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The biggest tourist attraction in the Malaysian state of Sabah is Mt. Kinabalu. This 13,435-foot granite peak, a UNESCO World Heritage site and Malaysia’s highest mountain, is actually still growing (around one-fifth of an inch a year) and from its summit in clear weather you can see as far as the Philippines. Around 60,000 people a year reach the top of Kinabalu, which involves sorting out permits and guides with the national park and preparing for a two-day adventure of some difficulty. Recently, a more challenging via ferrata (fixed climbing route) mountaineering style course has become available – ideal for those looking for an extreme ...

The biggest tourist attraction in the Malaysian state of Sabah is Mt. Kinabalu. This 13,435-foot granite peak, a UNESCO World Heritage site and Malaysia’s highest mountain, is actually still growing (around one-fifth of an inch a year) and from its summit in clear weather you can see as far as the Philippines. Around 60,000 people a year reach the top of Kinabalu, which involves sorting out permits and guides with the national park and preparing for a two-day adventure of some difficulty. Recently, a more challenging via ferrata (fixed climbing route) mountaineering style course has become available – ideal for those looking for an extreme Kinabalu experience. The national park also offers gentle, lower altitude trails for those who are more interested in spotting flora and fauna than testing the limits of their endurance. There are daily guided walks and a mountain garden behind the visitors center. Around the mountain other attractions include the Mesilau Nature Resort (which provides an alternative access route to the summit), the Kundasang War Memorial, the Poring Hot Springs, which also has an orchid garden, butterfly farm and canopy walkway, and the busy night market in the village of Ranau.

Simon Richmond
About the Expert

Simon Richmond has written Rough Guides to Malaysia and Japan; Lonely Planet guides to India and Russia; and adventure travel guides for Frommer's on Australia, India, South America, and Southeast Asia.

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Simon Richmond for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    It's hot and humid year round with the heaviest rainfall from November to April. Above 11,000 feet on Mt. Kinabalu temperatures can drop to freezing - be prepared.