different traditional attires, representing different ethnicities here in Sabah. It really made me realize how beautiful our culture is, and how we should all preserve it before it gets extinct.

Lunch you ask? I assumed it was going to be a simple lunch, but I was wrong. It was a huge buffet spread dude!! HAHAHA! We were super excited when we saw the spread because we were starving by the time the tour ended. We ate loads! There were so many different delicacies found and I was excited to find my favourite BBQ Chicken with spicy sauce there. DELICIOUS!! HAHAHA (yes, I get excited when it comes to food).

After lunch, we took the opportunity to take more photos before we left. My guests and I really enjoyed ourselves on this trip. The great hospitality of the in – house guide and how well informed they were of the tribes here in Sabah, Borneo, made the experience and money spent totally worth it! Can’t wait to visit Mari – Mari Cultural Village if I have the opportunity again.

If you are interested in day tour in Sabah, then, Mari-Mari Cultural Village is a place you should go to! Check out our tour for more information, click here.

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Our picks for best beaches in Sabah Borneo

Our picks for best beaches in Sabah Borneo

Our picks for best beaches

in Sabah Borneo

13

April, 2017

Who doesn’t love beaches?

I know I do and here are my local picks for best beaches in Sabah Malaysia Borneo.

 

1. Tip Of Borneo (Tanjung Simpang Mengayau)

With kilometers and kilometers of white sand beaches, consistently amazing sunsets and snorkeling that will knock your fins off. This area at the northern tip of Borneo is off the scale for wow-ability. Want to go for a swim on this beautiful beaches in Tip Of Borneo? Book your tour with us on 3D2N Kudat Tour.

2. Kota Belud 

Only an hour drive from Sabah capital city of Kota Kinabalu this is a beach lovers oasis. There are no signs but for the adventurous travelers just head north up highway 3 till Kota Belud…. hang a left and see which beach end up on 🙂

Travel Guide to Sandakan

3. Pulau Tiga (survivor island)

This island has a claim to fame of hosting the first ever North American survivor television series. It has much more than that to offer its travelers…. sulfuric mud pools, crystal blue ocean and postcard level beaches this island is a must for any best beaches in Sabah Borneo list. Come and join our tour Borneo island tropical experience in Pulau Tiga Island.

4. Tunku Abdul Rahman Park (TARP)

There aren’t many cities boasting a cluster of the tropical island less than 10 minutes off its coast…. You can find that in Kota Kinabalu, so to round out our list these protected islands are a must for travelers looking for a quick city escape from Kota Kinabalu. You can go for an island hopping in TARP for a day, check it out here

That’s all folks on our picks for best Beaches in Sabah. If you have suggestions on other Beaches in Sabah that you think is the best, please feel free to comment us.

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Travel Guide to Sandakan

Travel Guide to Sandakan

Travel Guide

to Sandakan

07

April, 2017

Don’t have any idea where to go in Sandakan? Some guides for you to make your Sandakan trip exciting!

Sandakan, the second largest town in Sabah after Kota Kinabalu, is located on the northeast coast of Borneo. Sandakan was the former capital of British North Borneo until 1946, due to its busy port with visiting traders from around the world. Sandakan town has a history that is very important to the Australians and British for its infamous Death Marches which commenced here in 1945 during World War II (WWII). After WWII, the capital moved to Jesselton ( now Kota Kinabalu).

Not only does Sandakan hold precious history to the Australians and British, it also serves as the gateway to Sabah’s best ecotourism destinations for travelers. Read here for more information on Sandakan. In this blog post, we will share some of the attractions around Sandakan and food to try.

Top 5 Alternatives to Mount Kinabalu for trekking in Borneo

Sandakan is so worth visiting for its proximity to some of Borneo’s most accessible wildlife attractions. Just over 30 minutes drive from Sandakan town, Sepilok is one of the main attractions in Sandakan. The Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre is the place that travelers should go to watch Orangutan up close in their natural habitat. Beside to it, travelers can go to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. Just nearby to Sepilok, Rainforest Discovery Centre is also worth a visit by travelers when in Sandakan, as it offers jungle trails and magnificent canopy walk for travelers to get intimate with nature, as well as get in some birdwatching activities.

In addition, travelers can go to the Turtle Island Park for a rare experience to watch turtle nesting and laying eggs, as well as witness turtle conservation at work. Travelers can check out our tour information on Turtle Island Borneo Conservation Project for booking. Other places of interest in Sandakan which can be visited by travelers would be the Sandakan Crocodile Farm which is located at Labuk Road and have over 3000 reptiles. If travelers want a chance to see the big-nosed Proboscis Monkey, then Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary is the place travelers should visit on a combo day trip tour.

For more wildlife destinations, travelers should head to Kinabatangan River – Sukau and Bilit for more Proboscis Monkey sightings or head to Gomantong Caves to see how the edible bird nests are harvested. Travelers can also continue overland and south of Sandakan to the Tabin Wildlife Reserve and Danum Valley. Our company does provide these tours for travelers to get the chance for a wildlife adventure in Borneo.

 

Sandakan was the major port for early settlers to Sabah. It is nicknamed as “Little Hong Kong” due to many Chinese settlers coming from Canton to Sandakan. Thus, this is the reason that until today the Chinese people in Sandakan have a stronger Hong Kong – Cantonese accent compared to other parts of Malaysia. A spillover effect of this, one of the places of interest in Sandakan is Puu Jih Shih Chinese temple, built for the Chinese people in Sandakan, a majestic temple definitely built to awe as it faces the Sandakan bay.
Another must-visit attraction is the Sam Sing Kung Temple – the oldest temple in Sandakan that was built by the four main Chinese communities in Sandakan, namely Hakka, Cantonese, Hainanese, and Teochew.

Travel Guide to Sandakan
Travel Guide to Sandakan

Sandakan also was known as Sabah’s most historic town, has many other places of interest, which travelers can go through while doing the Sandakan Heritage Trail which covers the historical points of interest and sights around the city. The walk can take about 2 hours or more, and it commences at the 100-year old Masjid Jamik, then to the Pryer Monument –  a granite structure erected to honor the founder of Sandakan, William B. Pryer.

Travelers can climb up to the Stairs with Hundred Steps which will lead you to see a panoramic view of Sandakan town and bay. Along to that, travelers can also visit the Agnes Keith House – which used to be the home of the famous American writer who penned “Land Below The Wind” in 1939, and next to it is the English Tea House and Restaurant. Travelers will have the option to have refreshment and enjoy the view overlooking the town.

 Next stop, travelers can go to the remains of an old staircase, that was once a part of the Chinese Consulate before the war. Visit the Goddess of Mercy Chinese Temple, which was built in the 1880s. Then, continue the journey reaching the St Michael and All Angels Cathedral, which was erected in the late 19th century and one of the oldest stone buildings in Sabah. The Sandakan Heritage Trail ends when travelers pass the Malaysia Fountain and can see the Harrisons Trading Building and two oldest banks in town, HSBC and Standard Chartered.

When in Sandakan, trying out Sandakan food should not be missed! Since Sandakan is located next to the sea, seafood in this town are so much fresher, and it makes up the town’s favorite and popular eats. Drop by to Sim Sim Water Village (Bridge no.7) to try out the tasty springy noodle, served with dim sums, century egg dumplings, and curry laksa. Travelers also can try grilled fresh fish at Pasar Sim Sim, served with amazing home-made sambal chili. Moreover, travelers should stop by at Nam Chai Restaurant for the famous seafood Bak Kut Teh or travelers can eat more fresh seafood at the 1Malaysia Steamboat Restaurant located at Trig Hill for only RM30.00 per person. Travelers can drop by at Pasar Kim Fung located at Mile 4 for a quick delicious bite, available for dinner or supper too! Another do-not-miss food item is the Sandakan famous UFO tarts – a thin butter sponge cake as the base, top with a meringue enclosing a yellow center of eggy custard, which is so yummy to eat with a cup of hot tea/coffee and can be found in any Chinese bakeries in Sandakan.

Travel Guides to Sandakan

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Top 5 Alternatives to Mount Kinabalu for trekking in Borneo

Top 5 Alternatives to Mount Kinabalu for trekking in Borneo

Top 5 Alternatives to Mount

Kinabalu for trekking in Borneo

22

March, 2017

Mount Kinabalu and other mountain trekking tours are the ones you should not miss during your trip to Borneo Sabah! To summit Mount Kinabalu, you will need to hike for two days and early reservation is required in order to reserve a spot. Since Mount Kinabalu is famous for it being the highest mountain on the island of Borneo, it has become one of the main reason for travelers to visit Sabah. However, if you are planning to hike Mount Kinabalu at the last minute, expect those chances to be slim as climbing spots are very hard to come by. Not only that, you will need to pay the expensive price of a last minute Mount Kinabalu tour. And well, that would be a bummer now wouldn’t it?

Fret not, as Borneo island has so much more to offer for avid mountaineers and adventure seekers who plan to do hiking and jungle trekking. Here we give few suggestions of places that can be an alternative to Mount Kinabalu for your mountain trekking desires.

Top 5 Alternatives to Mount Kinabalu for trekking in Borneo

1. Kawang Forest Reserve Jungle Papar, Sabah

If you are an adventurous nature lover, then Kawang Forest Reserve is a must to try out for trekking expeditions. This is one of the alternative adventure places for you to go, if you missed the chance to experience Mount Kinabalu Jungle trekking adventure. Kawang Forest Reserve is also an excellent spot for camping and other recreational activities. Whilst engaging in the activities, you will get to experience a peaceful, natural and beautiful Borneo rainforest adventure just outside of Kota Kinabalu city. Moreover, you will get the chance to acquire survival skills and some introduction to the Borneo wildlife in the Kawang Forest.

Top Peak Travel provides several tour options to Kawang Forest Reserve in order to quench your thirst for adventures! We offer two types of tour for your convenience, you can choose either Kawang Borneo Trekking Day trip or 3 days 2 nights Kawang Rainforest Adventure.

Top 5 Alternatives to Mount Kinabalu for trekking in Borneo

2. Salt Trail Crocker Range, Sabah

On the island of Borneo, it’s obvious attraction is the dense rainforest jungle and nothing can compete with the experience of spending a few days in the jungle. Salt trail Crocker Range can be an alternative for you to go for an adventure as well as to hike across the Crocker Mountains. The Salt trails also have a more historical significance on the island of Borneo, due to its function as a trade route for remote villagers to barter their local-made products to the outside world for items that they require.

The salt trail requires about 4 days to complete. During which, you will get the chance to get close to nature, going through trees and grass covered high-lying peaks, low-lying areas with muddy paths, dense jungle, several river crossings and some local hospitality. Here you can really get a taste of the authentic feel of nature in Borneo. Rumor has it, if you are lucky, you might even encounter wildlife there too!

If you or your group are interested in doing the Salt Trail Crocker Range expedition, contact us or email us directly and we would love to arrange it for you.

Top 5 Alternatives to Mount Kinabalu for trekking in Borneo

3. Long Pasia Sipitang, Sabah

Another alternative to Mount Kinabalu for trekking in Borneo, would be Long Pasia in Sabah. Long Pasia is located in the south-western part of Sabah, adjacent to the border of Sarawak and Kalimantan. With an altitude of 1,000m above sea level, unknown to many, Long Pasia is teeming with hidden gems of the natural and historical heritage of the heart of Borneo. Moreover, Long Pasia is where you can also experience an exciting adventure whilst immersing yourself in the age old culture of the Lundayeh people.

Going through the Long Pasia Trekking expedition in Sabah, there would be no resorts or hotels. Instead what you will get is an authentic home stay experience where you will live with a family or a host. Undoubtedly it will be a tough journey to reach the isolated villages but what you get is a rewarding experience with the rich abundance of nature – the untouched mountains, rivers, jungles, waterfalls, caves to explore and a great wildlife viewing. You will be in good hands as there will be a guide with you throughout your journey ensuring that you experience nature at its best and purest.

You should definitely put Long Pasia on you must visit list when you are in Borneo . We offer Long Pasia tours if you are interested to experience the adventure trip of your lifetime. Click here for more information on the tour.

Top 5 Alternatives to Mount Kinabalu for trekking in Borneo

4. Headhunter’s Trail Mulu, Sarawak

Headhunter’s trail is a great way of entering or leaving Gunung Mulu National Park, and it is considered one of the most worthwhile trips in Mulu area, as you will gain the ultimate adventure at this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Headhunter’s trail tour will combine a visit to the main caves, jungle walks, climb the limestone Pinnacles, staying in a longhouse and hopping on the beautiful longboat journey to leave from Gunung Mulu National Park. Thus, you will get the chance to experience caving in the largest cave chamber and most extensive cave systems in the world – which is the Deer Cave and Clearwater Cave. Along the Headhunter’s trail, you will see the fascinating array of flora and fauna, with excellent introduction provided by the guide.

If you are interested to be amazed on this adventurous trip as an alternative to Mount Kinabalu for trekking in Borneo, you can check out our website for more information on Borneo Headhunter’s Trail.

Top 5 Alternatives to Mount Kinabalu for trekking in Borneo

5. Walk with Penan Tribe, Sarawak

Apart from immersing yourself in the nature and wildlife of Borneo Island, spending time with the people is also a great way for you to gain the experience of your lifetime. Penan tribe is a small ethnic group of Borneo, which are still living their traditional nomadic hunter – gatherer existence in Sarawak. Thus, living with the Penans is such an amazing experience as they are in tune with their natural habitat, being the last of the true hunter-gatherers and are noted for their practice of ‘molong’, which means never take more than necessary.

You will have the chance to spend time with the Penan people, live their daily lives and have meals together with them, as well as exploring the rainforest, all with Top Peak’s Borneo holiday tour packages. One important thing for travelers to know is jungle trekking with the Penans is so incredible as they really know the jungle inside out, they can navigate the rainforest with their eyes closed, find the ripest fruit in the jungle and slice it open for you, bringing you to the most beautiful places. Thus, this tour would have no set routes to trek, unlike in the National Parks, so the guides will just cut a way through the jungle for you to discover the rainforest of Borneo in its purest form.

 

“Only one who wanders find new paths.”
― Norwegian Proverb

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Don’t miss this when you’re in RANAU!

Don’t miss this when you’re in RANAU!

Don’t miss this when

you’re in RANAU!

08

March, 2017

Ranau is a small town which is located in Sabah, the island of Borneo. It is situated in the West Coast division of Sabah, where it is noted as a hilly geographical structure and the major producer of highland vegetables in Sabah. Ranau is inhabited almost entirely by the Dusun community and is on the highway which is connecting Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan. Ranau is also known for its tourist destinations,one of is the being Mount Kinabalu (the tallest mountain in Borneo).

However, if climbing Mount Kinabalu is not your cup of tea, there are actually few other places that travelers can go to to spend their trip in Ranau. Here, we will give a few examples of interesting places in Ranau for travelers to go.

Attractions in Ranau

Entrance of Kinabalu National Park

Attractions in Ranau

Kinabalu National Park Walkway

Attractions in Ranau

Kinabalu National Park Map Trail

Attractions in Ranau

Botanical Garden

Attractions in Ranau

Signboards Liwagu Trail

Attractions in Ranau

Jungle trekking in Kinabalu National Park

1. Kinabalu National Park

Kinabalu National Park has been recognized as a Center of Plant Diversity for Southeast Asia by UNESCO, as it contains a vast expand of pristine forest. The main attraction of the Park is the majestic Mount Kinabalu. However, if travelers did not manage to climb Mount Kinabalu, travelers can go for jungle trekking around the park headquarters. There are nine networks of trails around the park, which are the Bundu Tuhan View Trail, Kiau View Trail, Pandanus Trail, Bukit Ular trail, Bukit Tupai & Bukit Burung trail, Mempening trail, Liwagu trail, Silau Silau trail and Mountain view trail.

Walking around on the trails will allow travelers a chance to exercise those seldom used muscles and adjusting to the altitude before climbing the summit of Mount Kinabalu. In addition, travelers can have a greater chance to see birds and other small wildlife. Kinabalu National Park also has a botanical garden, where travelers can see some rare flowers that can be found in Borneo.

2. Desa Cattle Dairy Farm

Desa Cattle Dairy Farm is located at the foothill of Mount Kinabalu, approximately 8km from Kundasang town -known as “Little New Zealand in Sabah”. The farm is 199 hectares and it is a milk processing factory for cows and goats. Travelers could get the chance to see the majestic view of Mount Kinabalu in the early morning at Desa Cattle Dairy Farm. On the other hand, travelers could also take in the breathtaking view of the scenery plus enjoy the cooling breeze air at Desa Cattle Dairy Farm.

Apart from visiting Desa Cattle Dairy Farm to take in the fascinating scenery there, travelers can also do a few other activities, such as feeding calves with bottled milk, feeding goats with grass, Raw Milk Processing and Milking Process. Travelers also can purchase some souvenirs there especially the popular dairy products like Desa Cattle’s milk in a box, ice cream, yogurt, and many more to satisfy your sweet tooth.

 

Attractions in Ranau

Mount Kinabalu View in Desa

Attractions in Ranau

Desa Cows

Attractions in Ranau

Desa Farm Stone Landmark

Attractions in Ranau

Mount Kinabalu View

Attractions in Ranau

Desa Outside View

Attractions in Ranau

Young Calf in Desa

Attractions in Ranau

Desa Product - Gelato

Attractions in Ranau

Desa new product - Milk Coffee

Attractions in Ranau

Freshly made Yogurts from Desa

3. Mesilau Nature Park

Mesilau Nature Park is a great place for travelers to escape from the hot tropical sun as the climate in that area is much cooler. It is the highest point that can be accessible with automobiles, surrounded with hills and closer to the foot of Mount Kinabalu. Due to the chilly climate, there are sparsely spaced trees, but with a great range of ferns, fruiting shrubs, orchids, rhododendrons, the biggest pitcher plants in the world (Nepenthes Rajah) and other medium-height vegetation.

Mesilau Nature Park also serves as an entry point to the Mesilau trail, which used to be an alternative starting point to the Summit trail (originally started from Kinabalu Park headquarters), in order to conquer Mount Kinabalu. However, the Mesilau trail is recommended for those who are fit and sturdy due to its uneven trail which goes in a vertical manner compared to the Timpohon Summit Trail. Travelers can enjoy a nature walk in Mesilau as there are several trails that travelers can embark on, such as Kogonon trail and Nepenthes Raja trail. There are also an impressive numbers of bird species and insects that can be found in Mesilau for travelers to see.  

4. Poring Hot Spring

Poring Hot Spring is situated in the lowlands, and about 43km from Kinabalu National Park. Travelers can go there to de-stress and soak away the sores and aches of their muscles in the spring’s hot sulphuric minerals, known to have healing properties and very commonly popular among the locals.

Apart from just soaking inside the hot spring, travelers can also venture towards other attractions in the Poring Hot Spring, such as the butterfly farm, Poring Orchid Conservation Centre, the tropical garden, Rafflesia Flower site, Poring Canopy Walkway, Kipungit waterfall, Bat cave and Langanan waterfall. For more information, you can read here.

5. Lupa Masa Jungle Camp

Another interesting place for travelers to go in Ranau would be the Lupa Masa Jungle Camp. It is a place where travelers can simply just relax and enjoy the surrounding nature. A unique jungle camp that is located on the lower slopes of Mount Kinabalu National Park. The word ‘ Lupa Masa’ literally translated from Malay language means forget time, which many travelers tend to not realize the time during their stay there. It’s a place for travelers to snub their busy schedule and follow the primitive tempo of mother nature.

Just a 45 minutes walk from the village of Poring, travelers can go towards the camp and experience the jungle with guided help. Main activities that travelers can do in Lupa Masa Jungle Camp are jungle-based activities, such as guided day or night walks, wildlife sightings, bird watching, jungle survival courses, or for a relaxing time they can go for a swim in the waterfalls and rivers. We also provide a tour to Lupa Masa Jungle Camp, check out our website here.

6. Mamut Copper Mine

Here is another interesting place that not a lot people know about. Ranau was home to the largest mining project in Malaysia – Mamut Copper Mine. However, it ceased operations in 1999 because of an overflow of mixed copper flowing into the fields which caused many farmers to lose their crops and homes. Now, it has become one of the main attractions for the locals or tourists to visit, due to its incredibly beautiful scenery and refreshing air. There are basic accommodations available there, namely the Mount Kinabalu Holiday Camp.

Atrractions in Ranau

7. “Tagal” Fish Spa Sungai Moroli, Kampung Luanti

Travelers will have the chance to acquire a unique spa experience when visiting the “Tagal” Fish Spa Sungai Moroli, Kampung Luanti. “Tagal” in the local Kadazan-Dusun dialect means “no fishing”, and its purpose is to preserve the environment as well as the ecosystem of the river for the benefit of generations to come. Thus, it becomes as natural ecotourism spot. Travelers can come to Kampung Luanti for regular fish massages activity which helps to remove dead skin from the feet. Apart from the fish massages activity, travelers can also choose to go for jungle trekking, camping, relaxing and get to know ways of life of the villagers in Kampung Luanti.

8. Sabah Tea Garden

Sabah is known for its own local tea brand – Sabah Tea, which has been established since 1978. Sabah Tea Garden is the only pesticide-free tea farm in Borneo. This is one of the attractions in Ranau that travelers should not miss visiting and it is only a couple minutes away from “Tagal” Fish Spa Sungai Moroli, Kampung Luanti.

A trip to Sabah Tea Garden is both fun and educational for travelers as they can enjoy few activities while in Sabah Tea Garden, such as obstacle-crossing in the Sapaon Recreational Area, jungle trekking along the trails to the peak of Kamunsu Hill, swimming in a cool and pristine mountain water, a night walk and a tea factory tour. Needless to say, travelers could have a glimpse of sustainable agricultural practices and human development in harmony with nature on this trip. Most importantly, travelers could also enjoy freshly-made tea pancakes and Sabah Tea Pandan teh tarik from the Tea House. For more info, travelrs can check their website at Sabah Tea.

Attractions in Ranau

Sabah Tea Garden Office

Attractions in Ranau

Sabah Tea Plantations

Attractions in Ranau

Sabah Tea Garden Longhouse

Attractions in Ranau

Sabah Tea Garden Heart Landmark

Attractions in Ranau

View from Sabah Tea Garden Restaurant

Attractions in Ranau

Sabah Tea Garden Restaurant

Atrractions in Ranau

9. Kundasang War Memorial

A visit to the Kundasang War Memorial is to commemorate the brave Australian and British Prisoners of War who died in Sandakan and also during the infamous death marches to Ranau during World War II, as well as for people of North Borneo who risked their lives to help the prisoner of war. Travelers not only can learn the history but also be able to see the beautiful scenery and the 4 well-preserved gardens, namely the Australian Garden, English Garden, Borneo Garden and Contemplation Garden & Pool – representing the different nationalities..

10. Lohan Paragliding

Lohan Paragliding is the newest attractions in Ranau, located in the Sport & Paragliding Complex and is only a 10 minutes drive from Ranau town. Take off point is located at the high point in Lohan, where it offers a beautiful view of Kinabalu Park and Liwagu valley.

Fret not, travelers who wishes to experience this adventurous activity but does not know how to paraglide, there will be tandem masters who will be flying together to the landing area. Travelers could also get the chance not only to experience flying but also viewing the scenic view of Borneo jungle and districts in Sabah.

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