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Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Borneo
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?
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.
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)