A 6.0 magnitude earthquake on 5 June 2015 destroyed part of the old summit trails on Mt. Kinabalu. On 1 Dec 2015, a new summit trail named Ranau Trail is open and becomes the Standard trail to climb Mt. Kinabalu until now, and I had covered this trail in detail in my article “How to Climb Mount Kinabalu and How Much it Cost?”.
New! Kota Belud Trail
The second new trail called Kota Belud Trail will be open in this month (Dec 2016). I had climbed it three months ago (with special permit by Sabah Parks, as it wasn’t open to public that time), and this post will give you an overall of this new trail.
1. Kota Belud Trail is 170 Metres longer than Ranau (Standard) Trail
The one way distance (from Timpohon Gate starting point to the Summit) of Kota Belud Trail is 8.97 KM, while Ranau Trail is 8.8 KM. The starting point of Kota Belud Trail is next to Gunting Lagadan Hut and Panar Laban Hut, while Ranau Trail is started behind the Pendant Hut.
2. Kota Belud Trail is more Challenging than Ranau Trail
Ranau Trail is more tourist-friendly and safer because there are a lot of staircase and climbing aid. Kota Belud Trail is quite “raw” with limited support, so it is meant for adventurers who want to do real climbing. You need to be quite fit, and more upper body strength is required for climbing at the steep section.
3. Kota Belud Trail is more Rocky
Most of the time you will walk on rock face and rocky ground, while Ranau Trail is flanked by dense vegetation most of the time.
4. Both trails start at Panalaban (then Laban Rata) and meet at Sayat-Sayat
Sayat-Sayat is a checkpoint 1.6 KM before the summit. The following routes are unchanged (before and after the earthquake):
- Timpohon Gate (Starting Point) → Panalaban (Laban Rata, the location of midway accommodation): 6 KM
- Sayat-Sayat Checkpoint → Summit: 1.6 KM
5. Both trails have very different scenery
Climbing via Ranau Trail is like walking in a garden because climbers will see many flora along the way. On Kota Belud Trail, you climb on bare rock face most of the time, but the panoramic view of the landscape is magnificent!
Below is a table to summarize the differences between these two summit trails:
|Ranau Trail (Standard)||Kota Belud Trail|
|Distance (one way)||8.8 KM||8.97 KM|
|Difficulty||Easy. Many staircases. Relatively less steep||Steep and challenging. Limited climbing aid.|
|Features||Dense and rich variety of summit vegetation along the trail||Route on rock face and rocky ground. Beautiful panoramic view.|
You know what. You can get better idea by watching the following video of Kota Belud trail. It shows our climb from the starting point to the summit. You can jump to 3:27 to see Kota Belud Trail:
The following is a photo walk-through of Kota Belud trail in chronological order:
Both Kota Belud and Ranau trails end and meet at Sayat-Sayat Checkpoint.
At the moment, I’m not sure if we will need special permit or requirement to climb Mt. Kinabalu via Kota Belud Trail. If this trail is open to public, you can get the most fun by ascending via Kota Belud Trail and descending via Ranau Trail. I’ll update this post when I get the latest information.
Photos taken on Mount Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo
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A traveller said, “I won’t have the memory of a city, if I don’t remember how its food tastes like.” Smell is the sense most closely linked with memory, and it can trigger a memory. We tend to recall more happy things while we enjoy great food. Agree? That’s why our food quest is a lifelong journey. Thanks to EatBah.com, I found some great stuffs at Menggatal Plaza (see Location Map or Street View), about 20 minutes away from Kota Kinabalu City (KK).
My first impression of Relax Cafe is a home-like cozy place filled with nice aroma of coffee.
The most ideal picture of my life is reading a book and relaxing in a cafe. Besides coffee, I love the smell of books. Coffee and books are prominent elements in the trendy interior design of this little cafe, so yea, I like its identity.
This cafe makes smart use of spacing and soft lighting to create many “small worlds”. You can find a little personal corner that belongs to you and your friends. In city, most cafes want to stuff as many desks as possible in a small area, making us feel like sitting in an open public area.
Most other cafes sell mainly cakes and dessert. Relax Cafe has some stomach fillers. The following are some of the items (*Serve No Pork):
– Oreo Lover (MYR12)
– Hot Commando Latte (MYR10)
– Cappuccino (MYR8.50)
– Hot Relax Chocolate (MYR7.50)
– Relax Signature Cheesy Snacks (MYR12.90)
– Cheesy Chicken on Papan (MYR28)
(Prices as of Nov 2016)
When I was looking around, I saw a pretty girl smiling at me. I took a deep breath, walked to her, and said, “Sorry Miss, would you please move away? I need the power points behind you.” Ok, I’m just kidding. She is Kimberly Vung, the Miss Sabah Tourism 2016, in our food hunting group. I’m just trying to say that it’s very thoughtful this cafe has many power points, something that I always search high and low in other restaurants.
What’s for lunch / dinner? For food, I’m very lazy to think what to eat, so Nasi Ayam (Chicken Rice) is my default choice.
Therefore, if the price of chicken rice rises, that’ll affect my income. In KK, most chicken rice costs MYR7 and more. In Menggatal Plaza, you still can find cheap chicken rice at Juara Express:
– Nasi Ayam Goreng (Fried Chicken Rice) (MYR5.30)
– Ayam Kon Lou Mee (Noodle with Chicken) (MYR5.80)
The quantity of the chicken is not bad, at least the meat is more than cucumber. You can have noodle there too.
There are 9 other Juara branches in Sabah:
Tel: +60 88-433653
Opening Hours: 10am – 9:30pm daily
Phoenix Restaurant (名凰阁)
Our next stop is a Chinese restaurant called Phoenix Restaurant (名凰阁) next to Upperstar.
We tried the following dishes:
– Pork Belly with Salted Fish 咸鱼花腩煲 MYR12 (S) MYR20 (M)
– Nam Lu Chicken Wing 南乳鸡翼 MYR10 (S) MYR20 (L)
– Fried Tom Yam Meehoon 炒冬炎米粉 MYR10
– Ikan Bakar (Grilled Fish) from Paul Ikan Panggang (separate stall in this restaurant) MYR4/100gram
I like their Pork Belly with Salted Fish and Nam Lu Chicken Wing, very appetizing.
Ikan Bakar Nicholas (Grilled Fish)
We tried Grilled Fish of Ikan Bakar Nicholas in Kedai Kopi Memang (美满).
The grilled fish we had was a flounder, which costs MYR14 (MYR3.50 per 100gram)
Ladleful BBQ Steamboat Buffet
MYR30 for a steamboat buffet sounds too good to be true, but I find it at Menggatal Plaza. Ladleful BBQ Steamboat Buffet serves no pork and the following is the rate:
– Adult MYR30
– Child MYR15
– Under 5 is Free Of Charge
Though the buffet isn’t expensive, the food is not cheapo. They have good variety of meat, seafood and vegetables, and soft drink and ice cream are included.
Photos taken in Menggatal (Kota Kinabalu), Sabah, Malaysia Borneo
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