On day 4, we travelled even further out to Kinabalu Park for a whole day of activities waiting ahead for us. It was a long drive up the mountains but we were greeted with amazing scenery and photographic opportunities at every corner of the road. At Kinabalu Park, we got to walk on the Canopy Walk, did a little trekking up the forest to the waterfall, followed by a visit to the hot spring and fish massage.
Traditional Local Breakfast
We decided to skip hotel breakfast and to start our day with something local instead. We headed over to Tamparuli, a place bustling with rustic charm, for the famous Tamparuli Mee (first thumbnail), along with some other local dishes. As our guide Leroy explained, the Tamparuli Mee is prepared by cooking the noodles three times – first frying, then boiling, and frying again, to attain the unique fragrance of the noodles. While the noodles may look similar to those found in Singapore or other parts of Malaysia, the flavours have a twist to them and definitely worth a try.
The Canopy Walk is made of three narrow bridges hung by ropes, which requires a hike up the steps on the hill. The bridges may look daunting at first, but they are very safe and offers an amazing panoramic view in the center of the forest. This can, however, be a challenge to some who are afraid of heights and swaying bridges.
Trekking to the Waterfall
There were two routes in the forest, and we chose the longer one to go to the waterfall. Leroy told us that most tourists would be tired after hiking up to the Canopy Walk and often chose to go straight to the hot springs instead. We enjoyed the trek up to the waterfall, because of how cooling and refreshing it was up the hill compared to the humidity in the forest. We even had fun on a tree trunk that became our giant swing.
This is a good place to de-stress and soak away the sores and aches of your muscles in the spring’s hot sulphuric minerals, deemed to have healing properties and very popular among the locals. It is an open area, and as we walk through the place we could see many locals and tourists enjoying themselves in the hot water. Do bring a change of clothes if you want to completely soak in the water!
Fish Massage at “Tagal” Sungai Moroli, Kampung Luanti
When we were told that we were going for a fish massage, we thought we were going to expect the small fish we usually see at fish spas in Singapore. Turns out that the fish are actually Mahseer, which are river fish and can grow to quite a size. Despite their size, they have no teeth so it is generally safe to feed them and even walk among them in the water. Apparently, people who go there for regular fish massage are supposed to have smoother and suppler skin, as the fish nibble away at their dead skin.
Desa Cattle Dairy Farm
The Desa Cattle Dairy Farm has one of the most amazing sceneries, with the majestic Mount Kinabalu overlooking beautiful green pastures. With the breathtaking sceneries and cool breeze, we also tried feeding bottled milk and grass to the cattle and kid goats. Afterwhich, we also bought some milk and yogurt to try, which were some of the freshest dairy products we had ever tried.
After a day packed with activities and travelling, we finally settled for late lunch at the Liwagu Restaurant and headed down back to Kota Kinabalu City. It was an amazing day with beautiful sceneries. Mount Kinabalu, we will be back again!