HISTORY OF MOUNT KINABALU
The gentle giantess sits on the Eastern State of Sabah and soars 4095m high above the clouds and into the realms of impeccable beauty, Mount Kinabalu takes the seat as the tallest peak between The Himalayas and The Guinea.
From tropical mountain forest to rich sub-alpine vegetations, Mount Kinabalu is an unparalleled experience as you journey amidst the mountain mist with the rainforest filling your lungs with awe. Avid climbers of Mount Kinabalu have said that no two sunrise are alike on that cloud-ringed peak, what we know for sure is that Mount Kinabalu is the pinnacle for every thrill-seeker’s South East Asian escapade.
In 2000, Mount Kinabalu was included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List to preserve and protect its natural heritage. It also has been designed as a Centre of Plant Diversity for South East Asia.
Hiking to the peak takes at least two days. The first day boils down to a night’s stay at the 11,000 feet rest house before continuing on to the summit next day at 2:30am for a chance to be rendered speechless by the crack of dawn 4095m high.
THE LEGEND OF MOUNT KINABALU
Kinabalu ’s name is a mystery. The most popular view derives it from the Kadazan words, Aki Nabalu, meaning the revered place of the dead’. The local Kadazan people believe that spirits dwell on the mountain top.
According to another folklore, the name Kinabalu actually means ‘Cina Balu’ which translates into ‘Chinese widow’. Legend goes that a Chinese prince ascended the mountain in search of a huge pearl guarded by a ferocious dragon.
After his successful conquest, he married a Kadazan woman. But he soon abandoned her and returned to China. Heartbroken, his wife wandered to the mountains to mourn. There, she turned into stone.
FLORA AND FAUNA
When you are not in a hurry-scurry up Mount Kinabalu, look closer and you may spot some rare Borrneo blossoms. The pristine forest is an aisle blessed with an astonishing 5,000 flowering plants, marvel at the parade of giant pitcher plants, wild orchids, waterfalls, exotic birds’ nest fern and a multitude of endemic species of flora & fauna as you take on Mount.Kinabalu. The vast array of flora and fauna species to be discovered on Mount Kinabalu has continually attracted, enthralled, and at times even perplexed botanists and zoologist.
There is much beauty to see within and surrounding Kinabalu National Park. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000, the first in Malaysia, for its exceptional biological quality. Kinabalu Park encompasses a total area of 75,400 hectares, making it larger than Singapore… there is definitely something in there to be rendered speechless from.
The terrain boasts a lush tropical rainforest at the park’s lowest altitude while further up reigns the rhondendrons and coniferous forests that lounges in a more temperate climate.
The flora amidst the Mount Kinabalu blossom and bask beautifully in perfect altitudes and temperature. The celebrated Pitcher Plant (Nepenthes) are scattered all over Kinabalu Park. There are about nine species of pitcher plants and most of them can be found at the altitude of 2,702m to 3,200m.
As you journey to Laban Rata (3.272m), an abundance of white orchids basking near muddy rocks might steal your attention and elevate the sores and fatigue. Though they are small and hardly noticeable but seeing them in abundance as they lace the trails can really be a sight for sore eyes.