Our Mount Kinabalu Experience

After our life enriching climb to Mount Kinabalu, we have decided to put together a few articles to share our experience. Some are practical advice like what to bring, how to get better prepared, and what to expect at the rest-house. Some are pictures we have taken during our climb. We also wish to share what the city Kota Kinabalu offers besides her majestic mountain. Last but not the least, we plan to share our journals in our own perspectives.

Simple Tips and Suggestions on Gears
Simple Tips and Suggestions on Gears


Pictures from Day 1's Climb
Pictures from Day 1’s Climb


The Rest-house at Laban Rata Hunt
The Rest-house at Laban Rata Hunt


Pictures from Day 2's Climb
Pictures from Day 2’s Climb


Pictures Taken from Low's Peak
Pictures Taken from Low’s Peak


Selected Pictures Taken from Kota Kinabalu
Selected Pictures Taken from Kota Kinabalu


Cynthia's Journal
Cynthia’s Journal


Tong Kiat's Journal
Tong Kiat’s Journal


Wilfrid's Journal
Wilfrid’s Journal


PS: If you wish to book an accommodation online, you may wish to visit Kota Kinabalu Hotels

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45 replies on “Our Mount Kinabalu Experience”

Hi Cyntha, Tong Kia & Wilfrid,
I’m planning my trip next year Jan to Mt KK.

Did you join the groups in singapore or it’s a free & easy trip everything planned your own?

Please give me some advice.


Fiona – Hi there. It is good to hear that you have made up your mind and climb the Mount K! We bought a package from one of the tour agencies in Singapore. That included a transfer between each destination in Sabah, climbers permit, certificate, entrance fees, insurance, tour guide (a must have in order to climb Mount K), and accommodation and meals at the guest house. That did not cover air ticket and, I think, the accommodation at Kota Kinabalu town itself.

Tong Kiat can clarify a bit on where we book our package from (less than S$400 per pax I think).

Do let me know if you need to know anything else. Best of luck!

Well done guys!

Inspiring journals.. I’ll be attempting a climb later this year. Very nervous but I hope I can make it right up to the summit…

stumbled upon your blog while i was searching on mt kk.
really appreciate all the detailed descriptions, not to mention the lovely pics! its really useful for someone like me who is v keen to go but know nuts abt the place and what to expect.
can you share where you booked the tour?

i was actually thinking of doing the climb and then heading off to a nearby resort for a day or two to relax and ‘cure’ those aching muscles haha!

Bel – Hi, thanks for your comments and glad to hear that the articles are useful to you. Everytime I read our journals, they always bring back vivid memories.

We booked the package at Camper’s Corner in Singapore. It’s at Raffle City area. may also sell the package online. There are other options too. Usually camping shops sell the packages.

Oh yes. Buffer in time to relax those aching muscles at a hot spring in town while you are there is a jolly good idea! Good luck and looking forward to reading your journal!

i see, actually im hoping to go next jan. went to looksee some of the packages and it seems that there aren’t any trips planned for that time of the year. wonder if you have any idea if beginning of the year is supposed to a ‘bad’ time to climb mt kk?
went to check out some of the gears required..trek pants, windbreaker etc..they are sure exp!

Bel – March / April would be a better choice because it is relatively dry. Also the wind speed is relatively low. If it rains, it can get really tricky trying to reach the top. Also, some months, at the top, the wind speed can be very high. Hence, it would be dangerous. Only for the very experienced ones I reckon, for those conditions.

I have a write-up on suggested gears. You don’t need to get those expensive ones. We got some basic ones and got by OK. Get a pair of good shoes though. And the walking stick. The pants can be really expensive too. You probably don’t need those so-called UV protection. The path is mostly shaded, from what I remember.

found ur site by accident, very informative, going to KK tomorrow, really hope the weather is good 😉

btw, thanks again for the nice article


Wow nice entry
inspire me to climb MT kk too
do you have any idea if i could climb MT kk alone
any agency does the package from singapore to MT kk ?

Hong Jun – Yes, you don’t need a group to climb Mount K. But you do need a local guide with a licence to bring you to the peak.

There are quite a few camping shops in Singapore that sells packages to Mount K as well, including airfare and accommodation. Do shop around.

Dont mind can you name those camping shop that sells packages to Mount Kk including airfare and accommodation ?
because i had a hard time google-ing them
Sorry for the trouble

Hong Jun – Hi, you may wish to try Campers’ Corner? I think we got the package from them. But by no means I am endorsing them though 🙂 There is also a camping store at Shaw (Beach Road) as well as China Point I think. I hope this helps!

Thanks alot it really helps alot
campers’ corner is organizing a trip on Aug
Hope my NS letter dun come so soon

Hong Jun – You still have time to practice 🙂 I remember practicing at Bukit Timah prior to our climb. Perhaps worth considering. Best of luck!

hello, just to enquire, what are the variour tour packages you would recommend to trek up mount kinabalu… i have searched some of those, but unsure of which is the better ones… could you guide me from here?

Ben – I presume you are referring to the total package that includes plane tickets, accommodation at mid level as well as the town of KK, and the guide who will take you to the top?

I am from Singapore and I booked it from Camper’s Corner (I think). But there are different options. Usually camping shops sell packages such as climb to KK. I would stick with those shops that have a stronger climber community (need to ask around the shops to have a feel).

Otherwise, just compare the pricing and what you will get (like where you will stay, the transport provided and etc.) More importantly, the timing must suit your schedule. Hope I have helped. Good luck!

Yupz, i am refering to the total package…

I have just visited campers corner and they have only updated the events till july…

Anyway, which are the camping shops you would recommend, as i would like to plan a trek up end of this year… Sorry, but it would be my first time doing a trekking plan overseas.. So i would need to ask around for details…

Thanks for your help…

hey! thanks for the great post! i’m gonna book my tix for april next yr 🙂

just wanted to ask u. where is that place that u have dinner at by the beach where u can watch the sunset? looks nice!

Joan – Good luck with yout time! Just nice for you to practice.

It was Kota Kinabalu, a town where we stayed. You can inquire at your hotel for a happening place to visit at night by the beach nearby. They should be able to help you get a cab. The town is pretty small, I remember.

This is great guys, thanks!

We have booked a trip to KK next month and are planning on climbing the mountain.
Just a couple of quick questions:

Is September a good time to do the climb?
Did you book the hotel for night 1 beforehand? From what I’ve heard its first come first served…
Can you get a tour guide for 2 people when you get there in morning on day 1?
What time do you suggest starting to climb?
Is a small rucksack each enough?



Sejal – Thanks for dropping by!

I think the best time to scale up Mount KK is April / May. Having said that, you may get a better picture of what the weather would be like from your agency.

As for the accommodation, it comes with the package. In our package, we book a mountain guide, lodging both in KK and Mount KK, as well as air tickets.

Because you are not allowed to go up Mount KK without a guide (the peak I mean), it is better to book a mountain guide early. From what I gather, their calendars can be pretty full. I am not sure if you can get one on the spot.

Do you intend to do it in 1 day? For us, in day 1, we started quite early (but not insanely early). But for day 2, it was like 2am or something. Because you would want to see the sunrise at the peak.

As in what to carry, I think you should carry light. On day 1, perhaps a small rucksack. On day 2, you would want to leave everything at the lodging. In any case, the mountain guide can help you carry the bags. Just need to pay a bit more.

I hope this helps!

Love the tips and guides about the mount k trip.
“Doing something extraordinary every quarterly” inspires me too!!

Hi Wilfrid and Cynthia,

I’ve planned to climb Mt Kinabalu in May 2013 after I had completed the Passion Run on 10 Nov’12 and came across your excellent website as well as read Cynthia’s journal.

I lost about 11kg (from 90kg to 79kg) by jogging 3x weekly and dieting for 10 months. As a reward for myself, I’m gonna fly to Sabah to tour and climb Mt Kinabalu and would like to consult you:

1. Is May’13 a month with good weather to climb Mt Kinabalu?

2. Besides jogging, what other exercise/s would help one to prepare for the climb?

Thank you.

Roger – Congraz on getting to your target weight!

If March / April is the best time to visit Mount K, I suppose May should still be OK? It is best to consult the agent too because they should know.

I strong recommend you to walk up some hills as practice. Especially those with big steps. Because you will face many big steps when you climb Mount K. Depends on whether or not you will hire a porter to carry your bag, you may practice with a full load on your back too, when you walk up those hills that is.

Hope this helps!

Hi Wilfrid,

Thanks, your advice is very helpful. I will start training from Dec’12 to walk up some hills i.e. Bukit Timah Hill with no load first and progressively carry the load that I would take up Mt Kinabalu.

Thank you.

Roger – Thanks for coming back and drop a comment!

I was about to suggest Bukit Timah but I wasn’t entirely sure if you are a fellow Singapore resident (though Passion Run did ring a bell).

Yes. Start with that. Do some fast pace walking up. Keep your pace consistence as you would need to build some rhythm. Mount K is fun. I think it is more like a mental game than a physical one. Enjoy!

Hi, can I ask did you guys went for a tour package while climbing the Mount Kinabalu? because me and my two Korean friends are planning to go there but with a low budget. Is it possible to go with low budget? ^_^

Grace – Yes. We’ve booked a tour package. But if you book individually items, it could be cheaper. Because you can work with your budget.

Don’t forget to hire a licensed mountain guide though. You have to have one in order to get to the top.

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