This blog post was written by Lucie, a student from Kinabalu International School during her internship in July 2017. 

This trip was made to go to Mahua waterfall which is couple of hours away from Kota Kinabalu. We took a mini bus at around 7.30 a.m, we drove out of the city while admiring the city and listening to the many old stories of Kota Kinabalu, such as why did the city started growing after the 1950’s or the death march of Sandakan, told by Uncle Luck, the guide. It is very interesting to learn more about the country in which you go to. We then reached the countryside where we could see many traditional villages and houses. We also stopped on a small market on the side of the road where we bought bananas and pineapple. On the way, we stopped to many view points to admire the Mount Kinabalu, the beautiful valleys or the city of Kota Kinabalu from the top.


Click to learn more about the tour itinerary to Tambunen


Kipandi butterfly park

After an hour and a half of driving we stopped at the Kipandi butterfly park. When we reached the gate we got pretty startled because it was saying “closed” but Uncle Luck managed to get in and find the guy working for the park. So once we were in, we parked the bus. Before the start of the visit, we did not forget to applicate mosquitos’ repellent because there were obviously mosquitos around due to the plants and the humidity. The park’s guide then started explaining about many flowers we could find in Borneo or Malaysia. It was very interesting. Borneo has a very vast variety of flowers, trees and animals. After introducing us to the plants, we entered into a large room where we can find lots of species of insects (found in Borneo) such as spiders, butterflies…etc. Once we knew everything or almost about the insects in Borneo, we walked around the park where we could see the huge biodiversity of the forest on the left hand side of the path and the many flowers or plants on the right hand side. The guide taught us about this plant called Nepenthes rajah which is an insectivorous pitcher plant which eats insects. We then walked back and stopped at the butterfly greenhouse where the butterflies were flying all around you. It was beautiful! And we finally walked back to the bus and resumed the road…


Rice fields

On the way to Mahua waterfall, the road was appreciable. The view was wonderful. There were many small villages where people seemed to be happy. After maybe half an hour, we previewed some rice fields. We decided to stop on the side of the road  to look at it from closer. It is when we met this old man who was working for this fields. He nicely let us walk around to take many beautiful pictures, he also showed us how they were drying the rice to then sell it. It was very fascinating. After that, we went back to the bus to another destination. On the road, we also had the chance to see many plantations such as pineapples and some other rice fields.

rice field with coconot palm borneo Tambunan Padi Field Borneo

Mahua waterfall

We then finally reached Mahua waterfall, the weather was a bit cooler than in the other places. We walked few meters to the cashier to get the entrance tickets to the waterfall. The atmosphere was shadowy due to the tall trees, some of the trees were about 20 meters, it was huge, I felt so  short next to it! After 200 meters of walking, we crossed the river by using a bridge and reached the waterfall. The falling water was pretty strong so it was making water vapor around us which was very refreshing and pleasant after the short walk. After taking beautiful pictures and swam for the brave ones, we walked back to the entrance and stopped in a restaurant to have lunch. We had rice, ginger chicken, butter prawns, soup, Sabah vegetables, onions omelet and cold tea. It was delicious and the workers were really nice and cheerful.

Access Mahua Waterfall Tambunen Mahua Waterfall Tambunen

After an amazing lunch, we took the road to go back to Kota Kinabalu. I think that everyone was feeling sleepy so it was the good time to take a little nap… We then visited the villages and Uncle Luck told us about how people were leaving on the countryside which is very fascinating… Few hours later, we reached the city and had a final stop in Penanpang where we saw a huge rice field and were back at around 5 p.m.

Rice field Tambunan


This day was full of new things and places I had never seen before. It was very interesting and a good learning experience.


Click to learn more about the tour itinerary to Tambunen



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