The majestic and awe-inspiring Mount Kinabalu is the highest peak in South East Asia, standing at 4,101m above sea level. A designated World Heritage Site, it boasts a diverse array of unique flora and fauna including rare orchids, pitcher plants, and the Rafflesia, the largest flower in the world.
Mount Kinabalu is extremely climber-friendly with the standard climb being via the Kinabalu Summit Trail. The use of a mountain guide is compulsory and most climbers take two days, with an overnight break at Laban Rata after a 6 km trek. The final attack, a further 3 km including climbs along steep rock faces aided by a fixed rope, to Low’s Peak takes place in the early hours of the second day in order to catch the spectacular sunrise at the summit.
Laban Rata is a welcome sight and perfect pit stop after your first day's climbing. Please note that a stay here can only be booked through Scott Dunn as part of an itinerary with at least seven nights accommodation in total.
Laban Rata offers simple and basic dormitory style accommodation in Panar Laban Hut, Waras Hut and Gunting Lagadan Hut. There are also welcome hot water showers available in the shared bathrooms.
Children are welcome to come and stay at Laban Rata. However, there are no specific facilities available for them. Children under the age of 10 years old may well find the trek too hard depending on their walking and climbing abilities, it is therefore not recommended for younger children.
There is a communal restaurant area at Laban Rata which can be a great place to meet other climbers and compare tips, stories and notes. All stays at Laban Rata include your meals.
When to travel
Like the rest of Malaysia, Sabah’s climate is hot and humid. Expect temperatures in the high 20s and low 30s throughout the lowlands. The state’s rainfall averages about 300cm annually and though it rains throughout the year, the heaviest rainfall generally occurs between October and January. At higher elevations the temperature is refreshingly cool, dropping to colder temperatures at night. Mount Kinabalu has its own climate and, above 3500m, temperatures can drop to freezing.
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Location and directions
Near the peak of Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia. Laban Rata sits 3,272 metres above sea level and is part of Kinabalu Park.
How to get there
17-hour international flight (one change) to Kota Kinabalu International Airport. The lodge is also 90km from the airport.