Kundasang Trip Itinerary
|

Kundasang Trip Itinerary For All Budgets

Hiking Mount Kinabalu, but want to explore the small, cosy town of Kundasang while you’re in town? Here are some ideas and recommendations based on my stay – 5 days 4 nights Kundasang trip itinerary. 

Kundasang is situated around 1.5. to 2 hours away from Kota Kinabalu. Known for its highlands, it is considered to be like the New Zealand of Borneo with its landscape and high elevations.

Kundasang Trip Itinerary 1
Photo Credit: @zarulzain

This little city not only offers a serene and picturesque setting with numerous attractions to explore, but it is also home to the highest mountain in Malaysia and Borneo, which is Mount Kinabalu.

Most climbers will fly into Kota Kinabalu a day before climbing Mount Kinabalu. However, I took the whole week on leave to explore this little town of Kundasang as it would be my first time there. 

I’ve only been to Tawau and Semporna for diving, so I was quite excited to explore Kundasang! 😀

Here, I will share my Kundasang travel blog itinerary, including the accommodations, where to go, where to eat, things to do in Kundasang and what the weather is like! 

Disclaimer: Some of the links here are affiliate links, and I may earn if you click on them, AT NO EXTRA cost to you. I hope you find the information here useful! Thanks!

Kundasang Trip Itinerary For 5 Days

Kundasang Weather

A tropical climate characterises the weather in Kundasang. The weather during the day can be warm and hot.

However, the temperature could drop during the nighttime, making it very chilly. Brrr! Wear warm clothes during the evening as it can get freezing. It was pleasantly warm during our stay during the day, and it was raining most nights. 

The best time to visit Kundasang is during the dry season, from April to October when the weather is more stable and pleasant.

Accommodations

You will find numerous homestays, Airbnb’s, and hotel lodges around Kundasang. Some offer a magnificent view of Mount Kinabalu; some offer tranquillity amid nature.

Refer to your draft Kundasang itinerary and look for places to visit in Kundasang; you have an endless list of options from which you can choose

Here are the two different Kundasang lodges I stayed at throughout my Kundasang trip itinerary.

Kundasang Trip Itinerary 2

D’Shaun is just right next to Desa Dairy Farm. They have a sky deck observation view and decent rooms for a short stay. 

Rooms are comfortable. There is an ample parking area. Breakfast is alright. It’s local food like nasi goreng, mee goreng and fried egg. Nothing too fancy, but enough to fill your tummy. 

The only downside of it is that this lodge is pretty far from the town and uphill. It is very dark at night, so before heading back to your accommodation, grab your dinner or your groceries and whatnot. 

Reservations are through WhatsApp only at the moment. Do check out the type of rooms and the current rates here.

Kundasang Trip Itinerary 3

B Inspired Abode is another lovely place to stay, and I would come back here again. I love the pressure of the hot water and the fantastic view of Mount Kinabalu!

You get to experience the sunrise and sunset of Mount Kinabalu from just one place! Trust me, you can just sit there and mountain watching.

The one thing I would prefer to avoid is the VERY steep slope to get from the lobby area to our tiny little lodge. It was daunting!

All in all, I enjoyed my stay at these two places. Both lodges are situated on top of the hill with a view of Mount Kinabalu.

Here are some other recommendations from family and friends who have been in Kundasang 😉

Car Rental

To move around in Kundasang, it’s best to rent a car. It gives you the flexibility to move around Kundasang easily. 

One tip on renting a car is to ensure that you rent a car that is reliable and robust, as certain roads around Kundasang can be very steep, and you need sufficient horsepower. 

If not, you’ll strain your engine, and you’ll be stranded by the roadside. I actually saw a few cars stranded on our way to Kundasang! 

I rented a Proton Bezza from ED Holidays Travel & Car Rental that cost about RM 500 for the whole five days, which was a good bargain! They had a Merdeka month promotion!  

Ready for your road trip around Kota Kinabalu? Check out other cheap car rentals in Kota Kinabalu that will make your life easier and more practical. 

Day 1: Arrival in Kota Kinabalu

I took the earliest flight into Kota Kinabalu with my hiking buddies. We arrived at KKIA and started the day off with a good cuppa of coffee. We met our car rental guy and took off on our road trip.

Kundasang Trip Itinerary 4

📍 1st stop:  Kota Kinabalu Handicraft Market  (Pasar Kraftangan)

Also known as the Filipino Market, there are tons of local handicrafts showcased in the endless stalls along winding alleyways, from pearl jewellery to rattan bags, baskets and handmade souvenirs. 

Kundasang Trip Itinerary 5

I’m a big fan of earrings. So I bought freshwater pearl earrings here at a good price 😉 

Next to the Handicraft Market is the Snacks Heaven. You can have various kinds of snacks and munchies such as Kuih Kuis, Kuih Kapit, and all other types of snacks that make your taste buds dance. 

Kundasang Trip Itinerary 6

Plus, you will see a lot of dried sea produce such as fish, cuttlefish, prawns, and sea cucumber. I bought the famous blue-eyed anchovies, which are widely known in Sabah! 

📍 2nd stop: The Warung Kepayan

Famous for its nasi kuning ayam, nasi lalap, it is one of the local warung (roadside stalls) that the locals frequent every day. Their service is fast, the portion is quite big, and it’s yummy! 

Parking can be a little bit hard during lunch hour. So, do come slightly earlier than lunchtime and park along the road.

📍 3rd Stop: Tamparuli Suspension Bridge

The next stop is the famous Tamparuli Bridge, with its legendary tale. It is the best place to visit in Kundasang.

Upon arriving at the entrance, all the visitors were greeted with a traditional dance performance by volunteers. At the end of the performance, the locals briefly explained the history of the bridge.

According to the folktale, a lady was sacrificed to ensure that the bridge stopped collapsing! Intrigued right?

So, the construction of Tamparuli Low Bridge was led by a British engineer during the post-war colonial period to provide easy and better access for the villagers. But it kept on collapsing due to the river currents during rainy seasons.

It is believed that the river spirit, Ombuakar, was not happy with the bridge, and to appease the spirit, a human sacrifice was demanded. So, a fair maiden was chosen and buried alive under the first pole of the bridge! 

Now, Tamparuli Bridge is standing strong and has gained attraction from local tourists and foreigners. There is no entrance fee, but you are welcome to give a tip. 

Kundasang Trip Itinerary 11

📍 4th Stop: Pekanabalu

I love this cute little town. It has a fantastic view of Mount Kinabalu. 

It’s a must-stop area before you reach Kundasang town. You will not miss this town as it is usually crowded!

In this town, you can stop by for a toilet break, a coffee break, or even a shopping break at the souvenir market. 

There is also a big area where you can have a picnic with your family and friends, with Mount Kinabalu as your backdrop. It’s definitely one of the Instagrammable places you cannot miss!

📍 5th stop: Kundasang Point View

Upon reaching the town of Kundasang, we stopped by the Kundasang Point View roundabout to enjoy the view of Mount Kinabalu again. 

We can never get enough of it. It’s majestically huge and beautiful. I sat there for quite some time, trying to figure out why I said yes to climb this huge mountain 😉 

While our hiking group wandered around taking silly, memorable photos, we met a group of gentlemen from Malaysia and Singapore who were on a road trip exploring Sabah. 

Kundasang Trip Itinerary 12
Photo Credit: @zarulzain

Living life, exploring places, and going on adventures. Truly inspiring!

Day 2: Visiting Kundasang – Animals Day

Kundasang Trip Itinerary 13

📍1st Stop: Desa Dairy Farm

The next morning, after breakfast, we headed over to the home of the local Desa Milk brand.

Desa Dairy Farm is one of Kundasang’s tourist spots renowned for its local dairy products. Located on the highlands of Kundansang, the farm is popular with both locals and tourists.

With its majestic view of Mount Kinabalu, it’s one of the places you must visit while in Kundasang!

The highlight of this visit was I had to feed the cows with milk and grass. Yes, you have the chance to feed the cow! 

You’ll need to pay a small fee to get the milk bottle and grass, but the experience is so much fun. You definitely can bring your date, partner, and kids here to enjoy this little moment. 

I was so pumped to see black and white cows like the ones in New Zealand. I have only seen the brown ones in Peninsular Malaysia! 

Before you come, you will need to register online to secure your places, as there is a maximum number of visitors per day. Otherwise, you can always walk in and see if they have available slots 🙂

Kundasang Trip Itinerary 14
Photo Credit: @zarulzain

📍 2nd Stop: BW Bus Restaurant

This restaurant has a unique dining experience, whereby you get to dine in an air-conditioned cosy bus. 

The concept is different and a little playful. You can take amazing Instagram shots and play around the area.

When you arrive, you will need to pay a fee for the entrance ticket, which will be refunded when you dine in. Food is fairly affordable and good. 

Kundasang Trip Itinerary 15
Photo Credit: @zarulzain

📍3rd Stop: Alpaca Club

The next destination is the Alpaca Club. Oh yes, we do have some interesting places in Kundasang!

Here, you’ll get to see and touch the Alpaca in real life. Most of the Alpaca stay within their fence to ensure the safety of the visitors, and there is only one Alpaca outside to mingle around with us. 

The guardian will feed it, and you get a chance to take a picture with the cute Alpaca!

Kundasang Trip Itinerary 16
Photo Credit: @zarulzain

The road to get here is not in good condition, but there will be somebody to guide you with the parking inside. The entrance fee is around RM10 for a time slot of 20 minutes.

There is a limited number of people within the given slot time to see the Alpaca. So, you may need to wait for a while before getting in. 

Day 3: Hills & Cafes

Kundasang Trip Itinerary 17

📍1st Stop: Sosodikan Hill

The next morning, we went to one of the preferred best places to go in Kundasang, which is Sosodikan Hill.  

This hill offers another view of Mount Kinabalu that can never bore you. With the clouds and hue of orange sunrise, you will be wowed by its beauty. 

If you are an early riser, you can also catch the sunrise. This place is open as early as 6 am and closes at about 5 pm. 

Visitors will be required to register at the check-in counter by walk-in. It is a short, small hike of 10 minutes and is suitable for people of all ages. 

An entrance fee is applicable (The price stated is correct at the time published)

  • Malaysian: Adult (13 years and above) RM 5, Child  (7-12 years) RM3
  • International visitor: Adult RM 10, Child RM 5
  • Free admission for children 6 years old and below.
Photo Credit: @zarulzain

📍 2nd Stop : Restoran Syah Adilah

This restaurant offers simply good food at reasonable prices. With a fair variation of food, I found that it was a good place to stop for a quick lunch. Plus, there were multiple veggie options, such as Sawi Bawang Putih, Taufu Sayur Campur, and Mee Goreng.

I didn’t manage to take any restaurant photos; it was raining heavily, and we were just too hungry O_O

The clear sky right after the rain!

📍3rd Stop: Anooh Cafe

This cute little cafe by the roadside has one of the best views of Mount Kinabalu during sunset. The seating inside is quite limited. But don’t worry, they do have a nice outdoor seating area. 

We managed to secure one table outside and enjoy eating warmed cookies under the hues of a blue, orangy sky. 

It was such beautiful scenery!

Day 4 & 5: Kinabalu Hike

The main reason why I went to Sabah is all in the video below <3

Day 6: Leaving Kundasang & Kota Kinabalu

After checking out, it was time to head back to Kota Kinabalu to catch our flight back home. 

While on our way back to Kota Kinabalu, we stopped by durian stalls. My husband wanted to taste the durians from Sabah. The durian was really creamy and good. It was a good buy since the price was very affordable! 

Guide Hacks + Tips

Rent a good, sturdy car for the long drive and get yourself covered with insurance!
Have a lot of cash with you, especially when you hike up Kinabalu.
Eat wisely because I was down with food poisoning along the way and recovered a day before my hike!

FAQ on Mount Kinabalu Packing List 

1. How Many Days Should I Spend In Kundasang?

I’d recommend at least 2-3 days in Kundasang to make the most out of it! Kundasang has other exciting places that are not included in this itinerary, such as Hot Spring, War Memorial, Cultural Village & so on. 

But if you’re in town for only a day, it is still sufficient for you to cover a few main attractions on your list.

I will definitely come back next time and add in the missing places in my Kundasang trip itinerary (and hopefully without food poisoning on the next trip!)

2. Which Month Is Best For Kundasang?

The best month to visit Kundasang is April to October. The weather is much more pleasant during the dry season. You’ll get to enjoy sunny days with clear blue skies and chill nights. 

Plus, you get to enjoy outdoor seating at certain cafés with the best view of Kinabalu.

3. Is Kundasang Worth Visiting?

Kundasang is a peaceful town, perfect for those who seek a relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of bigger cities. It is calm, peaceful and quiet. 

It is much more oriented towards nature tourism to give you the best experience of the island of Borneo. So, you definitely should include this town in your Sabah trip itinerary.

4. How Long Is The Journey From KK To Kundasang?

The journey from KK to Kundasang takes about 1.5 to 2 hours by car. The driving duration depends on the traffic conditions, road conditions and the breaks you take in between.

The road was relatively new. It was not as bad and not as terrifying as what I’ve heard from previous travellers who travelled around Sabah.

Ready to Finalise Your Kundasang Trip Itinerary?

This itinerary is based on my personal travel experience, and I may have missed out on a lot of other interesting places around Kundasang, such as the Kundasang Memorial War.

I wish I had discovered more places, but unfortunately, I was hit by food poisoning on my second day in Sabah. It was so bad that I had a fever as well. So, most of the time, I was back at the hotel lodge, resting and conserving energy for the long hike. 

I’ve only recommended a few restaurants and cafés that I’ve been to. I can vouch that their coffee/tea and desserts are good and worth trying 🙂

All in all, Kundasang was a really nice town to discover. Waking up in the morning to chase the sunrise, with the calming scenery of Mount Kinabalu and a good cup of coffee, is something that I will never forget and will always cherish. 

Hope that this Kundasang trip itinerary is helpful and useful for your next trip! Share this post with your friends and family <3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *