A “See-It-All” Trip In One Day: Kota Kinabalu

Getting disoriented in an Upside Down House (so far, the only one in Malaysia), enjoying the majestic view of Mt. Kinabalu (the highest mountain in South East Asia), walking on a 8 storeys high canopy walkway at Poring Hot Spring and witnessing Holstein Friesian Cattle at Desa Cow Farm. All done in a day! Interested? Read on.

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I had the opportunity to join a tour organized by 1TourAdventure the other day to the above interesting places. Together with me joining this tour is a family of four who came here to attend their son’s graduation ceremony at a local university while taking the opportunity to visit this beautiful land.

Our journey started very early at 7.30a.m.. After done picking up the family, we head straight to our first destination which is the Upside Down House. As the name suggested, we saw a typical local house which was built upside down, a car porch (with a car, upside down too) and an upside down garden too. At the time of this writing, this was the only one in Malaysia. It amazed me how they ‘glued’ and ‘nailed’ everything from as small and light as a small cup to item as big and as heavy as a car and a fridge? We also noted during our visit, there were particularly large number of visitors visiting this place probably due to ongoing school holidays and graduation ceremony  from a local university.

Family of four following this tour with the upside down house in the background
Family of four following this tour with the upside down house in the background
Upside Down House map layout
Upside Down House map layout
Upside down Christmas decorative
Upside down Christmas decorative at the entrance

Our next destination was Nabalu Handicraft market which was located along the journey to Kinabalu Park. Nabalu used to be a small town  in its old days but in recent years, lots of tourists prefers to stop by this small town for a short rest after a long journey heading to Kinabalu Park from Kota Kinabalu, just to take a glimpse at the majestic view of Mt Kinabalu. There was a platform as well as a tower built specially for this purpose. Oh, and after a long journey, if you’re not comfortable taking a pee by the roadside (of course i’m not here to advocate), there’s plenty of toilets here too. The main attraction of this small town aside those mentioned above was of course the Nabalu Handicraft Market. There were all kinds of local products sold here including soft toys, replicas of local musical instrument such as “gong”, T-shirts, tidbits, key chains, fruits and foods. There were so many things sold here that one can hardly resist not to get themselves anything for souvenir. We spent about 30 minutes here before we proceeded to our next destination, the Kinabalu Park.

Basically it means "Welcome to Nabalu Town market"
Basically it means “Welcome to Nabalu Town market”
Decorative made from sea shells.
Decorative made from sea shells.

KPORING 06

KPORING 08

 

Replica of "Gong", a type of local musical instrument.
Replica of “Gong”, a type of local musical instrument.
Platform to enjoy the majestic view of Mt. Kinabalu. Unfortunately on the day of visit, it was covered heavily with clouds.
Platform to enjoy the majestic view of Mt. Kinabalu. Unfortunately on the day of visit, it was covered heavily with clouds.

By the time we reached Kinabalu Park, it was about 11a.m. in the morning. Kinabalu Park was also famous as the starting/ending point for those who’s climbing Mt. Kinabalu (another one is at Timpohon).   If you’re not climbing, there are plenty to see and do as Kinabalu Park was designated by UNESCO as one of the world heritage in 2000 . One of them is to explore the 9 trails which can take from shortest, 7 minutes to  longest 3 hours to complete. Here, you can explore all the unique flora and fauna not easily witness from other part of the world. If you’re not the adventurous type,  you may opt to stay at one of the cabins here for a night, just simply sit down and relax, enjoying the scenery of the tropical rain forest. For my trip, our time was quite jam packed with lots of other destinations so we only had an hour to spare at the park. We managed to drop by at the starting/ending point on the mountain climbing trail as well as the Kinabalu Park Gallery that displays replicas of flora and fauna that form part of the Kinabalu Park ecology.

Entrance to Kinabalu Park
Entrance to Kinabalu Park
Starting point at Timpohon gate to reach summit of Mt. Kinabalu
Starting point at Timpohon gate to reach summit of Mt. Kinabalu
Tour guide Nazri explaining his experience scaling Mt. Kinabalu many years ago
Tour guide Nazri explaining his experience scaling Mt. Kinabalu many years ago
These two had just arrived at the starting/ending point from the summit of Mt. Kinabalu
These two had just arrived at the starting/ending point from the summit of Mt. Kinabalu
Some exhibits at the Kinabalu Park Gallery
Some exhibits at the Kinabalu Park Gallery

Our next stop was Poring Hot Spring. It is one of the famous tourist spots one should not miss if this is the first time you are visiting Kota Kinabalu. As the name suggested, the main attraction at this place is the hot spring, and the reason people come here to soak themselves in this hot spring is because of its therapeutic contents of the water which is claimed to be able to cure different kinds of skin diseases. If soaking in the hot spring is not your thing, there are plenty to do. Poring Hot Spring has some of the interesting jungles trails for you to explore and experience the untouched rain forest flora and fauna. One of the trails will lead you to the Langanan Waterfall, which is about 120 meters tall and claimed to be one of the tallest waterfalls in Sabah. If none of the above interested you, there’s one more challenging activity and that is to walk across the famous poring canopy walkway, which we did. The canopy walkway was hanging about 43 meters from the ground and was about 175 meters long so it may not be suitable for those with height phobia. However if one dares to walk across such canopy, there are plenty to see from this height especially the panaromic view of the dense tropical rain forest.

Map layout @ Poring Hot Spring
Map layout @ Poring Hot Spring

KPORING 16

 

The Hot Spring.
The Hot Spring

KPORING 18

Canopy Walkway
Canopy Walkway
We're surrounded by giant trees
We’re surrounded by giant trees
Scenic view from the canopy walkway
Scenic view from the canopy walkway

After done with Poring Hot Spring, our next destination was Desa Cattle Dairy Farm. The cattle bred here are of Holstein Friesians breed and  is the highest milk producers of all cattle breeds. They say you can only see these in New Zealand but I say you can see these in Sabah too. the Cattle Dairy Farm is located at Kundasan. The factory has the Mt.Kinabalu as the backdrop and a large open field of green grass where the the cattles were roaming around, similar to that of New Zealand. There are plenty to see and learn particularly for little kids who’s wondering how milk is produced.

Holstein Friesians
Holstein Friesians
View of Mt Kinabalu was obstructed by heavy cloud
View of Mt Kinabalu was obstructed by heavy cloud

KPORING 24

Milking session
Milking session
KPORING 26
Are they adorable?

KPORING 27

Products with their respective pricing at the farm
Products with their respective pricing at the farm

Our journey ends at 5.30p.m., reaching Kota Kinabalu at around 7pm. Overall, these has being quite an interesting experience for myself. Too see these many things in a day was quite tiring but the experience gained was valuable. For those who’s interested, you may contact 1TourAdventure for above package or vehicle hiring for your visit to the above places.

Our road map below for your reference:

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