Getting to Sabah, The Land Below The Wind
Most overseas traveler will arrive in Malaysia by aeroplane. The standard route to get to Kota Kinabalu is by air, via Kuala Lumpur in Peninsular Malaysia, to Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, and then onwards to the park overland. Swimming from the Peninsular Malaysia or southern Phillipine is not an option...
Major airlines fly into Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia. You will first arrive in Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) before you have to take another flight to Kota Kinabalu. There are about 40 international carriers servicing the airport.
You could take a flight from any airline that you prefer, provided that their destination is Kuala Lumpur. If do not have any preferred airline or still have not book any tickets yet, please feel free to try airfares.com. It offers cheap flights, hotel reservations and cheap packages to places around the earth. It has up to 60% off published airfares on major Airlines. Their offers are good on major airlines to destinations world wide. All prices subject to availability on select scheduled airlines and select cities. All prices in $USD. Although it has some restriction, it is worth a try!
When you arrive in Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), you have a choice to choose between these two airlines to fly to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. It is either Malaysia Airline System (MAS) or Airasia.
The flight would take approximately 2 hours and 35 minutes. You do not have to worry about catching the flight because both of the airlines provides 5 flights daily to Kota Kinabalu.
The differences between the two airlines is:
Well, you can choose anyone that you like. Go to their website, compare the prices and you could make an online booking! In conclusion, if you have extra cash, fly MAS. If not, take Airasia. Kota Kinabalu can also be reached by direct flight from Singapore, Hong Kong, Manila, Brunei and Taipei.
When you arrive in Kota Kinabalu, it is better for you to have somewhere to rest first before continuing your journey to Kinabalu Park HQ. Kota Kinabalu International Airport is about 10km from the heart of Kota Kinabalu city. There are taxi services shuttling from the airport to the city center. The fare is about RM10 to RM15. Please use the Airport Taxi Services and go to their counter before taking any taxi. It is much safer, easier and the fare is pretty standard.
There are also a lot of places for you to choose to spend your night sleep, from traveler's/backpackers lodges to five star hotel. You could find a place to stay in Kota Kinabalu in the next few pages. It is actually nice for you to have a break after traveling from far to Kota Kinabalu.
From Kota Kinabalu (KK), local buses run once a day to Ranau from the main outstation bus stop in town, passing the entrance to the Kinabalu Park HQ on the way. The buses leave KK at around 7.00am reaching the Kinabalu park HQ at about 10.00am. It cost about RM15 to RM20 per person.
Car rentals can be arranged through major hotels in KK. At the time of writing, taxis to Ranau charge RM80 per taxi to Kinabalu Park HQ and take a maximum 4 passengers. They leave from the same outstation bus stop before 8.00am. You can negotiate for the taxi to pick you up from Kinabalu park HQ for your return if you hire the whole taxi.
It is an uphill and winding journey. If you are prone to get motion sickness, please bring along some medication with you. Otherwise, they might have to clean up your vomits.
If you would like to hire a car for your journey, try the Mayflower Car Rental. It is a Malaysian base company dealing with car rental for self drive, chauffeur drive and fun drive. They have 2 offices in Kota Kinabalu, one in the airport and another one in Wisma Sabah (the same building with Sutera Sanctuary Lodge). Check out what they have got to offer!
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