» Malaysia: Borneo, Sabah – Mt Kinabalu the riches of rain forest
Malaysia: Borneo, Sabah – Mt Kinabalu the riches of rain forest
Mt Kinabalu (4 095 m) is one of the most important mountains in the world. It is the highest mountain of the third largest island in the world. Also, it is the highest summit between the Himalayas and New Guinea. It is twice as high as neighboring Crocker Range. On its top, there are several granite towers. A vista worthy of gods.
The mountain still grows, 5 mm a year. Mt Kinabalu is biological gem of Borneo. Here we can see obvious climate zones with different variations of soil. This makes Mt Kinabalu one of the most fertile places for plants. There are over 5 thousand plant species (more than Europe and North America combined) and some of those species are endemic to Borneo.
Kinabalu national park is listed on UNESCO world heritage list and it features original biotop. Apart form UNESCO protected area, most of the forest is artificially re-planted. A walk through the park offers you a way to rain forests and up to alpine meadows. This is a challenge to be overcome and also an event of privilege to see one of the last wonders of nature.
Lower parts of the mountain offer trek svahy hory nabízejí treky hlubokým deštným pralesem s vysokými dřevinami, palmami, bambusem a kapradinami. Zem je pokryta obrovskými mechy a nachází se zde více než 608 druhů kapradin. Když budete pozorně sledovat, můžete vidět květy raflézie, kvetou však pouze tři až pět dní v roce, měří až jeden metr v průměru a voní po zkaženém mase. Můžete slyšet hlasité nosorožce, vidět skotačící gibbony a velmi zřídka i orangutany.
As the road climbs up, lowland primaveal forests make room for pine forests (at 1300 to 2100 m). On this side of the mountain, you may easily spot ifferent species of different vegetation zones. There are rhododendrons from the Himalaya zone, Chinese-European oaks and chetnut trees, eucalyptus, tea trees typical for Australia.
By getting at higher altitude we enter the carnivorous plant zone. Their leaves are modified to capture and poison insects. Five species of this plant are unique including th huge Nepenthes rajah – the largest of carnivorous plants. This extraordinary plant uses the smell of its nectar to lure insects which it then devours and absorbs. Some plants are so huge that they can capture mice or rats even.
If you look for accommodation which would allow you to reach the top of the mountain early in the morning for the sunrise, seek in Laban Rata (3 272 m). From here, tourists usually set out as early as at 3 a.m..
Visitors wishing for climbing up the mountain should book a term even six months in advance. This can seem too much yet only 130 people are allowed to climb the summit a day.
One day for Mt Kinabalu could be enough. Should you wish to enjoy the nature, explore nature trails, or visit beautiful mountain garden near visitor's center, be sure to make more time for Mt Kinabalu.
GPS: 6°04'28.2"N 116°33'27.9"E
Text and photos: Monika Fuchsová
Borneo island consists of two parts. The souther part belongs to Indonesia, the northern to Malaysia. We are headed to the north to Sabah state which is home to many exotic plant and animal species.
After visiting North Sumatra we return to Malaysia, but this time not back to Kuala Lumpur, but heading north. We fly to the northwest coast of Malaysia, to the state of Penang (also Pinang), which consists of the main island with the capital George Town, the mainland (Seberang Perai) and other smaller islands.
From Penang harbor we set off with a small ferry to the very popular and popular tourist resort - the island of Langkawi (Pulau Langkawi). It takes about three hours to get there, and it is definitely a good idea to take something warmer, because the ferry is extremely cold due to extreme air conditioning. Outside the closed part of the ship, unfortunately, there is not much room for comfortable long journey. The island can also be transported by air, such as from Penang and Kuala Lumpur.
We have an organized a trip to Kilim Karst Geoforest Park. In fact, there is no other option, because the tour of the Geopark takes place only on the water. It is not a physically demanding trip, no visitors will enjoy much walking, but it is still worth visiting the geopark. Stretching is possible at least while swimming on a nice beach.
Our stay on the beautiful Malaysian island of Langkawi is nearing the end and the last trip is ahead. Today we set out on the most famous icon of the island, the Sky Bridge. The bridge is less than 20 kilometers by car from Pantai Cenang.
After hot days on the sunny island of Langkawi, we move to the coldest area of our journey - the Cameron Highlands. Located at a higher altitude, there are lower temperatures, which is a bit unusual for us in Malaysia. But it is nothing dramatic, the windbreaker and long pants are enough for morning and evening. Our destination for the next two nights is the city of Tanah Rata, which will also serve as a starting point for our two scheduled trips.
Our second day in the Cameron Highlands we again take a trip to the tea plantations. We take a taxi and go from Tanah Rata through the city of Brinchang to about 10 km distant Kea Farm, where roses are grown.
The sobering-up station provides sanctuary for elephants who have fallen into poacher traps or other difficulties. They use their own elephants, who are very ethically trained here (do not really expect any circus, here it helps). Injured elephants are undergoing rehabilitation and, if possible, their return to nature. The station also takes care of moving elephants due to the ever-increasing agricultural area. The employees are doing a really beautiful job here, be sure to come to support them.
Our last day in Malaysia has come. We don't want to go too far from Kuala Lumpur and we also enjoyed the beaches a lot, so we will visit the city of Putrajaya. It has served as a federal territory since 2001 and is the planned capital and administrative center of Malaysia. The seat of government moved here as early as 1999 due to the congestion of the existing capital Kuala Lumpur. However, the king, parliament and embassies are still based here.
The capital of Malaysia is famous mainly thanks to the Petronas Twin Towers, the tallest double building in the world. But the most interesting thing about it is its diversity and both national and architectural diversity. The city is one of the important centers of international trade and you will know at a glance that it is a really rich city. And also one of the most visited cities in the world. Let's now look together at what awaits you as a traveler.
Singapore is a relatively small city-state that rises above other states in Southeast Asia by being highly economically developed and economically ferocious. With nearly 6 million inhabitants, it is one of the most populous states in the world, which is also due to the high level of migration. Everybody in Singapore would simply want to live.
The most interesting, most visited and beautiful place in Malaysia. Today we visit a city, which should not be on the list of any traveler. Just two hours southwest of Kuala Lumpur, we meet the city of Melaka, the capital of the Malaysian state of the same name. This historic city was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008.
A quiet island with white beaches, turquoise sea and an unspoiled underwater world is the dream of each of us. Have you ever heard of this little paradise? Thanks to the white beaches, the island was named Pulau Kapas or "Cotton Island". (Kapas means "cotton" in Malay, Pulau "island").
Would you like to enjoy viewing sunset while enjoying the best vista over Mount Kinabalu? Go up Kokol Hill. The hill is situated mere hour by car ride from Kota Kinabalu town. On your way, you may see different plant species which look like overhanging green carpets.
Mount Kinabalu, one of the highest summits in southeast Asia, is one of the main landmarks in the park. The mountain is 4 095,2 meters high. Next to traditional mountain climbing you may try to visit Torq mountain, the highest and also the very first ferrata in Asia which is situated at 3 200 to 3 800 meters. The greatest of adventurers may enjoy other activities such as alpine climbing, paragliding or undertake a mountain expedition.
Nexus Resort Karambunai offers 236 luxurious rooms situated in the center of the garden. From there you get an amazing vista over a golf course or a beach. Moreover, the resort features 243 nicely furnished Deluxe Ocean Wing type rooms.
In Kota Kinabalu we can recommend October Coffee House. It's a stylish café with great coffee. If you need to connect to the internet and send some photos or mails home, you will be happy. It does not run too fast, but you can shorten your wait by eating delicious cakes. Connecting to the world is no problem here ...
One of the most prestigious sights in Kota Kinabalu stands on a prominent spot along the road to Signal Hill. This whole-wooden structure was built to commemorate Francis George Atkinson, the first district officer of Jesselton during the British administration of Borneo.
Architecturally stunning cities, tea plantations, tropical rainforests, historical landmarks and white beaches. Welcome to Malaysia, a multicultural country with strong influences from China, India and the rest of Southeast Asia.
Are you attracted by the clear sea, which with its crystal color resembles the Maldives, but it is not the Maldives? Who wouldn't want to see a real paradise with their own eyes. Perhentian Islands is an archipelago of two islands with white sandy beaches, coconut palms and turquoise sea on the east coast of Malaysia.
Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park (aka Tunku Abdul Rahman – TAR – Marine Park) is situated by the coastline of Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. It consists of five islands – Gaya, Manukan, Sapi, Sulug and Mamutik.
We bring you next part of our Borneo series. Let's see where we went next.
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