Thursday, May 07, 2015

Poring Hot Spring & Nature Reserve Resort @ Sabah [East Malaysia, Borneo Island]

My experience with hot spring was limited to Taiwan and even then, i realised hot spring was just not my cup of tea. Hence, i wasn't expecting much when i stepped into the nature reserve as part of the Kinabalu Park & Poring Hot Spring day tour. 

Gaining entry into the hot spring wasn't immediate and you would have to endure a short, leisure walk of less than 300 meters; which wasn't much considering that the Langanan waterfall was about 3,700 meters away!

We crossed the Mamut River via a modern walkway although i thought it would be more fun to go back to the basic; by using a rickety bridge that was likely used in the past when the crowd was thinner. 

This marker with its simple, classic message was still placed at the old bridge. Given that photography is way more common nowadays, it should be moved closer to the public to reinforce the message!

What does poring mean? I assumed it could have been the Malay translation of pouring which would have been suitable when you use it with water; i.e. pouring water.

Wrong assumption! Poring is actually the "Kadazandusun word for a bamboo species in the area"; i am assuming once again that it was the same species found in abundance at Poring Hot Spring. 

Rock Pool - featuring icy cold water from the mountains, this would be the right treatment on a cold day although i read somewhere you should not contemplate jumping in right after soaking in hot spring water.

Open-Air bath tubs - those who are shy (like me) and prefer to strip in private rather than in public can consider the little huts next to the rock pool, chargeable from RM 15 - 20 per hour. 

As i mentioned before, Poring hot spring was more than just the hot spring and you may venture towards other attractions in the reserve like the butterfly garden, canopy walkway, kipungit waterfall, bat cave and langanan waterfall; the two hours allocated to us were grossly insufficient!

Those who wish to spend more time in the reserve might consider an overnight stay in the nearby accommodation. From my understanding, those who attempt the climb up Mount Kinabalu would also spend a few hours in the hot spring to soothe their overworked muscles. 

Coming back to the open-air bath tubs, locals pay merely RM 3 (versus RM 15 for foreigners) for admission to the hot spring and our tour guide warned beforehand it might be hard to find an empty tub on weekends when locals thronged the recreation area.

I wouldn't say it was that bad on the Saturday afternoon i was there.

Originator of the spring water - the huge boulder was barricaded to prevent people from stepping in and i guess the temperature must be scalding hot judging from the steam rising from the water. Said to be rich in sulfuric minerals, i didn't particularly find the smell obnoxious though.

A spare change of clothes was brought along; just in case. However, the colour of the spring water wasn't exactly inviting; thought it should be green rather than yellow....? Maybe i should have drained the tub and put in fresh spring water although it still does feel kind of unhygienic. 

Frankly, this concept of usage should be adopted in Singapore to promote the pathetic hot spring at Sembawang! The airbase can make do with lesser land in my opinion. 

A full soak would not be possible but i would not stop myself from wetting my legs! Must try a bit mah; if not i would not do Poring Hot Spring any justice! 

Oh well, it was at the very least, less of the urine-like colour in the hot tubs. Pity i didn't have time and could only manage less than 3 minutes in the lukewarm spring water. 

Prefer a more "fun" experience? Check out the slide pools; separate fees apply!

A word of advice though; the water would only be changed once a week on Mondays and according to our guide, you would notice the water getting yellower towards the end of the week. Quite euuuwww if you ask me. 

Hurried back to the carpark compound where i am likely the last person to board the tour bus! By the way, the reserve was equipped with a restaurant, a souvenir shop and changing rooms. For more dining options, go out to the main road!

Have more time because your tour mate needs to use the washroom urgently (this did happen in my trip)? Check out the visitors centre at the entrance. 

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Admission Fees
As above. Basic admission and canopy walkway were included in the day package we purchased. 

Map
Please refer to the above.


For the summarised itinerary of my 7 days, 6 nights Kota Kinabalu (Sabah) trip, please click here

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