: : The Majestic
Park - World Heritage designated by UNESCO in December 2000 for its
'outstanding universal values' and role as one of the world's most
important biological sites.
park covers a staggering area of 754 sq. km. (291 sq. mi.). Established
as a state park in 1964, this botanical paradise is blessed with an
astonishing variety of flora and fauna that ranges over 4 climate
zones, from the rich lowland dipterocarp forest through the montane
oak, rhododendron, and coniferous forests, to the alphine meadow plants.
And stunted bushes of the summit zone.
can resist the magical lure and irresistible challenge of scaling
the peaks of the majestic Mount Kinabalu, one of the tallest mountains
in South East Asia, towering 4095.2 m (13,435 ft.) above the lush
tropical jungles of North Borneo, in the State of Sabah. With its
granite massif dominating the surrounding landscape at the peak, often
shrouded in mists and clouds, Mount Kinabalu has an awesome mystique
all its own.
Watching sunrise at the top has been described by
travellers everywhere as life-enriching experience. The Park is a
paradise for naturalist, botanists, bird watches, mountaineers and
those simply admire nature.
slopes of Kinabalu are the home of the hill tribes of Kadazan Dusun
who believe the mountain to be the resting place for spirits of their
ancestors and therefore remains sacred to them. Earlier attempts to
climb the mountain had been forbidden, as to do so would have disturbed
these spirits and incurred their wrath.
It was only in 1851 that Sir Hugh Low led an expedition
up the mountain. A compromise with the locals was reached and a sacrifice
to appease the spirits was made at the halfway point. This spot was
named Panar Laban, a Dusun word meaning 'Place of Sacrifice'. The
local guide sacrificed a white cockerel and seven eggs to appease
the mountain spirits and is perform annually to this day.
name 'Kinabalu' is derived from the Kadazan Dusun words 'Aki Nabalu'
- where 'Aki' literally means 'ancestor' and 'nabalu' is the word
for 'mountain' - thus, the sacred resting place of the ancestral spirits.
Legends of the Kadazan Dusun have told of the supreme
deities creation of the world and Mt. Kinabalu. There are also follores
of the mythical dragon guarding a treasure trove of pearls. These
myths take on a more surreal presence when you are up in the mountain,
in the silence and mist of the swirling clouds. Another legend, a
young girl waiting on the mountain for her lover, a prince, was struck
by lightning and turned into stone. The lines of white quartz in the
granite slabs of the mountain are said to be her tears.
by Mr TAN BL
Hot Springs, a natural health spa offers open-air Japanese-style steaming
sulphur baths, which are skin-curative properties for skin disease
and an excellent tonic for tired limbs. It is one of the best places
to visit after a climb of Mt Kinabalu, or after a trip into the Sabah
jungles. Between hot and cold baths, you can trek through the dipterocarp
forests of Poring which are rich in fruit trees, kanas and rotan palms.
The baths were originally built during the Japanese
occupation and set in a lush green setting. It is called "Poring"
because it is named after a species of bamboo abundant here.
amidst the treetops of the Menggaris Tree which is 157.8 m. long and
41 m. high.