Mount Kinabalu And Kota Kinabalu
Mount Kinabalu is one of the most beautiful mountains in the world due to its incredible life diversity. This also makes the mountain one of the most important biological sites in the world, with between 326 species of birds, 5,000 to 6,000 species of plants, and more than 100 mammalian species.
You can’t really really talk about Mount Kinabalu without mentioning the amazing city of Kota Kinabalu because their history is really tight together. Even the name of the city came from the mountain.
Kota Kinabalu is one of the fastest growing cities in Malaysia and is no longer easy to picture the city as a British colonial trading post. But how can it be easy? There are just three buildings that survived the allied bombings from 1945. Businesses in Kota Kinabalu are growing like never before and day to day life thrives at street level as much as it always has.
Kota Kinabalu’s name came from the amazing Mount Kinabalu which is a mountain that is at 50 kilometers east-northeast of Kota Kinabalu and is the 20th most prominent mountain in the world as well as the highest mountain in the Malay Archipelago.
Moody and mysterious, but always an amazing sight, Mount Kinabalu has captured the imagination of locals and explorers for centuries.
Cloaked in mysterious mists, prominent clouds, golden sunsets and abundant flora and fauna, the mountain’s sights and sounds are always changing.
The word Kinabalu comes from the name Aki Nabalu that means “the revered place of the dead”. Aki means grandfather or ancestors, and Nabalu is the name for Mount Kinabalu in the Dusun language. There are also sources that claims that the word derived from Ki Nabalu, Ki meaning exist or have, and Nabalu meaning spirit of the dead.
Mount Kinabalu has a surrounding Park which is the most popular tourist spot in Malaysia and has a very wide range of habitats, from tropical mountain forest to rich tropical lowland, sub-alpine forest and peat on high elevations. Anyone who wants to climb the mountain must be accompanied by a qualified guide due to regulations of the national park and they can find them inside the park.
This astonishing mountain is not really one of the tallest mountains but with its 13,435 ft height above sea level, Mount Kinabalu is a mountain worth climbing. So many people choose to do so because of the beauty of the mountain. Mount Kinabalu can be climbed in a one-day trip.
In 2000, this beautiful mountain was included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List to protect and preserve the mountain’s natural heritage. It has also been designated as a Centre of Plant Diversity for Southeast Asia thanks to its astonishing flora and fauna.
Kota Kinabalu was once inhabited by the Kadazan people which are Sabah’s largest indigenous community. They practiced shifting cultivation, chopping down forest to plant rice and other vegetables. Now they still live near Mount Kinabalu’s flanks where they work as guides and rangers for Kinabalu Park.
In fact, Kota Kinabalu received the status of city just recently on February 2nd of 2000, but its exciting history dates more than a century, back to the time when the British North Borneo Chartered Company found the city by accident, just after its former administration center on Gaya Island was burnt down by a fire.
Kota Kinabalu was at the time a small fishing village, located on a narrow strip of land with sea on one side and hill on the other. When the British found it, they named the village Api-Api, which is loosely translated as Fire-Fire, to denote the fire that obliterated the former administration center. It was later renamed Jesselton, after the then Deputy Manager of the British North Borneo Company Sir Charles Jessel.