Drive to Kinabalu Park

The drive to Kinabalu park has been adventurous and memorable. Adventurous because we did not know the route and were exploring by ourselves and memorable because we were going on a long drive in a car all driven by ourselves.

The night before we started to Kinabalu park, we took directions from Marc regarding the route. We bought a route map of the KK city but that map did not have the route to Kinabalu park. After clearly hearing to the directions from Marc, I decided to be the navigator while Surya will be the driver.

We started off early by 5.30 from the hostel. We were told that it is about 2 hour drive from KK. The day before we filled up 10 liters of gas in the vehicle. Frankly speaking we did not really check the condition before we rented the car. We were actually going on an alien road and not sure if there would be any bumps. We were lucky to see a good sealed road for most of the way through.

Wonderful Road

Surya was our driver all the way

We drive for 36KM from KK to Tamparuli Roundabout which was very clear as it was a straight road. From Tamparuli Roundabout we took a right turn and drove straight until we reached outskirts of Tamparulli. From there we had to drive another 52 km mountainous route to arrive to Kinabalu Park. This route has been an up-hill driving all the way until we reached Kinabalu National Park. It was a long stretch of winding and neat road with some little bumps here and there to National park. All we need to do is to just stick with the main road and we will soon reach our destination.

We reached the Kinabalu park headquarters by 7.30. Upon arrival, we registered ourself and got a briefing by mountain guide info about trails.

Head Quarters, We stopped for the registration

We paid for the
Mt. Climbing Permit,
Mt. Climbing Insurance
Mt. Guide
Certificate of Achievement
Main entrance fee to Kinabalu Park

Balsam Cafe where we had our breakfast

At the reception

We were given food coupons:
1 pack lunch (Balsam Cafe) Day 1
1 dinner (Laban Rata restaurant) Day 1
1 breakfast (Laban Rata restaurant) Day 2
1 lunch (Balsam Cafe) Day 2


We had our breakfast at the Balsam Cafe for 45 Ringitt each. We took our packed lunch and started off in the taxi to the mesilau trail after parking our car at the head quarters. On the way to Mesilau, we came across the Kundasang village which was very nice and also had a small market place. We were excited to see the view of the mountains on the way to Mesilau. Everybody felt good about the decision of parking our car at the head quarters as it would have never made it to the Mesilau trail. It was too steep and even Land Cruiser was having trouble going up in 2nd or 3rd gear.

View on the way to Mesilau trail

In the cab, on the way to Mesilau

At around 8.45 we reached Mesilau and started off by 8.50.

All Set to go
Starting point of the trek

Finally I would say that the drive to Kinabalu park was exciting and exhilarating with the wonderful views and the cool breeze.


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