1. The Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula)
To climb the mountain you need two days in total. On the first day you start from Kota Kinabalu town with local bus, shared or private taxi which drives you to the park entrance. There you pay an entry fee and receive a compulsory guide (some local people) who goes with you all the way up. Then you simply start hiking!
2. Giant worm
Most likely you take the trail starting at Timpohon Gate (6 km). The trail has about 7 stops until you reach your overnight spot named Laban Rata. It is a basic hostel where you can have a cold shower and three warm and very tasty meals: dinner and two breakfasts (a small one at 2:30 am and a big one upon return at about 9 am). It depends on your trekking skills and physical endurance, but on average you arrive in Laban Rata in 5-6 hours after start. Some people try to get there as fast as possible then take some rest, some people do regular stops for snacks and water. I personally prefer the latter way, so I can enjoy the trail without stressing too much.
3. Rhododendrons forest
4. Laban Rata hostel
5. Sunset from there
You wake up at about 2:30 am, have some tea/coffee and continue climbing. Don’t forget a very good torch and extra batteries. I also recommend to have some textile gloves, because somewhere is a rope, which is wet and dirty, so it’s easier to catch it when in gloves. This part of the trail is the hardest one due to not enough sleep and sharp change in the pressure. Regarding the clothes, I’d recommend to have some shirt, light windbreaker jacket and maybe simple cap. I personally also had a thick hoodie, just because it’s easy to put it on when necessary. If again you regularly have some stops on the way up but maintain the speed, you should reach the peak by sunrise time (about 3 hours).
6. Yes, I did
7. Sunrise at the peak
The way down is easier and faster. If you have you may use your walking poles, it makes you and your knees feel much better on the next day, but I personally didn’t have them and it was ok.
You finish at the entrance at about noon time. Together with your entrance ticket you also receive a lunch voucher. Don’t ignore it, since it will take about a couple of hours (maybe more due to traffic jam) to come back to Kota Kinabalu.