White Water Rafting at Kiulu River

white water rafting
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No matter how cool is your weekday job, your best day in office can’t beat an outing to try something new. My last weekend in Kiulu was a day filled with laughter, all from my heart. Before that, I was angry with the rude text from my boss that spoiled my weekend mood. Now I pity her that she can’t free her mind from work on Saturday.

Kiulu village
Kiulu is the second most beautiful village in Malaysia. One of the factors is its beautiful Kiulu River, the place where we raft. The river is so clean that the visibility is nearly 10 feet. Due to increasing pollution, you don’t find many rivers like Kiulu in Malaysia. Most of them are in milk tea color.

Kiulu River
The starting point of the white water rafting is about 40 KM from Kota Kinabalu city. The rafting route is about 12 Kilometers, which took 1.5 to 2 hours. To do white water rafting, you need to book a tour package with travel agent such as Riverbug, who provides the transport, boat, equipments, guide and lunch.

Starting point of White water rafting (Kiulu)

Starting point of White water rafting (Kiulu)


White water rafting may sound too adventurous (scary) to you. But no worry, the difficulty of white water rafting in Kiulu is only rated as Grade 1 to 2, which means “Some rough water, maybe some rocks, small drops, might require maneuvering”. It is not a challenging level like the Grade 3 to 4 level of Padas River. Even kids find it easy, great for family tour.

Group photo before white water rafting in Kiulu River

Group photo before white water rafting in Kiulu River


After travelling over an hour on bus, we reached Kiulu about 10am. For safety, we put on life jacket and helmet.

briefing before Kiulu White Water Rafting
Daniel, our friendly guide, gave a short briefing before the white water rafting. We only need to know 3 instructions, paddle forward, backward and stop.

Girls gear up for white water rafting

Everyone must wear helmet and life jacket for protection

Kiulu White Water Rafting
Everyone couldn’t wait to start so we got on-board very soon and started rafting. There were about 6 boats going together. Due to the dry season, the river is not deep and swift.

White water rafting in Kiulu River
We encountered some rapids along the way, but they are almost effortless to cross. In Grade 4 river, your raft will be capsized by strong waves if you don’t paddle hard to fight your way out of the rapid. Most of the time, we were lazy and left the guide did the paddling. :-p We waste more energy making “water war” with other boats LOL (can watch it in video below).

Kiulu White Water Rafting
We were very relax and enjoy the scenic countryside view along the river. We saw many big Pelian fishes in the river and some friendly villagers waving hands at us from the shore.


Click Here to see bigger video

White water rafting in Kiulu River

White water rafting is thrilling


Though the rapids were not strong, a few inexperienced tourists still fell into river. A tourist was so panic at first then found that actually he could stand in the shallow water, so funny. The playful guides also purposely pulled a few tourists out of the boat. When stopping for a rest, some of us jumped into the river to enjoy the refreshing clean water in hot day.

rapid in Kiulu River

Overcoming rapid in Kiulu River


There was an official photographer stationed at a few nice photography spots to shoot us in action. You can buy the photos from him during lunch. I paid for a few photos so I could post them in this blog for sharing.

Kiulu White Water Rafting
We reached our ending point around 12:30pm. Then we were transferred by bus to the activity center where we took shower, changed our cloth and had our lunch.

white water rafting
The lunch is quite nice. We had BBQ lamb and chicken. The muscles of my arm and legs were so sour in next day, haha..

If you are interested in Kiulu White Water Rafting, you may contact Rainforest Discovery & Tour Sdn. Bhd. at:
Mobile Phones: +60 16-8101298 (Hotline), +60 16-8120000 (Yap), +60 19-8800845 (Abran)
E-mail: info@rainforestour.com

Related post:
White water rafting at Padas River

Photos taken in Kiulu, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

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By Murphy Ng
  • HSL

    I visited the area once and fully agree with you that it is a very beautiful region. Just curious,  which is the most beautiful village in Malaysia…? 🙂

  • mysabah

    I have the same question too. I think this statement appeared once in the newspaper but I can’t locate the source. Same as “Sabah is top 10 sunset in the world”, I don’t know who first says that. I suspect it’s from you.  😀

  • HSL
  • HSL
  • HSL
  • mysabah

    Ok, ok, now I’m convinced  🙂

  • HSL

    Let me know if you need more as I could also create a Wikipedia page called “The 10 most beautiful sunset in the world”… 🙂

  • This is cool. I should’ve done this when I went to Sabah. 

    Comment exchange please on my blog post about our trip to Malaysia > http://wp.me/p1ZgsD-1X

  • mysabah

    So world’s top 10 sunset will be all in Sabah right? LOL

  • Jibie Jipp

    Another thing that I’ve always wanted to do but never got around to it yet. But I’d probably go for the Padas river first. More challenging and supposedly more fun I guess. 😀

  • mysabah

    Yes, Padas River is a lot more challenging. The fear it creates is quite a thrill.

  • Roger

    I will visit Sabah in Jan. I will rent a car and want to go rafting at Kiulu river. I wish to know where should I park the car, if possible?

  • Hi Roger, different tour operator has different starting point, so you need to check with the one you go with.