Climbing Mountain Kinabalu (first attempt)

Sep 17

This is a re-post from archive.

A Dream (Almost) Came True – Posted on 20 Aug 2006

The idea of standing on top of the highest mountain in South East Asia started playing in my mind 2 years ago. Finally, the chance came on 12th August 2006. Launi, Joe and I planned the trip to Mount Kinabalu when Air Asia gave away 2 million tickets for free early this year. However, only Launi and I went as Joe has unforeseen emergency on that day.

Climbing up the mountain prove to be a tough challenge for a first timer like me. Even though I trained regularly 3 months before the climb, it only prepared me physically. The biggest test is on my very own mind. After enduring cold, strong wind, bad visibility and thin air, I almost gave up. The only thing that kept me going was my strong determination to realize my dream.

Even though I did not reach the summit, but I have learned something. One is, even though you have the ability to go further, do not go against the force of nature. Always be humble and learn to let go so that you will have another opportunity to try again. That was the case happened to us. Total distance to reach the summit is 8.72km. We have covered 7km, only left 1.72km and yet we are forced to stop at Sayat Sayat hut because the ranger did not allow anyone to go further due to really harsh weather (almost freezing, strong wind and thick mist). I insisted to go but was discouraged by all the guides there. After putting some senses into me like, “which one is more important? your life or the summit?” I decided to try again next year. So close and yet so far…

Sometimes destination is not everything. It is the journey that fulfill us. I could have reached the summit if I put my life into risk but what is the point? I couldn’t see a damn thing. Not even my leg.

It may seem tough at first sight, but when you started your first step, there will be a second step and so on until at one point you know you will reach it some how. At times, when you are too tired to go further, just stop and take a rest. Once you have enough rest, continue. Don’t just stop there or worse; go back to where you came from.

So here I am, live to share with you my trip to the “land beneath the wind” on last weekend.

Cost break down:

Flight from PG to KL: RM30
Flight from KL to KK: RM40
Flight from KK to KL: RM40
Flight from KL to PG: RM79.99
1 night stay at Grace Hostel: RM30
1 night stay at Laban Rata Resthouse: RM50
1 night stay at Mandarin Hotel, KK: RM50
Taxi fare from KK airport to bus terminal: (RM20 + RM15)/2
Bus fare from bus terminal to Kinabalu Park: RM10
Bus fare from Kinabalu Park to KK town: RM10 + RM1
Taxi to seafood restaurant and back: (RM5 + RM7)/2
Boat ride to Pulau Gaya: RM34/2
Lunch + other expenses at LCCT: RM50
Dinner at bus terminal: RM10
Face mask and glove: RM10
Mountain guide fee: RM70/2
Climbing permit and premium fee: RM74/2
Bag keeping: RM10
Transport from park reception to Timpohon gate: RM15
Tongkat: RM3
Certificate: RM1
Eating at Laban Rata: RM80
Lunch at park restaurant: RM7.30
Durian + drinks: RM19/2 + RM3
Seafood at Ocean Seafood Village: RM168.30/2
Breakfast: RM6
Kiulu River whitewater rafting: RM140
Souvenirs: RM100
Dinner at LCCT: RM11

Total Expenses: RM993.44

When I almost gave up, I saw this guy overtook us.

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See how my body heat up during the climb.

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See the rest of the photo here…


  1. Su Mael /

    hi, it was interesting to read your blog about the first experience. Please let me know when will you go again …

    • Hi Su Mael. Thanks for visiting I went there for second time and successfully conquered the mountain. You can read about it here. At the moment, I don’t plan for another trip to the mountain but looking for new challenges in life.

  2. adele /

    how much to stay a night at middle of mountain?

  3. Hey Ben, I came across your website while doing some research on our KK trip next month. Wonder how did you get the bus back from KK park to town? or is there is website to checkout the timetable? thanks.

    • we just waited by the road side and stopped any bus that pass by. I don’t know what time is the last bus though.

  4. skyhigh /

    can i noe roughly how much to climb mount kk..

  5. I am not suprised that you were adviced by your guide from ascending further as the weather is not suitable to claim. However, I and a team of 7 persons comprising 3 women between the age of 38 – 57 years successfully reached the summit of Low’s peak. I am the most senior amongst our team. I do agree that the trailing was tough more so on our way down – descending. I suggest that you give it a try the next tme. Our budget was much more and escalating….RM1500/=. Good luck and keep on inspired and enjoy the abandance of nature.

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