Borneo Pictures ~ Kinabalu Mountain Lodge, Park, Market
I took these pictures in and around the Kinabalu Mountain Lodge in this national park on Borneo (Sabah, Malaysia). We had arrived by road from Sandakan via Poring Hot Springs to stay here at the Lodge.
Kinabalu Mountain Lodge Near Mt Kinabalu Borneo Malaysia
Our first view of the two storey building at Kinabalu Mountain Lodge.
In late April, flowers, flowering trees and shrubs were in full bloom, with day lilies lining the roads; the air so sweet and fresh I can still smell it!
After the heat and humid coast at Libaran and Sandakan, the fresh cooler air was a wonderful treat.
Kinabalu Mountain lodge is located about a 15 minute drive from the park main entrance.
This is a very quiet area, wth few visitors at the time we were here. At night, I estimated the temperature dropped to about 17C (63F).
Kinabalu Lodge dining room has views of Mt Kinabalu Borneo
The peaked roof is over the the dining room at the main lodge, set high above the valley with lovely views to Mt Kinabalu.
Breakfast for us was at 7:30 a.m.; dinner at 7:30 p.m.
Groups that travel together eat together. If I sat at a table apart from my travelling companions, thinking they might enjoy one meal on their own, the staff moved us together.
Meals were included on the tour I took, though drinks are not. You could order soft drinks and beer and pay as you go in local currency.
Kinabalu Mountain Lodge Room - Comfy, Cosy, Quiet Borneo Inn
Room 8, Kinabalu Lodge, on the upper level of the building in the top picture, with comfy twin beds.
The large ensuite bath was up a step from the bedroom area.
Bottled drinking water was provided; the south facing windows were screened; a space heater provided for use on chilly nights.
No television -- I hadn't seen television or had internet since Kota Kinabalu a few days earlier.
Outside the room, a lobby area offered minimal reading material, including a guest book, which I signed.
I was interested to see from how many and varied countries others had come from, including one family from Alberta, Canada (Home!) the year before.
Mt Kinabalu view from Kinabalu Mtn Lodge - Borneo Malaysia
From outside the building that housed my room, a short walkway crossed to the access road, where a small covered gazebo offered shelter to all guests.
From this road, looking roughly east, the peaks of Mt Kinabalu made a wonderful view.
Early morning mists that filled the valley had burned off. At the end of this road furthest from the lodge, a large home housed the owner's family and served as an admin center for staff.
Kinabalu Market near Mt Kinabalu Sabah Malaysia
Kinabalu market is about a 15 minute drive down the mountain from Kinabalu lodge.
The day before, we'd arrived here in a tropical downpour, so we didn't stop.
This day, after our hike at Mt Kinabalu and a tour of the information center, the rain was still holding off.
We came here for a lovely half hour, in late afternoon, to wander the stalls and have a snack before dinner.
The market stalls have their own access road -- the lower one -- and steady traffic passes on the main road.
Along the highways, we'd passed many vegetable gardens planted in narrow terraces that circled the hills. Other large gardens were planted in areas that had been clear cut forests.
Kinabalu Borneo market fruit stand - Good place to buy snacks.
This area of Sabah is one of the main fruit and produce growing areas for the state, and beyond.
This market is also a wholesaler to many area shops and restaurants as well as for Kota Kinabalau, about two hours' drive west from here on the coast.
There is a much larger general market (Pekan Nabalu) closer to Kota Kinabalu, where we stopped for an all too short half-hour the next day en route to the airport for our flight south.
There, few stalls offered produce, and many vendors sold jewellery and clothing.
Grilled Chicken at Kinabalu Market - not so good snack
Lest you get your mouth watering, a caveat: Grilled chicken in this picture is the part of the chicken known at one time and colloquially in America (and perhaps the UK) as [a religious leader's] nose.
This part being grilled is the tail of the chicken, skewered 5-8 at a time then placed over charcoal.
These chubby chicken tails proved quite as fatty, greasy and lacking of actual chicken meat as you would expect.
One of our party ordered a skewer (cost about 25 cents) and gamely struggled with the chewy morsels, but I gave them a miss. BBQ chicken wings were about 25 cents each.
Kinabalu market honey seller - Royal Jelly For Sale
Several vendors at the market in Kinabalu were selling bottles royal jelly and jars of honey, their varied colors and flavours testament to the rich variety of honey sources on Borneo.
You'd be hard pressed to choose a favourite.
Some shops sold tropical house plants, and a few sold teas, though the other market -- Pekan Nabalu, where I bought my teas the next day -- had a much larger supply.
Small boxes of Sabah tea make a great and practical souvenir or gift to bring home.
A bag of fresh shiitake mushrooms cost 66 cents.
With such a unique cuisine, I had to ask why travellers were served such bland meals (they were good, just not the Malaysian Laksa I had my mouth set for). The guide said that laksa and other Malay treats, like the foods at this market, are considered fit for common people, not guests.
Snake Fruit at the Kinabalu Park Market Malaysia Foods
I bought 4 snake fruits (the white and dark brown balls in the photo) for 33 cents.
Snake fruit was new to me. It's a nut from a palm tree.
Local women shopkeepers with minimal English nonetheless were able to show me how to peel and eat them.
Snake fruit skin is very thin and brittle, and peels and feels much like a hard boiled egg -- and it's about the same size, too, with a large center pit and firm flesh. Tasted faintly citrus-y. The small sugar bananas were a total of 33 cents.
Travel time KK airport to Kinabalu Park Mountain Lodge
From the Kinabalu Mountain Lodge to Kota Kinabalu airport, it's roughly a two-hour drive to cover the 94 km (58 miles). (Having driven here from Sandakan, on the east coast, we'd no perspective of distance, and were much closer than we had presumed.) Though open every day, Thursdays are the biggest market day at Pekan Nabalu, about 20 minutes by road from the lodge, en route to the airport.
What things cost Borneo Market :I made note of some prices of souvenir items: T-shirts about $4 USD; bracelets cost $2 US each (wooden beads strung in patterns); various packets and sizes of Sabah tea (about 5, tea bags and loose tea) about $5 US total. Having missed this market due to rain the day before, we didn't have much time to shop today since we had a noon flight to catch in KK. No pictures at Pekan Nabalu -- too busy shopping! See Borneo main page for general Borneo Malaysia travel information.
From Kinabalu Mountain Lodge, we drove an hour west to the Kota Kinabalu airport to catch our flight south to Sarawak for a two night stay at Royal Mulu resort, to tour the limestone caves and explore by river boat. The pictures on this page were taken at Kinabalu Lodge and the nearby market.