Mesilau Nature Resort, Sutera Sanctuary Lodge
We make it a point to go to Mount Kinabalu once a year. Not to climb, although that would be great, but to spend a day with the kids and to take in the fresh mountain air. This year, we decided to visit Mesilau Nature Resort.
Mesilau is possibly the highest point accessible to vehicles in the Mount Kinabalu area, it is surrounded by rolling hills and is close to the foot of the mountain. Mesilau is also the alternative route to start your climb to Mount Kinabalu. It joins the main mountain trail at about kilometer 4, and it is said to be a little more rugged than the trail from Timpohon Gate at Kinabalu National Park.
The Journey To Mesilau Nature Resort
You access Mesilau through Kundasang, make a left turn at the Kundasang roundabout. The roundabout is huge, going straight will take you to Ranau town, or take the right to go to Perkasa Hotel.
The road to Mesilau will take you through the rolling hills, sparsely populated by trees as a result of the cool climate. You start to climb and it just seems to go on and on. Keep your eye for the small signboard on the left of the road, you turn off on the left just as you approach the apex of the hill.
Then you still have to keep going up. When you reach the entrance of the park, you have to pay a conservation fee. It only cost us RM10 for the people in our vehicle, a small price to pay for the conservation effort.
Sutera Sanctuary Lodge In Mesilau
The accommodations and restaurants are managed by Sutera Sanctuary Lodges. The lodge is set in the midst of nature, and it is quiet and peaceful. Even though we were there to get some work done, we spent the first hour just chilling out and spending time with the kids.
The reception area is right at the entrance, and it is warm and inviting. Going further in will lead you to the dining rooms. We choose to go out on the verandah at the back of the restaurant. The climate is cool and offers a much needed respite from the heat in Kota Kinabalu. Sitting out there, you can hear the sound of water running of from the mountain, the bird calls and other sounds from the nature world. It does not get more relaxing than this.
It was a weekday, so we did not run into any crowds. There was a group of photographers from the West, and the photography equipment they had with them just boggles the mind. We were thinking they could have need researchers as the Kinabalu Park area is home to many species of plants and insects not found elsewhere in the world.
The food was very well prepared, as you would expect since you are paying 5 star hotel prices. Service was friendly and efficient, and we spent a very pleasant afternoon there. It was a cool 18 degrees Celcius (64 degrees Fahrenheit) at 12.25pm.
Time To Leave
The mist came in towards the mid afternoon, bring the temperature down even more and making things wet. We decided to leave soon after, there were still one more stop we had to make.
Mesilau is situated some 100 kilometers from Kota Kinabalu city by road, and it takes about 2 1/2 to 3 hours to get there. Leave the city and take the Tuaran road, at the runabout, turn off to Tampurali. From here on, staying on the main road will take you to Kinabalu National Park. Keep going and you will come to Kundasang, about 15 minutes away. Take the left at the Kundasang roundabout and turn off when you see the Mesilau signboard.
Take the bus at City bus terminal (North) to Kundasang. At Kundasang, you will have to change bus to get to Mesilau. Kota Kinabalu to Kundasang costs RM15.00 per person and Kundasang to Mesilau should cost between RM5.00 to RM10.00. You should check the prices as I do not know if it has changed.
To find a taxi-cab, read this post.
Park Conservation Fees
For Malaysia citizens, RM3.00 for adults, and RM1.00 for children below 18 years old.
All other nationality, RM15.00 (about US$4.80) for adults, and RM10.00 (approx US$3.20) for children below 18.
What You Could Do In Mesilau
- Climb Mount Kinabalu – requires booking weeks in advance
- Mountain Torq Via Ferrata – requires booking weeks in advance
- Hike the foothills of Mount Kinabalu
- Look for the Nepenthes rajah, the world’s largest pitcher plant
- Guided Nature Walk
- Mount Kinabalu Golf Club in Kundasang
- Visit Kundasang War Memorial
For Hotel Bookings, go here.
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