Why Kinabalu should be in your travel list?

Click here to read the Indonesian version

Malaysia, is located next to Indonesia and obviously become a sensitive thingy to most of Indonesian. This country has a border with Indonesia, exactly at the Borneo Island or Kalimantan. Mount Kinabalu is located at Borneo which happens to be a quite famous Mount to the mountaineers.

I was thinking that if Kinabalu was located in Indonesia, that would be cool and easier for the Indonesians, but after i did this hiking trip to Kinabalu, I got new perspectives that made feel thankful that this mount is located and managed by Malaysia. Why is that? Let's find out!!

The highest at Borneo
If Sumatra has its Kerinci, Java has Semeru, and Lombok has Rinjani, What does Kalimantan / Borneo has?

Some mentioned Mount Bukit Raya and the other mentioned Mount Kinabalu. Yes, Kalimantan or Borneo has its Kinabalu. That highest mount in Borneo and it has 4095 m above sea level. Not to mention that Mount Kinabalu selected as one of UNESCO heritage. Even Malaysia once claimed that Kinabalu is the highest Mount in South East Asia, which not fully true. In South East Asia there’s still Mount Hkkakabo Razi in Myanmar which has 5881 m, while Puncak Jaya Wijaya or Cartenz has 4884 m above sea level and was listed into a Seven Summit considering it is in the part of Oceania.

Yummy meals!
I am really sure, that most of you ate noodle very often during the hiking trip, instant noodle again and over again,
Nevertheless, in this Kinabalu track, you don’t even have to cook or have yourself busy bring stoves and stuff.

There, you’ll be served meals by the management and guess whattttt, 5 times! At the beginning of the trip you’ll be given fruits and sandwich. After finish the first day of the trip, you’ll get meals at the Laban Rata Guesthouse.

Don’t be so much worry about the food quality, here you’ll be served a lot of deliciously yummy meals, well, start from rice, steak, omelet, fried chicken, fish fillet, cereal and as well as the desert, pancake, pudding and fresh fruits!

The beverages also interesting, well, still mineral water was served, there were also tea, milk and coffee. The other cool thing is all the meals are served buffet or all you can eat kinda way. So you won’t be starving and having a nutritional improvement instead.

Tent? No need
A tent, an outdoor accommodation for mountaineer which has more or less 2-4 kg and is one of the crucial equipment for having a hiking trip. Stay in a tent is one of the interesting moment during the hiking. But that thing would be a worst experience if the tent you were using has troubles and the weather went sucks.

Example, a heavy rain and the water was absorbing to your tent, a leak tent, and inside of your tent was horribly soaking wet.

I remember once, when I was on the Mount Kerinci, it was at 8 in the night, it was completely dark and freaking cold at that night, plus, a strong wind was coming to hit us in the tent. The tent and flysheet were flying by the wind several times.

And guess what, in Kinabalu, we are banned intentionally to bring tent, so like it or not all the hikers have to stay at a dormitory that was recommended by the management. This is very unique because Kinabalu itself is a tropical mount, so the hiker doesn’t need acclimation. Sooo, sleeping on the comfort bed, with real blanket, and charging all the gadgets for the sake of documentation and publication stuff!

Resthouse at 3000 m above sea level
Have you ever want something to eat during the trip?
Well the resthouse could be a place to eat, sleep and a place to gather hikers and guides all together. But guess what, that resthouse also provide things to sell, well, name it mini-minimarket where there are snacks, drinks and stuffs. Price! Hmm the price is expensively expensive. Why? First, that is the one and only shop in that altitude and second, the stuffs was loaded by porter dude :|

Electricity and Internet
Kinabalu probably a heaven hiking trip for you guys that a really social media kinda person. Here, you’ll be spoiled by the strong signal of your phone. Phone calls? yes! Internet at 3000 m above sea level? yes yes! It’s just they don’t have free wifi there, so it’s kinda good anyway, people will interact each other more.

Certificate and medal!
Every single hiker that having a hiking trip to Kinabalu got an ID. We can also using the ID for get a room’s key at the resthouse. The ID was also a souvenir. In that ID also written the name of the hiker, the date of the hike, a code (only the guide and management understand that). Isn’t that very cool? Well, not only that, a hiker also granted a certificate and a medal as a souvenir. To get a certificate you have to pay 10 MYR, and for the medal, 25 MYR. It’s interesting to have that, well for the sake of showing off, hmm at least to your kids one day :D.

Rubbish bin and toilet everywhere
Have you ever seen big bunch of rubbish at Kandang badak? Or hmmm human’s s##t at Ranu Kumbolo?
Well I know many of you (especially newbie hiker) were CONFUSED where to have a “bowel movement”, and of course we all are!!! There’s no toilet --,--, and even there’re toilets, you probably see a human’s s##t around the toilet.

Also with the rubbish thingy, a hiker must bring a bag for their personal rubbish bag right? This is a responsibility matter guys! And back to Kinabalu, you’ll see there are rubbish bins and quite clean toilet in every single stop. Imagine, clean toilet with clean and enough water in every stop. I really feel that, those facilities are needed for Indonesia’s mounts to have. Kinda sad to compare with Indonesia’s :( .

Well, let the pictures talk! I can tell you that the management of this National Park (Mount Kinabalu) is totally few (or a lot) steps ahead than Indonesia’s. However, I don’t have any purpose of contemn to Indonesia’s mounts and adore them as well. The purpose of traveling is not always having much fun but gaining a lesson as well.

Frankly speaking, Indonesia has a lot of natural resources more than Malaysia’s, but managing matter, Malaysia surely did better. I just honestly hope that the management of Indonesia’s National Parks will positively change and obviously effects on the number of tourist, mountaineers and to the country itself.

(Originally by Riky Ramadani in Bahasa)
Written by Nancy Geyza Iwisara

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