Is Kundasang worth visiting? What are the things to do in Kundasang? Read on as I unveil 12 things I did in this beautiful mountainous town, located about 2 hours from Kota Kinabalu.
For a chronological flow of my 10-day Kota Kinabalu trip, check out these posts first:
Done that? Let’s start our full day DIY tour of Kundasang! :)
12 Unforgettable Experiences in Kundasang
Here’s how I started my day in Kundasang, in chronological order. FYI, this is Day 5 of my 10-day Kota Kinabalu trip.
1. Watch Sunrise at Room Balcony
Waking up naturally before 6am hardly happens when I’m in Singapore. But my body seems to yearn for sunrise-viewing whenever I’m overseas.
Similar to my experience in Da Nang, I managed to catch sunrise at around 5.50am without the help of an alarm. Yes, my eyes just opened! :)
I excitedly stood at the balcony of JR Resort for close to half an hour, from dawn to when the sun had fully risen.
That’s Kundasang experience number #1. What’s next?
2. Breakfast with a view (of Mount Kinabalu)
One of the great things about JR Resort was its quality and affordable food. I also appreciated that the eatery opened from early morning to late hours.
But the most amazing thing about this eatery is how it offered a full view of Mt Kinabalu right from where we sat and ate.
And our breakfast – Seafood Hor Fun, Roti Prata and tea – were delicious!
Did you know?
Mt Kinabalu is very shy! If you manage to spot it, snap a photo quickly. Early morning is your best bet!
As you can see from the photo below, Mt Kinabalu disappeared behind fluffy clouds just a few moments later.
3. Great Photo Opportunity at JR Resort@Kundasang
JR Resort offered lots of photo-taking opportunities at its premises. In the photo below, you can see me walking towards a rainbow platform with some cute sculptures such as T-rex.
I’ll show you more in next day’s post.
4. Visiting a Dairy Farm in Kundasang (Desa Farm)
Did you know you can visit a dairy farm in Malaysia, and enjoy gelato, yoghurt and fresh milk while soaking in the mountain view?
Not sure if it’s the mood that I was in, but I thought the Gelato at Desa Dairy Farm was really yummy (see location)!
But nothing beats being able to hand-feed calf with milk. A bottle costs just rm1.50 and the interactive experience of being mom to hungry calves was fun and unforgettable.
Tour Option: Not driving? You can join a farm day tour from Kota Kinabalu that will bring you to Kundasang and let you explore Desa Dairy Farm, Rabbit Farm and Fish Spa among others.
Prefer more adventurous stuff, this adventure tour is sure to give you an adrenaline rush!
5. Must-try in Kundasang: Hike up Sosodikon Hill
What’s a great place to enjoy a superb 360-degree bird’s eye view of Kundasang? And the good thing – you’ll take just 10 minutes to get to the top of Sosodikon Hill (see location).
Though I hiked in slippers, I recommend proper walking shoes as the surface was peppered with small rocks.
Check out these amazing views! Definitely recommending this as a must-visit destination for anyone visiting Kundasang, provided the fee for foreigners doesn’t go up further.
Now, it’s rm10 per foreigner when many countries won’t charge you a cent for climbing a hill.
TIP: To make the most out of your trip to Kota Kinabalu and/or Kundasang, consider renting a car. Driving in Kundasang didn’t feel as dangerous or scary as driving up Hehuanshan or even Genting Highlands. Check out car rental price.
6. Kundasang War Memorial (Optional)
This wasn’t on my must-go list, but I thought we could pop by since Kundasang War Memorial was quite centrally located (see map).
But when I realised that the admission fee (rm15 for foreigners) has gone up three times higher than what I’d read online, I decided to give it a miss. War memorials in Singapore and many countries are free to enter?
POPULAR TOUR: Like to visit Kinabalu National Park? This popular day tour brings you to Kinabalu Park and Poring Hot Spring.
Entrance to Kundasang War Memorial
7. You’ll love Kundasang’s Selfie Corner
Next, let’s get ready to take lots of photos at Kundasang Selfie Corner (see location). It’s a small but interesting space filled with photo props that have mountains serving as backdrop.
Interestingly, the props are split into two sections so that you have to pay admission twice (rm5 each) in order to enjoy all the photo props here.
Now you know what I mean when I said that KK tourism operators seem really eager and creative in milking the tourism dollars.
I chose to enter only one section and completed the photo-taking in 12 minutes. You can opt for the other half which had more dreamy/girly props.
8. Kundasang Market & Central
We then walked around Kundasang Market that sold mainly fruits and snacks (see location).
Near the market is a small “central” where we bought some drinks from a convenience stall. There were some huge fruits photo props too if you are keen (see location).
9. Delightful Experience: Dining in a Bus
What’s for lunch? How about dining in a bus?
Our experience at BW Bus was one of the key highlights of our stay in Kundasang. You’ll pay rm5 for admission which can be used to offset your F&B purchase.
We bought Iced Cappuccino, Mushroom Soup, Teriyaki Chicken Aglio Olio and Beef Cabonara and paid less than rm70. Food was decent.
Once again, it started raining in the afternoon and we found ourselves staying in the bus longer than we’d intended to. Basically, the rain kind of ended our tour. Luckily we’d woken up early today!
10. Driving to Ranau Town
Why did we decide to make a drive to Ranau town, located about 20 minutes from Kundasang central? That’s because the Shell petrol station at Kundasang ran out of petrol. Ha Ha!
So, let’s go explore Ranau town in the heavy downpour.
After topping up our petrol (rm40), we forced ourselves to shop at a Watson store due to the persistent rain.
Bombon Fish Spa
When the rain finally eased, we headed to Bombon Fish Spa, where visitors can interact with large fishes in their natural habitat (i.e. river).
Unfortunately, the clear water turned into muddy river due to the rain and there was no fish in sight.
Ranau Hakka Food Court
Before leaving Ranau town, we visited Ranau Hakka Food Court (see location).
I was still darn full but the man got hungry again, and ordered Seafood fried rice and Wonton Soup from the big and uncrowded food court.
11. Memorable Nighttime activity: Killing over 100 ant flies
By 5.30pm, we retreated to our resort and called it a day.
What was truly “memorable “was our busy nighttime activity when we caught more than 100 ant flies…maybe 200. Not wanting to kill them initially, we painstakingly “collected” them one by one into water bottles – from bed, floor, walls etc.
But it was a never-ending task, and we ran out of patience towards the end. I had to do a few quick sweeps and drop the unfortunate ones (maybe 50 of them) into the toilet bowl.
Wish I could show you those bottles with our collectible ants within. But I forgot to take a photo of my trophy.
In case you wonder, our balcony door was shut. So how did the ants fly in? Hmm…maybe from door gaps or toilet window panes.
12. Dinner from JR Resort was good
Lazy to get out, we ordered takeaway from the JR Resort kitchen.
What you see here – Veggies, Sweet and Sour fish, Seafood Bee Boon and Fried Eggs – cost us about rm60.
I enjoyed some red wine and went to bed. It was a fun but tiring day. This concludes the 12 memorable things we did in Kundasang. We’ll be covering a few more places tomorrow before checking out and returning to KK.
Bonus: More things to do in Kundasang
Did you know there are a lot more things you can do in Kundasang? The places below are in chronological order of distance from Kundasang Central and most of them are family-oriented:
- Alpaca Club
- Kundasang Farm Ville
- Mesilou Highland Strawberry Farm
- Many rabbit farms such as – D’Mesilou Rabbit Garden, Arnab Rabbit Village and Ranau Rabbit Farm
- Poring Hot Spring
- Sably Goat Haven
- Sg Moroli Fish Spa
- Sabah Tea Restaurant
Hope you’ve found this post useful in planning your next Southeast Asia holiday! Stay tuned to the next post and see us spend another four nights back in Kota Kinabalu, where we climbed a low mountain, island-hopped and visited the best night market in KK.