Day One *Up On The Mountains*
Kinabalu Park is Malaysia’s first World Heritage Site. Also the Centre of Plant Diversity for South East Asia, the Park boasts more than 5,000 vascular plant species and the Park has no shortage of fauna as well, being home to some 90 lowland mammal species and many others.
The main attraction at the Park is none other than the majestic Mount Kinabalu, one of the highest mountains in South East Asia standing at 4095.2 metres. Apart from traditional mountain climbing, visitors can also experience the Mountain Torq, the world’s highest and Asia’s first Via Ferrata or ‘iron road’ at 3,200m to 3,800m above sea level.
Surrounding the Kinabalu Park is a multitude of natural attractions and enjoyable activities. A variety of accommodation is available within the Park and in its surrounding areas, ranging from basic hostels to luxury chalets.
Poring Hot Spring * Canopy Walk *
A visit to Kinabalu Park will never be perfect without swinging by Poring Hot Springs. Situated 40 kilometers (25 miles) slightly northeast from the Parks HQ, Poring is located in the lowlands—a contrast to the Parks HQ. De-stress and soak away the sores and aches of your muscles in the spring’s hot sulphuric minerals, deemed to have healing properties and very popular among the locals.
Other than the natural hot spring main attraction at Poring Hot Springs, there are also other interesting areas in the park to be visited such as the butterfly farm, the Poring Orchid Conservation Centre, the tropical garden, the Poring canopy walkway, and the Rafflesia flower site.
For a satisfying trip to Poring Hot Springs, visitors are recommended to bring some vital things such as rubber sandals/slippers, change of clothes, towel, and swimwear.
Time estimated for journey: 7:30am – 6:00pm PRICE: RM180 FOR DAY TRIP
Day Two *Down to the Blue Ocean*
The demure island of Mantanani lies off the beaten tracks of other mainstream tourism destinations. The journey to the island begins with a two-hour drive to Kampung Kuala Abai jetty in Kota Belud, followed by another hour of riding on a speedboat.
The term ‘diver’s paradise’ may sound trite, but Mantanani Island is exactly that and more. As you plunge into the Mantanani underwater world, you’ll be simply mesmerized by neon coloured fish in intoxicating swirls, adorable clownfish playing hide and seek amidst the sea anemones, vivid coloured finger corals waving about, and vast garden of living coral reefs.
Each dive site in Mantanani offers something unique. For underwater photography enthusiasts, the view is simply to-die-for—topped off with excellent visibility.
After a whole day of diving, snorkelling or kayaking, sit back and feast your eyes on the gorgeous layers of orange hues penetrating the clouds as the sun sets.
Time estimated for journey: 7:30am – 6:30pm PRICE: RM280 FOR NON-DIVING DAY TRIP