A lot of complaints.
A lot of rants.
A lot of rage.
The issue: Sutera Sanctuary Lodges monopolize Mount Kinabalu for their own profits.
They never wants to listen to our grouses on how expensive their climbing packages are, as long as they are the only available solution for Kinabalu climbers.
It started early this year, January 2008, when they packaged their climbing trip. They also pre-sold all the beds to big travel & tourism company increasing the price, to reap all the profits. That moves had also make us difficult to book a bed in Laban Rata.
Try calling them and ask for a bed 6 months in advance. They will say that their booking is not open yet.
Try calling them again next 2 days – 5 months 29 days. And they will said that the beds are full in Laban Rata. Who do you think have the power and money to book all 140 beds in Laban Rata in that very short time?
Try call them at this number: +6088-243629. Considered yourself lucky if you can get through.
Considered yourself double lucky if there is still bed for you in Laban Rata. They won’t tell you whether you get a heated or non-heated one.
Considered yourself triple lucky if you got the Laban Rata Resthouse – where the restaurant and heated rooms are.
Gone are the days when you can D-I-Y your trip up to Low’s Peak, where you could pay merely over RM150 for all the expenses – provided we bring our food ourselves.
The package that they created is compulsory. You cannot omit even a single item in the package – that includes the food. And that move have skyrocketed the prices, even worse during this uncertainty of fuel prices and inflation.
I pity those solo climbers, backpackers and budget travelers. Even more for our own Malaysian citizen & students. The revised pricing structure really did not help us all.
It also hurts Mount Kinabalu’s image. Somebody wrote a bad review on climbing Kinabalu in Lonely Planet Borneo, it’s latest edition. It seems that climbing the mountain is actually the easy part. The hard part is getting the accommodation booking.
Buy the Lonely Planet Borneo if you have money and see it for yourself. I don’t think I would waste another RM79.90 just to get to see the bad reviews on Kinabalu.
It also hurts my last climb up the mountain with Special Olympics athletes. They have to revise their expenses to divert the money to Sutera Sanctuary Lodges. A big chunk of it. A lot of volunteers also complaints, not about the organizer, but about the accommodation provider.
You will be surprised, despite the price increase, that Laban Rata Resthouse is still in a pity mode.
Frequent heated water disruptions.
Leaks – not the roof leak, but plumbing leaks, which leads to flooding of the restaurant by the water from somebody bathing & maybe peeing upstairs.
The food taste really horrible.
The price of their a la carte menu & are ridiculous.
Well, this post really sound seditious. I could get caught and put behind bars because of my writings. But did I tell lies?
No I don’t.
Yesterday I spoke to one of my patient. A senior expatriate who have live here in KK for the past 30 over years. He also aired out his concern on what Sutera did, and how they really hurt the industry. He said he is going to speak directly to Sutera manager and get things straight.
I hope he could at least help us all.
At this moment, what we could do is to get together and voice out our concern. I could not do this by myself through this small blog. Sutera never cares. They know that my writings won’t even dent their cashflow.
Join me in the facebook. (Get one for yourself. It’s free.)
Poke me inside. Add me as your friend.
And the best thing to do is join the cause by KaKiAyAm; Mount Kinabalu – belongs to NO ONE else.
We need a big number to get the ball rolling.
Writing to the government is a waste of time.
They don’t read your letter. They don’t care about your email, and most probably your email will end up in their spam box.
The Sabah state government knew. Maybe they also have vested interest with Sutera? Who knows? They just don’t care.
If they really care, they should regulate the pricing structure.
If they really care, they would not have agree on the price increase.
Try asking for quotation for 2009 climbing package from Sutera. Get ready to get shock.
Stay tune to this blog.
You may want to climb other mountain first – Tambuyukon or Trusmadi, here in Sabah. They don’t have this much issue, but the climb are harder. Good thing is, Sutera is not involve with these 2 beautiful mountains.
Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri (I know it’s late)… Maaf Zahir & Batin.