Poring Hot Springs, Ranau
The Poring Hot Springs ranger station lying 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Kinabalu Park HQ in the humid lowlands is a complete contrast to the cool environment of Kinabalu Park HQ. The sealed road to Poring leads past the cabbage and flower farms of Kundasang and beyond to the town of Ranau and the lowlands.
From the road just beyond Kundasang, magnificent vistas can be had on a clear day of the mountain's eastern summit and long eastern ridge. The bare scar of the recently closed Mamut Copper Mine can be seen on th eastern flank of the mountain and once past Ranau the mine's huge sludge pond becomes visible in the distance.
The road leads past the sludge pond before turning in towards the mountain again and to Poring itself, which can be recognised by the ever increasing number of local gift stalls that have been set up just outside the entrance gate. A speciality here is the variety of beautiful rock souvenirs ranging from jade-green malachite and golden pyrites through purply-gold iridescent peacock-ore to stark black and white granite.
The headquarters of the Poring Hot Springs ranger station, at an elevation of 550 meters (1,800 feet), lies on the Park boundry at the edge of Mamut river. Offices, visitor chalets and hostels are situated here as well as the Orchid Conservation Centre and the fenced 5 acre tropical garden nearby containing an animal rehabilitation centre. The main attractions here are the hot and cool pools in a forest clearing on the other side of Mamut river.
Within 1 1/4 hectre (3 acre) area there are 5 hot springs with temperature ranging from 49º to 60º C (120º to 140º F). The steamy sulphur water is channeled into several tiled pools and tubs. These have replaced the priginal wooden ones installed by the Japanese during wartime occupation. Soaking in a hot water bath is an ideal way to recurperate from an ardous mountain climb. After a cool dip in the swimming pool you should feel completely refreshed. Most people who visit Poring come just for the day - over 150,000 a year, to enjoy the hot waters.
Other attractions across the river are a small butterfly enclosure, a forest trail system, a Canopy walkway and picnic area. The chalets and hostels can accommodate 90 persons per night and all have self-catering facilities. You can book a place to stay from Sutera Sanctuary Lodges. There are also stalls serving local food just outside the entrance gate, and a restaurant at the hot pools clearing, serving both western and oriental food.
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