Around Mt. Kinabalu
Mt. Kinabalu is the tallest mountain in southeast Asia at 13545 ft (4095 m).
The park entrance is at about 5,000 feet, so it was cooler than Kota Kinabalu.
Our room didn't have air conditioning; we didn't need it.
This is a view of Mt. Kinabalu from the plane on the way back to Kota Kinabalu.
We didn't climb Mt. Kinabalu but we went hiking on some of the trails nearby. We read that the climbing trail gets pretty crowded, but this one was empty except for us.
By late afternoon, clouds usually obscure the view of the mountain's peak.
The next morning we had a much better view of the mountain from the balcony of our room.
Poring Hot Springs
The next day we went to Poring Hot Springs, a part of Kinabalu National Park.
The hot springs complex was built by the Japanese when they occupied Borneo during World War II. We walked
120 feet off the ground on the canopy walkway, cooled off in a waterfall,
checked out the butterfly farm, and lounged in the hot springs tubs.
This is the (steep) trail up to the canopy walkway. Fortunately it wasn't as hot here because of the altitude, about 5000 ft.
The canopy walkway is a series of aluminum ladders with boards on top, suspended in the trees 120 ft above the ground.
Kimberly made sure to hold on with both hands, as the walkway swayed and bounced as we walked between the trees.
We looked straight out into the forest canopy from the walkway.
The walkway provided a close-up view of some giant ferns.
The walkway platforms were rigged up with ropes wrapped around the trunk, so they didn't harm the trees with nails or spikes.
Even at over 100 ft off the ground, the jungle foliage was thick.
This is a view looking out over the dipterocarp forest through a rare gap in the trees.
The walkway had 3 segments, stretching between platforms suspended from xyz trees.
Even this high up, some of the trees still towered above us.
This is looking over the edge of a platform. It was a long way down.
There were many butterflies fluttering around the waterfall.
After the walkway, it was a short hike over to Kipungit Waterfall.
After hiking around in the forest, we were ready for a dip in the waterfall pool. The water was surpisingly cool, but refreshing.
This is view looking out into the rather primeival forest from the waterfall.
The next stop was the butterfly garden. There was an enclosed aviary structure with many different species of butterflies in it.
This is the hot tub area.
The tubs had hot and cold running water. The (very) hot water came straight from the springs and was only slightly sulphurous.
We took a different road back to KK so we could stop at the Rafflesia Forest Reserve. This road was in much worse shape than the main road. Here Paul is recovering a hubcap that was dislodged during an encounter with a giant pothole.
Rafflesia flowers are the largest in the world, and are found only in Borneo. We arrived at the Rafflesia reserve too late for the daily tour, but we talked the ranger into showing us where one of the giant flowers was blooming.
This flower was about 12 inches across, about 1/3 as large as they can get. They are parasitic, growing on roots of trees. Each flower lasts for about a week. The one on the right is past its prime.