Thursday, October 03, 2013

Mt. Kinabalu Solo Hike 1st part; from Airport to Laban Rata

Kota Kinabalu Trekking and Solo Tours
May 25 to  27, 2013 Saturday to Tuesday

This mountain adventure is considered as my 1st major hike abroad. 

Based on my research, there is no direct way of cheap public transportation from airport to Kinabalu park regardless of flight arrival time. The only way to do it as a solo backpacker is to ride the almost an hour interval of public bus outside airport that will go to city bus terminal. In my case, I arrived 0300H in Kota Kinabalu Airport, slept for a while until 0500H alarmed which I think the earliest bus will arrive. Unfortunately, I woke up around 0600H and not happy about it. I decided to take a cab because I cannot sense an incoming bus for about 5 minutes and have to think wisely, expect to arrive in Kota Kinabalu Park as early as 0900H. So by the power of "bahala na" Filipino principle, I immediately decided to take a cab from airport to city terminal then taking a taxi again from city terminal to Kinabalu park for a sum fare of whooping 130 MYR ($43.33) for a travel time from 0615H to 0830H. This decision though a right thing to do was a major backlash on my budget.

Transportation from Kota Kinabalu airport to city terminal;

bus - around approximate an hour interval, no definite time of arrival/departure, cost only 2 MYR
taxi - immediately available, with approx 10 mins arrival to city terminal, cost on max 30 MYR (so if 4 pax, divided it by 4)

Mt. Kinabalu timpohon trail

my hired taxi from city center to Kinabalu park

timpohon gate at 1,866m elevation

summit trail map found  at timpohon gate

Transportation from City terminal to Kinabalu Park;

van (minibus) - no definite time of arrival/departure, 150 MYR for entire van ( 11 pax at 15 MYR each). Driver has to wait for a completely full-loaded pax.
taxi - 100 MYR for entire taxi (4 pax at 25 MYR each). Immediately depart once completed or agreed to pay 100 MYR.

Here was the morning transportation detailed itinerary how did I went through; 

How did I go to Kota Kinabalu Park from Airport;

0600H ETD Kota Kinabalu airport going to city terminal
taxi 30 MYR
0630H ETD city terminal to Kinabalu park 
taxi 100 MYR
0830H ETA Kinabalu Park
Registration (included in booked reservation)
guide fee - 128 MYR
transport going to Timpohon gate - 33 MYR
water 1 liter - 3 MYR
0900H ETA Timpohon gate
TOTAL : 294 MYR ($98)

Mt. Kinabalu timpohon trail

Carson Falls, found 500m from timpohon trail

Mt. Kinabalu timpohon trail

Sundasciurus tenuis (mountain squirrel)


0600H ETD Kota Kinabalu airport going to city terminal
0630H ETD city terminal to Kinabalu park
0830H ETA Kinabalu Park
0900H ETA Timpohon gate
0945H 1st kilometer marker reached
1030H 2nd kilometer marker reached     
1120H 3rd kilometer marker reached
1250H Lunch
1330H 4th kilometer marker reached
1445H 5th kilometer marker reached   
1600H 6th kilometer marker (last) reached
7 hours journey for 6km Timpohon trail from 1,866m to 3,273m elevation
1615H ETA Laban Rata Dormitory
Photo-ops and dinner
2000H sleep time

note: most of the climbers reached Laban Rata dorm camp site around 1400H-1500H (around 5-6 hours journey). Thus, it was obvious that my fun-climbing capability was way below an average trekker, a symptom of aging average traveler. 

Mt. Kinabalu timpohon trail

Laban Rata Dorm, only camp site at 3,273m (319m above Mt. Apo)

Laban Rata Dorm camp site area

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