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Mount Kinabalu Sunrise View Sabah

Sunrise at Mount Kinabalu
Mount Kinabalu in Sabah is one of the most interesting places to visit or climb in Malaysia or simply to catch the beautiful Kinabalu sunrise moment.

Awarded a UNESCO World Heritage Status in 2000, Kinabalu sits on the Crocker Range at the height of 4,095.2 meters (13,435 feet) and is the tallest mountain in Southeast Asia.

The Kinabalu mountain and its surroundings are among the most important biological sites globally, with over 600 species of ferns, 326 species of birds, and 100 mammalian species identified, which makes this one amazing place to visit.

Mount Kinabalu Sunrise View in Sabah

Sunrise at KinabaluMount Kinabalu morning clouds passing the valley.

On one of my journeys to see the sunrise at Mount Kinabalu, I took off from Kota Kinabalu at about 3.30 am as the drive to Kinabalu Park takes about one and a half to two hours without rushing.

Along the way, I made various stops to admire the beautiful Kinabalu Sunrise scenery, where one of them was witnessing the morning dew move over the landscape. Something this beautiful would only be seen at around 5.00 is in the morning.

Road to KinabaluA signpost indicating the distance to Ranau, Poring and Kinabalu Park.

My journey started from the capital of Sabah, Kota Kinabalu. There is only one main road towards Mount Kinabalu Park, Highway A4 that passes the town of Tuaran towards Kundasang and Ranau.

I took a casual drive with my rented car, where my objective was to visit Kinabalu Park to catch the amazing sunrise at Mount Kinabalu.

A4 Highway KinabaluMount Kinabalu A4 Main Highway.

The main A4 Highway is a two-way highway, so one must be extra careful while driving here due to the winding and narrow roads.

At some point on my drive, Mount Kinabalu was visible from the roads and at almost every turn I took, the majestic mountain would be in front of me.

The roads start to ascend after Tuaran and the air starts to get cool.

Kinabalu Poropok ViewPoropok View Stop.

Many stops offer great lookout views of Mount Kinabalu along the way. The notable ones would be Poropok View, Tourist Bus Stop View and Pekan Nabalu, which is a great stop during the Sabah durian season.

Some of these stops cater to tourists by offering souvenir shops, restaurants, toilets and handicraft shops which I always stop to see what they might have.

Kinabalu SunriseMount Kinabalu at 5.00 am sunrise.

Mount Kinabalu Sunrise from Jalan Ranau Bypass.

Just before the Nabalu Town stop, I made a detour which was recommended by my Sabahan friend Mark who told me that one of the best spots to catch the Kinabalu Sunrise would be along a slip road called Jalan Ranau Bypass.

It was here, I captured various shots of the sun rising from behind of Mount Kinabalu, which I find is a magical moment.

Kinabalu Dawn PhotoMount Kinabalu Sunrise.

Catching the sunrise at Kinabalu was one of the beautiful things seen in my travels. Apparently, on a good day, the sun rises at about 6.30 am and in 10 minutes after the sun rises, white clouds start to come in and surround Mount Kinabalu.

Sun Rising at Mount KinabaluMount Kinabalu Sunrise.

On one of my other trips, I captured the sunrise from the Nabalu Town viewing platform. An area built for the purpose of viewing Mount Kinabalu at any time of the day, this is one of the closest viewing points with no obstructions to Kinabalu.

Photo of Mount KinabaluMount Kinabalu View from the Tourist Bus Stop View.

Just so you know, I have made at least 8 trips to Kinabalu Park since 2006 to 2008 and many times, I have stopped at various places to capture the sunrise moment.

This would explain my various sunrise pictures, where some are with natural props of flowers and leaves in front of me and some plain clear shots of the mountain.

Valley at KinabaluView of the valley around Mount Kinabalu.

At the famous Tourist Bus Stop View, this is the best place to see the entire Kinabalu mountain range and the valleys before it.

The Tourist Bus Stop View is after the Jalan Ranau Bypass and before Nabalu Town, and best to visit here as early as possible.

On the left side of the road, you see a row of shacks that apparently sell local produce. It is here that you can see various small villages in the green valley of Kinabalu.

How this place got a name like Tourist Bus Stop View, it was mentioned by Mark that many tourist buses make this place a photography stop for tourists and most tour guides would know of this.

You do not have to climb Mount Kinabalu to go there as you can just make a self drive to the Kinabalu Park and see the majestic mountain along the way and also from the park.

Facts about Kinabalu Park and its surroundings;
  • Drive to Kinabalu Park from KK Town - Two-hour drive one way
  • You can spend half a day there and head back to KK
  • Try the local fruits and Durians ar Nabalu Village
  • Kundasang War Memorial around the area
  • Poring Hot Springs around the area
You can get more detailed information and facts from Wikipedia about Mount Kinabalu, for anyone interested. 

Map to Kinabalu Park in Sabah


Just so you know, I have seen the Kinabalu sunrise many times, mainly due to my work, and occasionally, I would be at the foot of the mountain by about 5.00 AM as light starts to break round 6.00 AM.

For those planning to visit this beautiful mountain in Sabah, I would highly recommend you leave extra early, like about 4.00 AM to catch the amazing Mount Kinabalu sunrise as it is quite breathtaking.


Ken Wooi said...

nice pictures around mount kinabalu!
did you hike the mountain? =)


Malaysia Asia said...

Thanks Ken, actually I never did climb Mount Kinabalu. I must have been there about 8 times but only to the Kinabalu Park.


Robo said...

Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos. Too bad it's hard for me to wake up at 3am...oh!
Anyway, I like your life style...:)

Henry Lee said...

HMM... 8 times to Kundasang. I only been there not more than 5 times even though I'm a Sabahan myself. I do love the scenery there especially the mount Kinabalu. Frankly speaking, I have not climbed the it too.. will love to do it someday but gotta book at least 6 months before :)

CathJ said...

Nxt time must climb.. nice view on top.. ^_^

Nicholas Leong said...

Ooo that is one nice place to capture sunrise. I have been to Sabah a long long time ago. But I was sleeping in the bus when the sun was rising :P

Tony Wan said...

Yoh, why u never climb?

Expect more adventurous trip for your next posts :D

Malaysia Asia said...

Robo, hard to make the Sunrise, try the Sunset or just don't sleep the night before :)

Henry, yes I was told that one has to book in advance. Ant prices are crazy now.

Cath, I read about your climb. Very interesting and kudos for achieving it.

Nicholas, hahah nice to sleep as it is cold there at 5-6am. Maybe next time you best self drive?

Tony, well, I am not fit enough for climbing Kinabalu. But I plan for something more challenging in 2010.


Rob said...

Great photos, I would love to get to Sabah as soon as possible!

Malaysia Asia said...

Thanks Rob, let us know when you been on your blog.