SABAH | Kinabalu Park

Still elated from a wonderful day before, I was excited looking forward to exploring some parts of the Kinabalu Park and eventually seeing Mt. Kinabalu, the main reason why I booked this trip. We didn’t have an itinerary as we fully trusted our tourist guide/driver, Faizal to bring us to wherever the beautiful sights are and where we can experience adventure at. We assumed a long travel time but seeing a rainbow and a view so breathtaking was such a sweet surprise considering we’re not at our destination yet. Along the way, we requested for several stop overs and one initiated by Faizal because of a beautiful backdrop. Upon seeing Mt. Kinabalu’s peak for the first time, I was trilled and was really torn between just appreciating what’s before me or take as many pictures of it as much as I can. I was a bit sentimental at this point – that’s how a big deal it was for me – however shallow it may seem. But this is the realization of something I longed for that I was so graciously blessed by God with. And so it was but right to have a picture of me, the mountain as a backdrop (using Ate Carina’s camera phone for a longer selfie stick) but only to find out that it wasn’t saved at all due to lack of storage. And by the time I ought to try again, we had to go. Bummer!

Pekan Nabalu Market

Our first stop was at Pekan Nabalu Market where you can find lots of souvenirs and a breathtaking panoramic view of the mountain. I was so trilled to know this only to be heartbroken in the end. Yes, I’m that mababaw. Let me tell you why – upon arriving, I had to go to the comfort room immediately. At that point, I only had with me my toiletry kit. Once finished, the moment I stepped outside and looked to my right, there it was, so beautiful. Since I left my camera inside the van, I proceeded to where it was parked and had known from Ate Carina (who waited for me) that the others left and headed towards the souvenir stalls to shop. I had no choice but to proceed buying some pasalubongs too. I was itchy all throughout wishing we’d somehow finish already so that I can go to the platform and enjoy the view of the mountain I came here for. When at last we’re done, I rejoiced deep inside and happily went back to the van to put our things. We waited until Faizal and Tito Loy were back. Once I gotten a hold of my camera, I hurriedly walked towards a pathway what seemed to me a short cut only to be told by Faizal that it’s “sarado na.” So I asked what did he mean by that. He seemed amused that I didn’t get it so he ushered me to where we can have a good view then pointed towards it and then I saw what he meant for me to see – clouds already covering mostly the peak’s part. That moment I didn’t know exactly how I felt but I had to stop myself from crying. Yes, I was that emotional. ha ha ha Because I missed seeing it more, its magnificence through a panoramic view. I felt I let go of an opportunity of a lifetime. Anyhow, more than this disappointment, I was grateful still and didn’t let this dampen my spirit because I know we still have so many to experience that day.

Moroli Fish Spa

Our next destination was a natural fish spa located in the neighboring town of Ranau. We only paid MYR15  (if I remember it right) for the entrance fee and MYR5 for the fish food. This was my first time to see such and though I was keen on trying, I was still adamant at some point. And decided finally not to upon seeing how big the fishes are! This was so funny, really! I was expecting tiny fishes placed in a basin where you can put your feet for the procedure but this one in particular will just make you thread on the water, and have the fishes bite at your feet with gusto. And it tickled big time! I had to stop myself from laughing so hard because I had a tendency to pee accidentally! ha ha ha It’s a big feat though, fighting, I tell you even so because I tend to get carried away by other people’s laughter. The more I decided to just watch them enjoy themselves. And I didn’t regret it at all! :)

Poring Hot Spring

We headed afterwards to Tropical Riverside Restaurant for lunch. We ordered one particular set on the menu to save time and have variety of what the restaurant can offer. As we were on schedule, as soon as we’re finished, we left for Poring Hot Spring. They all were looking forward to this especially Tito Romy and Tita Medy as they want something to soothe their bodies and somehow have a therapeutic experience through the healing properties of the sulphuric minerals from the springs. De-stressing was such a welcome escape too. As I didn’t join them, I took the opportunity to take pictures of the surroundings and of course, of them too. After which I just sat down and kept an eye of their belongings. As I noticed them transferring from one man-made pools (or tubs), and finally settled, our tourist guide ushered them to take a shower to finish as we still have to go for the canopy walk. This was kinda funny as they seemed complaining for an unfinished business! but all was well as we’re off to another minor adventure…

Canopy Walkway

I didn’t expect this. During a conversation with Faizal, he mentioned we’re going to a dairy farm on our way back. But realizing we’re not going to make it as it closes early, he ushered us instead to a more accessible one we can readily enjoy, just inside Poring vicinity – the Canopy Walkway. I was game of course (I disregarded the fact that I am afraid of heights – can’t let this opportunity pass by), but Ate Fe and Tito Loy were hesitant but proceeded anyway with our encouragement. I was happy we’re going to explore the forest and canopy together. Considering they just had a “hot bath”, it’s not comfy for them as we were ascending towards to canopy starting point. I had to have a bubbly disposition to encourage them more or so I thought I succeeded completely. And then when it’s our turn to cross the canopy walkway, which is approximately 40 meters high (I read this somewhere), I realized both of them really have a great fear of heights, to that extent that their hands were shaking, they’re perspiring too much and Ate Fe had to close her eyes while crossing. This particular realization humbled me, I knew how both of them wanted for us four to enjoy our stay in Malaysia and have fun, and them joining us through was simply remarkable. What they had to endure made me appreciate their presence and accommodation more. True enough, our Sabah trip wouldn’t be this fun and memorable if they weren’t with us! I know it wasn’t easy, I had my bouts of catching my breath too but we did it together. And that for me was enough to regard this experience in a sentimental way. I’m beyond grateful.

Kinabalu Park Viewing Deck

Finally, this was where we’re supposed to stay the longest, my most anticipated destination on our 2nd day in Sabah  – Kinabalu Park viewing deck. Before the others were able to join me, I went here first, alone savouring the moment. The minute our vehicle stopped I hurriedly stepped down and headed straight here. This is at the entry way to the trails, a place we were brought to – that is very special for me. When we arrived, it was so foggy and cold considering the altitude and besides, it’s almost dusk. But that moment, I braved it knowing that it’s my last chance to see Mt. Kinabalu (it’s peak, at least). At this point I was truly happy. The one thing I was waiting for, and it’s worth the patience and endurance!

Years ago, when I decided that one day I’m going to travel to Kota Kinabalu, this is the only thing in my mind. I want to see (at least, because climbing is impossible for me) Mt. Kinabalu. The fact that its rock peak is a kind of granite pluton makes it all the more interesting. And here I was, basking on its magnificence. The place was enchanting and I couldn’t ask for a better atmosphere than this. Almost perfect and I was able to see what I came here for – I can gladly say mission accomplished. I feel so blessed!

We left the area as we still have a long trip and it’s already getting dark. But we stopped awhile along the road going down at another vantage point to view the peak and I was given ample time to have my pictures taken even though that meant delaying our travel time back to the city. So grateful, I will definitely not forget this wonderful experience. It really brought joy to my heart! :)

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3 thoughts on “SABAH | Kinabalu Park

    1. Hello Fran! :) It’s been a long time. I’m so glad to hear from you. Yes, I have planned this years before because I really wanna see Mt. Kinabalu. Really hoping someday I get to travel to Peninsular Malaysia. I’m eyeing to explore Cameron Highlands, Malacca and Penang. :) By then, I wish to see you personally. How are you, by the way? Hope to get in touch with you through Instagram. :)

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