Transportation issues to Mount Kinabalu

Last Thursday, I received an email from one of our reader, Alice, asking me about transportation issues to Mount Kinabalu. I know, after a good planning and booking of the place to stay in Laban Rata to climb, transportation is the next main issue to handle. It is even more important if you decided to travel as a backpackers – with a knapsack on your back and a travel guidebook cum map on your hand. This was the email sounds like:

The information on your webiste was very helpful. I have a couple of question which I’m hoping you might be able to address that I wasn’t able to find one your website and it’s not in any guide books either. Here is my questions..
I booked my reservations at MT kinabalu – 1st night the Park HQ, 2nd night on Laban Rata. I have the following questions regarding Transportation..

  • If I decide to hire a car to Koto Kinabalu to/from Mt. Kinabalu Park HQ? Anyone you recommend? Any restrictions on hiring a car?
  • If I decide to head for the hot springs after my descent from the Mt on Friday then spend the night at the Hot Springs.. The bus leaves at noon from the Mt. Kinabalu to the Hot Springs. Is it unrealistic to try to catch this bus? If I miss this bus how hard will it be to catch/hire a car to the Hot Springs? How hard will it be to catch/hire a bus to the airport on Saturday from the Hot Springs? How long is the journey so I know what time to book my flight? Any restrictions on hiring a car?
  • IF I decide NOT go to the hot springs on Friday, then try to take a 7pm Flight Friday back to Kuala Lumpur? Another words do you think I will make this or am I being crazy? What is the best method to hiring a car back to the airport?

Thanks In Advanced – Alice

And this would be my answers:

Buses in Kota Kinabalu. Not for a 6-footer.Thank you for your email. Transportation is one of the issues that usually make the climber way up the mountain a bit difficult. I know how you feel, and will try to answer your questions as accurate as possible. I must tell you that taking the transport to Kinabalu in groups of 4 (at least fir 1 taxi) can a be a bit cheaper compared to traveling alone.

1. If I decide to hire a car to Koto Kinabalu to/from Mt. Kinabalu Park HQ? Anyone you recommend? Any restrictions on hiring a car?
No restriction on hiring a car, and I would recommend the well known
car hire company here in KK:

1. KMT Global Rent A Car : 088-223022, 228963, 251105

2. Mayflower Car Rental: 088-221244, 254331, 254332

3. Adaras Rent A Car: 088-216671, 222137, 152280

2. If I decide to head for the hot springs after my descent from the Mt on Friday then spend the night at the Hot Springs.. The bus leaves at noon from the Mt. Kinabalu to the Hot Springs. Is it unrealistic to try to catch this bus? If I miss this bus how hard will it be to catch/hire a car to the Hot Springs? How hard will it be to catch/hire a bus to the airport on Saturday from the Hot Springs? How long is the journey so I know what time to book my flight? Any restrictions on hiring a car?

 

It is realistic to catch the bus to Hot Springs after the climb. But you must take notice that the bus maybe feed you up to Kundasang or Ranau, and you may have to take another bus to feed you to the Hot Springs. It will be a bit hard to get a bus from Hot Spring directly to the airport, as there is usually none. You might have to hop buses from Hot Spring>Ranau>Kota Kinabalu>Airport. If you drive directly, it can take you about 2 and half to 3 hours (From Hot Springs to the airport). No restriction on hiring a car.

3. IF I decide NOT go to the hot springs on Friday, then try to take a 7pm Flight Friday back to Kuala Lumpur? Another words do you think I will make this or am I being crazy? What is the best method to hiring a car back to the airport?

7pm flight may be a bit early, but it is possible if you arrive down to Kinabalu Park HQ (the latest about 3pm) early. It is not crazy, but I would say a bit risky. I would suggest you take the 9pm flight, as it can give you some time to have a rest and get yourself some food.

The best method? Chartered a taxi, which can give you some security on your journey.

One thought on “Transportation issues to Mount Kinabalu

  1. i am student of university of technology mara which are doing a research(thesis) about the role of local community in conserving mount kinabalu as a world heritage site. i would like some help about issues and problem that relate to my research topic above. san you give some idea about issues and problem in mount kinabalu and issues and problem that occur because of community around mount kinabalu? please submit you idea to my email bus.third@yahoo.com
    thank so much.

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