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A visit to Kundasang, the foothills of South East Asia’s highest mountain

Friday September 19th, 2008 by fathersez

Now that I am “retired”, I am trying to see as much as possible of my country. So last week, whilst in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, we decided to take a drive to Kundasang, a smallish village at the foothills of Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain in South East Asia. 

The drive to Kundasang from Kota Kinabalu (about 90 odd kms) is a really scenic mountain one. The road is good and is one of the main arterial road to other major towns. It offers spectacular views of hills and valleys including one big waterfall that we saw from a distance.  

Along the way, we stopped by a roadside mushroom farm, a project by the local village development board.   


A close up shot of the mushrooms


The mushrooms in various stages of growth

Kundasang is known for its vegetable market, where fresh vegetables are sold 7 days a week. Now even people from Brunei drive all the way up to buy vegetables. So for the people of KK this is THE PLACE for fresh and very reasonably priced vegetables. 

Kundasang is also known for its spectacular views of Mount Kinabalu. I was not lucky. Actually to be honest, I was not well prepared, I should have come much earlier in the day. So by the time we arrived, dense fog had clouded the peak, so we only managed to get a fleeting glimpse of the peak.

Still the view of the mountain is breathtaking.   


A view of Mount Kinabalu by me, a not too accomplished photographer. The little dot that you see on top of the clouds is the peak.

It’s a distant dream for me to climb this mountain one day. My brother in law, (who was with me) has climbed it before when he was stationed in Sabah with the Royal Malaysian Air Force. He told me that whilst the fitter people make it up within a few hours, the lesser fit ones, including some elderly people make their way up quite regularly.  

You can read here about a fellow Malaysian’s climb up the hill in 1990

I used to love trekking and hiking whilst in school. This activity sort of faded out as I started University and working life. I tried to get back into it again by joining the Malaysian Nature Society which organised jungle treks for its members once in a while. I remember participating in one (which the MNS described as a walk in the park), and believe me, it was no walk in the park. Not for me at least. And that ended my short relationship with the MNS. Maybe I should restart the relationship. 

Anyway, now that I have a lot more time on my hands, getting a lot fitter is high on the list of priorities. And hopefully a climb up Mount Kinabalu may not be that far fetched.     

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2 Comments for “A visit to Kundasang, the foothills of South East Asia’s highest mountain”

On September 20, 2008
At 10:02 pm

Good trekking and shots of Mt Kinabalu. Joining MNS trips is always a blast and inexpensive. Hope to see more jungle tales from you. For those in West Malaysia check out Nature Escapes KL for easy starter treks.

On September 21, 2008
At 12:45 am

Thanks, Rick for dropping by. BTW you have an excellent site. The information on the nature escapades available to us KL (and Seremban) city folks is just great. I’ll be visiting your site often.


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