Mount Kinabalu is a popular mountain in Malaysia and one of the most prominent tourist places in South East Asia. The mountain finds its place in the famous Kinabalu National Park which itself is a world heritage site. Mount Kinabalu is the tallest mountain in Malaysia.
The mountain is important for scientists as well as geologists for its biological diversity. It has hundreds of species of flora and fauna thriving in the surroundings. It is home to 600 species of plants, 100 species of mammals and over 325 species of birds. Hence Mount Kinabalu makes a great tourist attraction as you can scale the mountain and come across many species of flora and fauna mentioned above. The orangutan is the most popular mammal while the gigantic Rafflesia is very popular in the flora category.
A common man can easily climb up to the main peak without any special equipment and hence the mountain proves to offer a good trekking trail. There are some peaks such as the massif that require expertise and mountaineering equipment to climb.
As mentioned before, Mount Kinabalu is known worldwide for its biological and botanical diversity. There are some species that are found only in the national park and no where else in the world. The park has more flora than the entire African continent and about 50 of these species are found no where else in the world. The park is the richest place for the insectivorous plant called pitcher plants that thrive on eating insects. Then there is the parasitic plant called the Rafflesia which has the largest single flower in the world. Research suggests that the mountain and the park are home to 5,000 to 6,000 plant species which is more than the number of species in entire Europe and America put together.
You can scale the mountain with the help of a guide. Accommodation is available round the year inside the park. You can then proceed towards the Timpohon gate by walking or by taking a minibus to start your climb. The first phase includes reaching the Laban Rata hut at 10,800 feet. This task can be accomplished in about 3 to 6 hours. Your supplies are carried by porters who double up as guides as well. Each porter can carry about 30 kgs of supplies. The last two kms from the hut are strenuous and they take about 2 to 4 hours to complete.
There are some people who may suffer from altitude sickness while climbing the mountain. If breathing or any other movement becomes difficult, it is advisable to return back immediately. The descent from the summit can be a little painful because of increased pressure of weight on the knees. However the view from the top is worth the climb. The descent will take a total of 5 hours. There is a lot of diversity in terms of climatic conditions during the year. You will find a lot of differences in soil and terrain as well in different areas of the mountain.