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Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Borneo

Updated on January 18, 2015

Kota Kinabalu and The Surrounding Rain Forests and Jungles

Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah, northern (Malaysian) Borneo and is the usual tourist entry point for this part of Borneo. Kota Kinabalu has modern, almost western-style hotels and an airport with flights from Kuala Lumpur (KL). Many people stay in Kota Kinabalu (or "KK") as a base for exploring the surrounding rain forests.

Kota Kinabalu is a fantastic location on the coast next to the Kinabalu mountain, with wonderful beaches and clear water. It is possible to do day-trips to bits of rainforest and other attractions and still enjoy the beach resorts and the comfort of a US style hotel with a golf course. I however think that unless you stay in the jungle you are cheating.

This article is about this fascinating part of Borneo and photos of the Flora and Fauna.

Kota Kinabalu, Borneo

Map of Kota Kinabalu, Borneo - Where is Kota Kinabalu?

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Excursions from Kota Kinabalu - Places to stay near KK

Just two hours from the Kota Kinabalu, along the Crocker Ranges by car and you are in the Kinabalu Park, which would have been quite feasible as a day trip from a beach hotel, but could be the first leg of a more adventurous journey into the jungle. Nature walks, orchids a botanical garden and two rather low-standard museums (both apparently the same). Lunch is available at the rather rustic Wildlife mountain lodge, which also offers basic accommodation and dinner. Not great, but comfortable enough for an overnight stay.

Travelling through the park you can explore the lowland dipterocarp forest then Poring hot-springs, which is a kind of Malaysian theme park where people sit around in warm smelly water. There is also a canopy walkway. A scary series of long suspended narrow bridges hanging between trees at about 40 metres which allows you to view wildlife in the canopy. The butterfly farm is quite amusing in that it only has a few living butterflies in it, and yet hundreds of huge butterflies are visible just outside in the jungle, through the netting.

Gomantong caves

Heading east for about 4 hours takes you to Sandakan via some wonderful scenery and the Gomantong caves, which is where edible birds nests are harvested. These are worth a visit. Damp and smelly and full of cockroaches, bats and huge mounds of bat poo, but you can see the harvesting taking place, and the amusing pig-tailed macaques outside.

I was lucky enough to see a mother and baby Orangutan in the trees just outside the caves. We got a little too close and were rewarded with a sprinkling which is the standard monkey number one defense (we didn't hang around for number two)

Kinabalu Mountain

The Main Road from KK

Borneo Gifts and Souvenirs

Please Leave Some Feedback

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    • Andy-Po profile image
      Author

      Andy 4 years ago from London, England

      @penmypage: Thank you very much. The photo was taken while I was being "rushed" to hospital, with a nasty tropical illness, so I wasn't too sure where I was (or didn't care particularly). It was the most direct route the driver could find (hence the name I gave it) but we were effectively on the edge of a rain forest after a very violent rain storm. I don't think it would normally have looked quite that bad.

      It sounds like your bus journey was just as unpleasant though.

    • profile image

      penmypage 4 years ago

      Good stuff! I have not encountered the muddy road of "main road from KK..." Where and when was the photo taken? Ive travelled by bus from KK to Sandakan. the road was pretty windy and the scenery was great. but dont think i will ever bus it again. i dont mind the ride but not the smell of the toilet (a hard lesson learnt). i love the photo of Mount Kinabalu - its gorgeous.

    • elyria profile image

      elyria 6 years ago

      Beautiful Lens and amazing photos! I was so close to Borneo this summer but didn't have enough time to visit, would love to go back sometime soon as it looks so amazing!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 7 years ago

      I loved your Orangutan story. My husband took his baby son (now a teenager) to the L.A. Zoo quite regularly, and one of the Orangutans developed a maternal crush. Probably because he had flaming orange hair much like her own. Anyway, the mama orangutan would scream and throw poo at my husband whenever he went near the cage with his red-headed son. Great lens, as usual. I'm not sure I would cross that flimsy bridge. Maybe after a few margaritas!

    • profile image

      audioguidemalaysia 7 years ago

      Trekking the jungles of Sabah is like being thrown in a Lord Of The Rings elf forest. Misty and mossy, the views are spectacular and almost magical. Audio Guide Malaysia

    • Andy-Po profile image
      Author

      Andy 7 years ago from London, England

      @julieannbrady: Yes, THMnews has visited quite a few of my lenses although I'm not sure how many have been featured yet. Have you had any featured by them?

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 7 years ago

      Oh goodness me -- a canopy walkway surely is a THRILL to try! [Gosh, Andy! I see that thmnews has been around to your lens too -- have you seen it featured yet?]

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      This lens is awesome. I love it. I am going to tell my editors on my Thai News website to write something about this lens and probably feature it.

      I will comment here again once we do.

      Great Work

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      This lens is awesome. I love it. I am going to tell my editors on my Thai News website to write something about this lens and probably feature it.

      I will comment here again once we do.

      Great Work

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 7 years ago from United States

      Mmm..now I just might have to cheat! While I am still quite capable of "ruffing it", at my age, why should I if I have a choice:) Of course, I would probably be voted down by the men and have to stay in a hut.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Your pictures are breath taking, your lenses always leave me feeling so envious of the travelling you do Andy. And I just love the Ape-Rons! SquidAngel Blessings for you.