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Budget Package for your Mount Kinabalu Summit Climb

The information on this page is outdated. Since January 2008, Sutera Sanctuary Lodges has changed their climbing policy, in which you cannot DIY your climbing package anymore. You have to book their package. Otherwise you will not be allowed to climb. Please contact me directly here for the booking.

I am putting this page here for educational purposes only.

This is an illustration of Mount Kinabalu climbing package that you could plan to save your travel budget. This illustration will be shown to you, step by step, as detail as possible, so that you can compare with other Mount Kinabalu climbing package around the internet.  I am not a tour operator or a travel package operator, just a friend who tried to give you the most relevant information for your journey.

For the Mount Kinabalu climbing package illustration, you are assumed to have these already:

  1. Your airline ticket from anywhere around the world to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
  2. You have book your stay in one of the backpackers or travelers lodge in the heart of Kota Kinabalu city.
  3. You have a complete equipment for the climb (including some food & energy bars).
  4. You are in a good health.
  5. You have book a place to stay in Kinabalu Park HQ and Laban Rata.

If you have not done any of the above, you are advise to do it, as it will smoothen your journey and save your money on the package.

Day 1

You arrive in Kota Kinabalu International Airport and picked up by your hostel operator after arranging with them for free airport pick-up when you book your stay. Otherwise, you could take a taxi from the Airport Taxi Services (RM12 per trip). You arrive in the lodge of your choice, clean yourself up and go out again for Kota Kinabalu sightseeing. A lot of interesting places to see, either buy foot or take a public transport. After few hours of sightseeing, you then can have a nice rest in Borneo Books 2, a modern bookstore with free broadband internet access in Wisma Merdeka, where you can alleviate your foot sore and update your travelogues and blog. On the evening, you can have seafood for your dinner at one of the few seafood restaurant around town (will cost about RM150 for 2). Then, back to your hostel for a nice sleep.

Day 2

0700hours. After having your breakfast, pack your things up and take a public transport to Kota Kinabalu main bus station (the new bus station is in Inanam, RM2 for a busride and RM8-RM10 for a taxi). Look for a bus or taxi  to Ranau or Kundasang. The public transport will pass Kinabalu Park HQ. The fare is usually around RM20 per person in a bus and about RM80-RM90 for a taxi. Of course, if your hostel provide a shuttle bus to Kinabalu Park HQ, you can always go with them. Just check out their fare.
1000hours. Arrive in Kinabalu Park HQ and you can go straight to the information centre for your next activities - maybe some jungle trekking, birdwatching and sightseeing. I would recomended you to go inside the Mountain Garden for a guided walk.
1300hours. Check-in to your accommodation from Sutera Sanctuary Lodge, register yourself for the climb with Sabah Park Authority and you can then have lunch and some rest. You could always continue your activities around the park HQ. You should now double check your equipment for the climb. If there is anything that you miss, you can buy it from the small shop in the information centre.
1800hours. Have dinner at Liwagu Restaurant and should sleep early. It will be a long day tomorrow.

Day 3

0700hours. After having breakfast, check out from your hostel and head to the reception office. Sabah Park Authorities will wait you there with guides and porters. You will be given a nametag and briefing before transferred by bus provided by the park (RM5 per trip) to Timpohon Gate where you will start your climb.
0800hours. With a guide, you will have your own experience climbing up the highest climber-friendly mountain in South East Asia. Take pictures - as much as you can. You will arrive at Laban Rata in about 4-6 hours.
1400hours. Arrive in Laban Rata and check in to your hostel. Have a rest and lunch. If you arrive early, you can see the faces of other climbers who arrive afer you. ;-). If happen that you bought a book about the mountain or altitude illness, read it at this time. You can also see a nice sunset if the weather is clear. If you have headache and nausea, pop in some medicine.
2000hours. Have your dinner, and prepare for the night climb. Go to sleep at 2100hours the most.

Day 4

0230hours. Force yourself to wake up and have at least a hot drink. Start your second phase of the climb carefully and slowly. It is going to be dark and you really need a torchlight. Hold on tight to the rope and follow the trail up to the summit. At Sayat-Sayat hut, you may be given a whistle to blow if you have any difficulties.
0530hours. Arrive at the summit, 4095m above sea level. Again, take as much photo as possible, especially the sunrise. Seeing a perfect sunrise from above the cloud is really breathtaking.
0700hours. Climb down to Laban Rata. The daylight make your view clearer and you can see most of Kinabalu peaks around. Take some more photos!
0900hours. Arrive in Laban Rata, pack your things up, check out from the hostel and climb down slowly with your guide. This would be the most difficult part of the climb. You can feel your knees wobble or even 'numb' due to the strenous climb. Again, take photo!
1300hours. Arrive in Kinabalu Park HQ, have some lunch and receive a certificate for the climb before boarding a shuttle bus back to Kota Kinabalu. For some travelers, they would extend their trip to Poring Hotspring for a nice warm sulphur bath before heading to Kota Kinabalu. You can get a shuttle bus from the main road or if you are lucky, there are some bus operators around the Kinabalu Park HQ main office. Alternatively, you could arrange your hostel operator to pick you up.

Disclaimer: This Mount Kinabalu Climbing Package is prepared based by my own experience after several trip to Kinabalu. You might have some minor difficulties along the way, but there will usually be somebody around to help you.

The frequently asked questions:

1. How much will I save from the budget package above?
Well, frankly speaking, I do not know the exact cost, but you can actually surf around the net and it would usually cost you around RM650++ for any tour package for 4D/3N like what I mentioned above.

2. In your personal opinion, which one in the best for me?
Anyone is good, provided you can afford the cost. Try checking out The Beach Lodge from Hostelworld.com. It is one of the travelers lodge around Kota Kinabalu that provides several special tour package, including Mount Kinabalu Climbing Package. Also check out our 3D2N and 2D1N package comparison page. Choose the package that suits you.

3. Where can I get more information about the climb?
Just send me an email. I will do my best to help you.

4. I climbed Mount Kinabalu, following your recommendation in this website and I want to contribute. How?

You can either email me your stories (I may publish your story in the webpage!) or give a comment in the blogsite. You could also contribute to Travellerspoint forum and Virtualtourist website, as I am also one of the contributors.

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