Kota Kinabalu: Poring Hot Spring

Poring Hot Springs is about 13 kilometers from Ranau or about 40 kilometers from the Kinabalu National Park Headquarters in Kundasang. The hot springs is actually part of the huge Kinabalu National Park. The Poring Hot Springs was first developed by the Japanese during World War II and has progressed gradually to become one of the top tourist destinations amongst foreigners and locals alike. The hot waters of the spring contains sulphur are piped into open air Japanese style baths where you can rest your tired limbs after the long hours and strenuous climb up the Mount Kinabalu.

On our second day trip in Kota Kinabalu we woke up early in the morning to catch the first trip to Ranau for Kota Kinabalu National Park and Poring Hot Spring. Unfortunately due to transportation delays and time constraints, we are forced to abandon our itinerary for the national park as it will be very difficult to catch a ride from the park to Ranau proper after trekking so we decided to proceed straight to Poring Hot Spring.

Upon arrival at Poring Hot Spring we immediately went straight to the ticket counter as we only have about three hours inside the park. The fee for tourist is 15 MYR or about 165 Pesos on current exchange rate.

There are a lot of activities other than the natural hot spring main attraction at Poring Hot Springs, there are also other interesting areas in the park to be visited such as the butterfly farm, the Poring Orchid Conservation Centre, the tropical garden, the Poring canopy walkway, and the Rafflesia flower site which we all have to skip because of the limited time.

The springs are known for their therapeutic properties and the waters with their sulphuric minerals are reputed to ease aching muscles. No wonder it is favored by a lot of mountaineers after descending from Mount Kinabalu. Imagine being right there in front of the National Park and then it hits you that there’s not enough time to trek and visit both. I guess this trip to Poring, with a little disappointment, should serve as a guide and benchmark for future hike to Mount Kinabalu so we can have a well laid plan.

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