Kinabalu Forum – Where we could do something with SSL

At last…

After 2 years of struggling online with website and 1 year with this blog, it is about time for me to open Mount Kinabalu more to the online community.

Frankly speaking, I hate the booking system by Sutera Sanctuary Lodges (SSL). It was bearable 2 years ago, but it was getting horrible. Initially, booking with them was really easy, even a walk-in travelers/climbers could get a place to climb. You could even tailor made your trip so that you could save some money by DIY-ing (do-it-yourself) the package, and don’t have to pay hefty amount of money to tour and travel operator which sometimes unbearable for budget travelers.

However, since they started a new booking system, it is getting harder and harder to book a place to climb.

They even “upgrade” their services by packaging the climbing trip, and sell it to clients as a package. Clients don’t have a choice but to take the packages to climb, otherwise they would not sell it. But if you see the price – you might choke to death.

Tour & travel operators also feels the heat. As third party service provider, they have to sell the pre-packaged climbing trip which has been prepared by SSL to their clients, and even mark-up the price some more.

Some “BIG” travel & tour operators also plays dirty with SSL. They pre-booked the beds in Laban Rata in bulk.

Imagine this situation: There are 130+ beds in Laban Rata. Most of those BIG operators pre-book the beds, at least one operator will book 20-30 beds one shot. If 7 out of 100+ tour operators here in Kota Kinabalu take the booking, there would be no more places for climbers to book. Small / sole operators like ME don’t even have a chance. You need to be really, really BIG FISH with BIG CABLE to tie up with SSL’s “BOSSES” to get the privilege.

You know how ridiculous is their problem? Once, I got a feedback from their reservation saying that all the beds are fully booked, but the booking just opened for 2 hours! Who the hell in this world could buy all 130+ beds in Laban Rata in just 2 hours?

Hmm… Now you were asking… Why not complaint this to the authority? Well, I must say that – THE STATE GOVERNMENT KNEW ABOUT IT. But they could not do anything, as SSL has a VERY BIG cable with the Boleh Land government. I am getting sicker when I knew that also.

So, who are the losing party here?

  1. You & me – as we are only a small matter to them.
  2. Our beloved Kinabalu – as more and more commercialize climbing (that means PROFIT taking) by only ONE sole provider, without the intention to CONSERVE the mountain. Hell… If they say they are actively involve in CONSERVATION of the mountain, they are LYING. Sabah Parks is one of the government body who is responsible for the mountain’s CONSERVATION project, but NOT SSL.

I am sorry Sabahan, but the Sabah state government sucks big time on this issues. I am hoping that Masidi Manjun read this, and if he thinks that he is the better MP for Sabah, he should be doing something. It is his portfolio – tourism. (Still, I love my wife!)

Stop this “the only sole provider thingy” for climbers of Kinabalu. It’s hurting everybody from all over the world knowing that this issues are making them disappointed when asking me for a help on their climbing trip.

This is just a beginning. I am planning to get voices from climbers from all over the world who thinks that Mount Kinabalu is “raped”.

But at this moment, I have set up a forum portal for all Kinabalu climbers from around the world to share their opinion. And you are invited to join.

*As on 13 August 2013, the forum page no longer exist. Sorry for the inconvenience. Thank you.*

This entry was posted in General on by .

About drizad

A self employed General Practitioner who lives with his lovely family in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. He dedicates his spare time serving people with precious information on climbing the Majestic Mountain of the Borneo, Mt Kinabalu. Reachable at drizad(at)

52 thoughts on “Kinabalu Forum – Where we could do something with SSL

  1. J

    Hi all,
    I am planning to climb Mt. Kinabalu during my travel to Borneo from 23Aug to 6Sep 2014. I just went to the Sutera Sanctuary Lodge homepage but I cannot find any possibility to make a reservation for Laban Rata Resthouse. (I don’t want to book a package; I am only looking for a bed (one night) in Laban Rata Resthouse.
    Would be great if anybody can share is recent experiences.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.