New 2008 rule for climbers of Kinabalu

I heard rumours about new rules and regulations by Sabah Park Authorities for climbers of Mount Kinabalu. Starting from 1st January 2008, all climbers who decided to climb Mount Kinabalu MUST apply for the CLIMBING PERMIT first, before proceeding to book accommodation from Sutera Sanctuary Lodges.

Not like the existing booking system, whereby you must book your accommodation with Sutera Sanctuary Lodges first and only get the climbing permit the day you start your climb.

I think the Sabah State government is getting their hands on this whole booking-accommodation-with-one-provider thing, as they may have realize that there is a very big flaw and issues on our heritage site. *Some* parties are making huge money out of this issues and it is about time they do something.

At the time I wrote this post, no specific guidelines that I could give as the discussion is still on going. They have to create a new booking mechanism for climbers, and I am still waiting for them to announce it as soon as possible.

You can discuss the issues in the comment area, and hopefully *somebody* from the authority will listen to our voices.

Watch this space for new updates.

This entry was posted in Mount Kinabalu 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)

15 thoughts on “New 2008 rule for climbers of Kinabalu

  1. Leong

    Hi Drizad,

    What are the differences if nbooking either one at first??
    Is that mean Sabah Park is taking over the booking control rather than SSL ?


  2. drizad Post author

    So far, I have not heard any confirmation of any arrangement between those two parties. Hopefully I will get the news ASAP, and surely, there will be some changes on the booking mechanism for Mount Kinabalu climbers.

  3. Wai Hoong

    I hav booked and made the payment for SSL. Then how about the climbing permit do it half year early, or do you hav sabah Park’s phone number. If the new rules impli it will create some problem do u think so.

  4. drizad

    Wai Hoong: Most likely your confirmed booking with SSL is not affected by this new rule, as they are only planning to do it starting from 1st Jan 2008.

    Sabah Parks number: 088-211881

    And yes, with or without the new rules, there will always be problems. Just hope that the problem will not affect the climbers too much.

  5. Jenifer

    No matter what kind of new system is implemented, if the controlling party is not independent from the *some* parties, it will not work. I sure do hope they are independent and that we can see some improvement.

  6. Andreas Lautz

    After several times of stay in Mt. kinabalu park ONLY for to VISIT BIRDS, i don’t look forward of this new system of permitts.
    What about all of us (and i have met a lot of birders the years past) who don’t want to climb and only stay at this beloved place ??

  7. drizad Post author

    @ Andreas Lautz:

    For visitors who do not want to climb, it is not a problem. This new system was made ONLY for climbers, as they will have to bear the cost of staying in Laban Rata (in which, does not come cheap anymore).

    Bird watchers will only have to pay for the entrance fee, and maybe the accommodation if you wish to stay in Kinabalu Park HQ.

  8. Pete

    OK, am slightly confused – is there a permit necessary? What is the procedure – will I only be able to book accommodation with a permit number?

  9. drizad Post author

    @ Pete:

    Yes, the permit is still compulsory, but you can get the permit after getting a bed at Laban Rata. I don’t think they are able to implement this new rule. So far, they still stick with the old system.

  10. Martilah

    Hi everyone especially Dr Izad. Somehow your name has become synonymous to Mt Kinabalu while searching for info in the net. Just like to know what is the latest stand on would-be climbers to Mt Kinabalu. Which one comes first, book laban Rata or permit. Went there in November 2007 through an agent before the changes. Could not complete the climb and itching to go back there again this June. Can anyone advise? Thinking of not going through agent and save some money there. Appreciate any advice.

  11. Chang HP

    Hi Martilah,

    I was at Mt Kinabalu on 2nd Nov 2008 in a group of 15. Apparently the old rule still persist, that is book your accomodation at Laban Rata first and get your permit on the day you climb. Am not sure if there is any change in 2009.

    One alternative is to contact Sutera Sanctuary Lodge, the company in charge of administration of all things related to climbing Mt Kinabalu.

    Or maybe the good the good Dr Ruhaizad has other advice?

  12. drizad Post author

    @Chang HP: As this time of writing, they still stick with the old rule. I am not that surprised, as here in Sabah, everything just move in slow motion…

  13. Martilah

    Great!! Thanks for the advice guys. I realised it is easier to let the agent do the job. But I am talking about 5 in my family going, so the saving can be useful. And also the cost for foreigners is so much more than the locals. Good for you all but not for tourist though. Is there any way I can get around that? By the way, is it easy to arrange for transport from one spot to another or is the transport sysytem like in KL where they can anyhow jack up the price upon seeing non-locals.

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