Monday, February 02, 2009

The Impossible Climb?

Few days back, I read on The Star newspaper and found this interesting article. It's about the unreasonable price hike at Mount Kinabalu.

Since 2008, the cost of climbing Mt Kinabalu has skyrocketed, and if you’re lucky, you may get a confirmed booking . . . five months down the line. What’s the deal with Malaysia’s iconic mountain?
plucked from

A normal climber of Mount Kinabalu would need a rest at the 6km mark - Laban Rata, before continuing the journey to the peak at midnight. Camping is not allowed so everyone should get a bed there to rest.

According to the newspaper, in 2007, a dorm bed in Laban Rata cost only RM30. In January 2008, it has been increased to RM188. This year (2009), the price has hiked up to RM330 per person.

With the increase of the price, the package includes a bed to sleep, a packed box, buffet lunch, dinner and breakfast. However, there has been lots of complaints that the condition of the facilities on the mountain has not been maintained properly.

Not only the price is of the concern here, but potential climbers need to book the room at least 5 months before the climb. Well, not everyone plans their trip so early as they need to see whether they're free on the date and whether they get their cheap air flights booked or not.

Now, it's getting more and more unafforadable for people to climb the mountain in the Land Beneath the Wind. It will also be out of reach for students as they're usually on a tight budget.

I guess I was lucky to have conquered the highest mountain in South East Asia 2 years back, in January 2007, before the drastic increase. But I've always wanted to have another climb to the top again sometime soon.

With the current price and the hassle that I have to go through, I think I'd prefer to go somewhere else with the amount of money, as I think it's not worth my money.

People are paying so much more for additional food which are optional back in 2007. I remembered I only had one plate of Fried Rice when I came down from the peak, and I didn't even finish the rice!

I guess climbers don't really eat a lot when they're up there. Some would prefer to bring their own little energy food pack rather than eating at the restaurant. So, I don't see the point of the operators giving more variety of food and forcing everyone up there to take the buffets.

Me and my friends at Low's Peak [top of Mount Kinabalu]

And the operators are claiming that most of the fees collected were used to upgrade the facilities, ingredients and gas for food and the cost of transporting them to the top. At the first place, why waste the money on something that people don't really need?

I wonder if many climbers in the past have suggested to the operator that they have to provide better meals for them or whatsoever. I doubt so. And I doubt that the porters are getting much increments in making their delivery to the doorstep.

Is climbing the Mount Kinabalu a trip for the rich only?
Is Tourism Malaysia trying to chase away potential climbers from other countries, or even locals?
Is the Government of Sabah / the Sutera Harbour Resort going to do anything about it despite all the complaints?
Is Mount Kinabalu worth our money and all the troubles?

Honestly, I'm quite sad to see the news and complaints from people everywhere, even in the Lonely Planet Borneo edition. Hope that someone will do something about it. Billy, out.


Eu Hua said...

Wei, I haven't go there, how can they take advantage and raise the price like that! With cheap skate facilities summore.

leo said...

wow, i haven been there before.if the price is so expensive now then i will never consider lo.With the money, maybe i can go somewhere else which is more worth it compare to Mt kinabalu..

i saw a different 'feeling' of william in the photos..haha..

Yun Yi said...

OMG kam mou zai?? different Will!


Billy said...

yea! totally unfair especially to us Malaysians who have not been there yet!!

yeah, go pulau perhentian better. =P
Different feel = Lala feel? Haha!

That was 2 years ago...
Hahaha... =P

Julez said...

As usual..i'll give the late comments la..

The view is so beautiful from up there! Too bad the price is so darn expensive. Would have loved to go. (although the other downside would be my lack of athletic ability. Haha)

Definitely prefer the William we have now =)

Xjion89 said...

aiyo, i wan to go thre before it costs me rm1000++ juz to climb a mountain!

renaye said...

the leaders r busy fighting for bigger cash so why do they even want to care about the highest peak in malaysia?!

some people just don't know which is the real cow cash.

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