Around three-hour away from Kota Kinabalu city, Kinabalu Park or Taman Kinabalu is Malaysia’s first UNESCO World Heritage site. After our canopy walk and visit to Poring Hot Spring, we went to see Kinabalu Park’s botanical garden.
The botanical garden of Kinabalu Park is a home to a variety of plants, flowers, birds and butterflies. The park was actually established to protect Mount Kinabalu together with its plant and animal life.
It can only take around 20-30 minutes to roam around the whole garden if you won’t take long stops. The trail is well built and is made of concrete. You’ll enjoy the cold atmosphere in the place.
An estimate of 5,000-6,000 plant species can be found within the park area. Our tour guide introduced and gave a brief background of some of the plants and flowers. Among the things we found are Pink Maiden, Bird’s Nest Ferns and Kerosene tree.
The Pink Maiden bears pink fruit when young and will turn into dark blue when it ripens. The fruits are edible and sweet.
Bird’s Nest Ferns can be found growing on the branches or trunks of trees that traps water and tree debris like falling leaves. When it decomposed, it can provide nutrients to plants growing in the fern nest like orchids.
The Kerosene Tree is one of the unique finds inside the garden having fruits that are flammable.
We also found a naked tree (without bark).
There is also a stream of water flowing from the mountain. The water is very cold and refreshing.
The botanical garden is well preserved. Some of the plants have signs where you can read about its brief description.
It was just disappointing that we were not able to see rafflesia, the largest flower in the world that grows around the area. When rafflesia blooms, it will get to live for only one to five days. We were informed that a few days ago before our visit, one rafflesia bloomed and just died.
When going around, just be mindful of falling branches and forest leeches (yes, there are leeches out there). Do not touch the plants because you may not know what that might bring you. For added protection, better put an insect repellant lotion.
Tips and Notes:
– We availed a tour package forKinabalu Park Canopy Walkway and Poring Hot Spring which also includes a visit to the Botanical garden for MYR140. The package includes a tour guide, transportation to and fro the hotel and lunch.
– Travel time from Kota Kinabalu to the park is quite long, about 3 hours. Though we appreciate our visit to the place, we felt we could have maximized more of our time in KK had we went to other attractions which are much nearer. Our total travel time is actually much longer than the length of our time spent in the Canopy Walk, Poring Hot Spring and Botanical Garden combined.
Kinabalu Park’s Botanical Garden
Operating Hours: 9AM-1PM, 2PM-4PM
Entrancee Fee: Adults: RM4 (Malaysian), RM5 (Foreigner), Children (Below 18yrs old): 50% discount