Standing at 4095 metres above sea level, Mount Kinabalu is the highest mountain in Malaysia and the 20th most prominent mountain in the world. For those adventurous types you can climb the mountain in 2 or 3 days but for those less adventurous types (like me) you can go and trek around the foothills for an afternoon. The drive from Kota Kinabalu takes a couple of hours, driving along winding roads through the lush green scenery with the mountain looming ever nearer. We stopped off a couple of times en route to take in the landscape, firstly at a rickety looking bridge.
The rest of the group were much happier to walk on the wobbly bridge than I was but you can still get a good view of Mount Kinabalu from the safety of the land. (Yes, I’m a bit of a chicken when it comes to heights and wobbly bridges!).
Our second stop was at a local’s house to have lunch that they had prepared. The view was stunning and the kids loved eating our left overs.
Once at Mount Kinabalu we got a talk from our guide, Awang, then headed off along the trails of the foothills.
Not being a seasoned hiker coupled with the fact that I was stopping to take photos every 30 seconds meant that I spent the entire trek at the back of the group so I have no idea what any of the plants were or any of the other information that Awang gave the group but I had a lovely time soaking in the beauty and tranquility of the place.
At the end of the trek we went around the botanical garden and saw samples of all the plants and flowers that are native to Mount Kinabalu.
After our time at Mount Kinabalu we drove for around an hour to get to Sabah Tea Plantation which was our base for the night. The accommodation was basic but clean and functional but the view was spectacular.
This place is very Instagram friendly so of course we had to take some classic tourist photos!
As it was Stuart’s birthday, the first thing he did upon arrival was purchase all the beer within a 10 mile radius and then celebrations commenced. Coincidently it was also Victor’s birthday, another member of our group so it was a double celebration. We headed to the restaurant at the resort which was around a 10 minute walk and had the usual cuisine of noodles and rice and our guide, Awang, had kindly organised a birthday cake for Stuart and Victor.
After dinner we had the opportunity to taste a selection of different flavoured teas which ranged from disgusting to really disgusting, I will certainly be sticking to my English Breakfast Tea from now on.
If you are able to skip a morning lie in then it’s definitely worth getting up bright and early to catch the sunrise. With the mist low on the ground and the warm colours lighting up the sky, it’s a special place to start your day.
The following morning we had a tour of the factory with a trip to the shop to purchase some tea. I can highly recommend the normal Sabah Tea which tastes like the tea we know and love and is lovely and strong. We weren’t allowed to take photos in the factory but it was interesting to find out the processes that are carried out to get the tea from field to cup.