Poring Hot Spring
It’s now 3pm and we’re back in our room, having spent most of the day in Poring Hot Spring. We took a cab there after breakfast, which was at 730am. It took about 1 hour and cost 85 ringgit (about £17 or 170 NOK).
When we arrived we could enter for free as it’s run by Sutera Harbour, the same company that runs the place we’re staying. If we didn’t stay here it would have cost 15 ringgit to come in (£3 or 30 NOK).
Poring Hot Spring is a water source coming from a mountain that apparently has been volcanic in the past and still produce the sulphur rich water that make Poring Hot Spring. Apparently it’s supposed to have healing qualities. We’d have expected it to be more natural but it’s a range of bath tubs you can jump into and take a bath. You can also hire a private indoor pool. There’s also a swimming pool and it’s all built up with small huts with changing room/shower as well as small kiosks that sell refreshments. While many others jumped in, we decided to skip it and rather walk up to the canopy walk, which is a set of suspended walkways that go between the tree tops. It was a little bit scary but most of all enjoyable. We also had a nice trek up and down, about 1km altogether. Walking shoes are the preferred option. It costs 5 ringgit (£1 or 10 NOK) per adult plus 5 ringgit per digital camera (30 ringgit for video camera! (£6 or 60 NOK)). We paid for 2 adults plus a digital camera and were told off when Ling tried to take out the compact to take a photo (I managed to take one with the iPhone though!)
After the canopy we walked to one of two waterfalls, about 0.5km away. Got some nice pictures. There was also a bat cave, but in order to get there we’d have to cross the river and we weren’t too keen to get soaked so we walked back for lunch.
We returned to the Poring Hot Spring entrance and had our lunch at a local restaurant just outside. That saved us about 50% compared to eating inside, at 41 ringgit (£8 or 80 NOK). Very nice!
The taxi driver waited for us at no extra cost (guess he was just happy to chill out) and we started the trip back to Kinabalu Park. On the way we stopped by to see the world’s largest flower, the Rafflesia. It blooms only for 5 days twice a month and is very rare, as it is a parasitic plant which grows only on certain types of plants and only under certain conditions. Photos to follow. Because it’s so rare the locals know to take advantage (which you would do) and charge 20 ringgit (£4 or 40 NOK) to see it (Ling managed to haggle it down to 15 ringgit as after all she’s from Singapore and therefore a neighbor, not a foreigner!!). The only staff you need to is two grandpas as guides plus a money box or bag, and you’re in business. With only 40 visitors/day 10 days/month they’ll be making 800 ringgit/day & 8000 ringgit/month (£1600 or 16000 NOK), which is quite a lot when you can eat dinner for less than 5 ringgit and work the remaining 20 days. Let’s all move to Borneo!
We’re catching the plane from Kota Kinabalu back to Singapore tomorrow morning at 1030am so need to head off at 645am to get there in time for check-in wit Jet Star. We’re using the same taxi driver to make sure we get there on time. 180 ringgit is the normal price but we (I.e. chief haggler Ling) managed to get the price down to 130 ringgit (£26 or 260 NOK) for a 2.30 hours journey. Well done!
I might be able to put up some pictures then – we’ll see, there’s about a 1000 of them 😉