Mount Kinabalu Park (Malaysia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site)

Standing majestically at a height of 4,095.2m, Mount Kinabalu is the highest peak in Southeast Asia. It is situated in Kinabalu Park, a wonderland of ecological treasures covering some 754sq km.

The diversity of plant life in Kinabalu Park ranges over four climatic zones. Over 5,000 types of flowering plants including 1,200 species of orchids, 26 species of rhododendrons, over 80 species of fig trees as well as 60 species of oak and chestnut trees are found here. About 100 species of mammals and 326 species of birds are also known to reside in the sprawling park.

Ascending and descending Mount Kinabalu’s summit takes two to three days, depending on theweather and one’s fitness level. Every year, participants fromaround the world gather here to take part in the Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon. It is dubbed as the ‘World’s Toughest Mountain Race’. Despite the challenging route and distance,mountain runners take less than four hours to reach the peak and return to the finish line.

Nature Lovers’ Paradise

Since ancient times, adventurers and explorers have come to Malaysian shores, attracted by its diverse natural wealth and embraced by its gentle people. Today, Malaysia is known around the world as a destination for a host of nature-based activities and ecotourism.

More than half of Malaysia’s 329,758 sq km surface is covered by tropical rainforests that host a bewildering array of exotic and protected plants and animals. There are treasures such as rare species of flora and fauna found only at Mount Kinabalu or wondrous geological formations such as Mulu Caves. Even Taman Negara, the world’s oldest rainforest, estimated at 130 million years old can be found here.

Malaysia offers varied experiences to satisfy the nature lovers’ quest. There is an exciting choice of activities for all ages and groups – from amateurs and families to the serious enthusiasts and professionals.

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