Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Mount Kinabalu Climb - Day 1 Kota Kinabalu To Kota Kinabalu Park

Sorry for the delay in posting all the details for this trip.
When the idea popup for the climb? When I finished my university degree. The climb already in my mind. I told my friends, some of them also have the same thought and want to do the climb as well, so we decided to make an agreement, we have to save some money then we will go for the climb. That was 2004. 10 years back. Flash back, after got a job for the first few years on and off this climbing Mount Kinabalu idea will still popup in our chat conversation once a while, but nothing further was done until last year around Oct 2013, I told my friend Frances, we have to do this, I am turning 34 and this Mount Kinabalu hike that I want to do since I am 24 was not yet done. So we book the flight and tried to survey around for the package for the climb.

Booking:
Frances tried to email Sutera (as Sutera is the main agency for the climb, please take note, even you book from other agency, they will still go to Sutera as they are the only approved agency that allow to issue the package and permit). After many emails ding-dong around, we still not able to get confirmation from Sutera. Both of us get frustrated as we already book the flight.  Frances told me she found something that confuse her from Sutera website. As the website showing the date we want still available but the person who replied the email mentioned no more slot. We suspect they reserved for some travel agency. Luckily Frances has a friend from Sabah and during that time she was in Kota Kinabalu hometown. Frances asked her favour to call Sutera directly and found out there were still slots available during the period of time. Next, I dropped the call to Sutera directly and get the slot book. Have the payment done via my Malaysia internet banking account the trip finally confirm on 21 Jan 2014 for climbing package on 13 Feb 2014 - 15 Feb 2014.

Flight:
I book the flight from KL-Kota Kinabalu on 12 Feb 2014 12PM with 15kg luggage that cost me RM102.70 (*details below).  Due to the flight was from Kuala Lumpur, I travel down from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur on 11 Feb 2014, after work, I took the cross border bus to Johor Bahru and took the night train 11.30pm to Kuala Lumpur. Purchased the sleeping bottom bunk by paying RM45.
Total cost travel to Kota Kinabalu? RM147.70 which is about SGD 59.08. (taking 1SGD = 2.5RM as exchange rate).
*Details: Air Asia Flight from KL - KK        = RM66.00
               Sky bus from KL central to airport = RM7.70
               Luggage purchase                           =RM25.00
               Direct Debit Fee                              =RM4.00   
               Total                                                  RM102.70

Touching Down:
Touching down at Kota Kinabalu Airport at 2.30pm, after got my luggage I was not able to catch the bus 2.20pm bus to the town. But I still purchased the ticket by paying RM5 and waited for the next bus which will be 3.20pm. [Details on the bus can be found here]
Traveled down to the town and dropped down to the last stop, it was drizzling at Kota Kinabalu. My friend Frances wearing her north face rain jacket, walking from the hostel to the bus stop to fetch me. I am happy to see her, because we both know, the adventure will soon begin.

Mini Van to Mount Kinabalu Park
The next morning early morning 13 Feb 2014, we walked to the station near Padang for the shared van to Kinabalu park. There are bus/coaches available as well but due to our big backpack and the uncertainty of the bus timing we decided to take the mini van. The van will go once it fill up. Normal fare is RM20 one-way. But with big backpack, our backpack take up additional seat hence we paid RM25 per person (total 4 of us with backpack).

Kinabalu Park
We reached Kinabalu park around lunch time, we went to the cafe near by (across the road from the park entrance) to have our lunch. The food is quite pricy but the taste is good. There are information available from the cafe such as the bus timing and the place for rooms for renting.
We paid the entrance park fees and enter to the park. Checked our transport from the park to Mesilau (included in the climbing package) and arrange for our transport after the climb from Timpohon gate to Mesilau. Frances intended to walk back (~4km from Timpohon gate back to Kinabalu Park) but I told her I maybe too tired, hence we both agreed to purchase the transport which cost us RM8.25 (2 person is RM16.50).
Few things need to arrange here before you set off to Mesilau / Timpohon.
1) Transport from end point (either Mesilau / Timpohon) back to Kinabalu Park.
2) Guide fee. Go to the visitor centre and pay the fee and arrange for your guide.  We paying RM142,50 for 2 of us.  (Guide fee will be different depends on group size)
3) Park Entrance fee, Malaysian RM3.00 and foreigner RM 15.00.

After our lunch and arrange for everything, we took the van from the centre to Mesilau. We decided to go there earlier so that we can rest earlier for tomorrow hike. 

Kinabalu ParkVisitor center in the Park, this is where you arrange for your guidePark Entrance Fee



Further Details:

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