The highest mountain in all of Malaysia raises some 4,000 meters above Sabah. But there’s more to Mount Kinabalu than its commanding height. This place also shelters an overwhelming wealth of plant and animal diversity, with almost 100 mammal species, 300 bird species, over 110 land snail species, and some 6,000 plant species, including orchids, ferns, and the stinky parasite plant Rafflesia.
Some 750 square kilometers of Sabah land makeup Kinabalu National Park and its two resident mountains, Kinabalu and the smaller Tambuyukon (2,580m).
There’s more than enough room for adventure. Climbing Kinabalu, crossing four climatic zones and a terrifying via Ferrata, the highest in the world; bird-spotting as you trek through Kinabalu’s jungle trails; and paragliding off Kokol Hill—all these are a few of the options on offer.
Kinabalu Park is some two hours’ drive from the capital Kota Kinabalu—you can register here, or book accommodations ranging from luxury chalets to basic hostels.