The tiny town of Poring in the Malaysian state of Sabah isn’t known for offering a wide variety of attractions to tourists. To the contrary, the area is known almost exclusively for the Poring Hot Spring and Nature Reserve, which offers pools and tubs of steaming, sulfurous water to visitors seeking rest, relaxation and recuperation.
Located within Kinabalu National Park, Poring is just 24 miles east of the mountain which gives the park its name. At 13,435 feet, the peak is Borneo’s tallest, and attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year. Though one of the most accessible summits above 12,000 feet in the world, the ascent can still be taxing, and scores of amateur alpinists avail themselves of Poring’s proximity by treating themselves to a restorative soak after the conclusion of their climbs. Outdoor tubs are free, but often crowded. For a price, the indoor tubs offer a more relaxing and private experience. Note: while very pleasant, the facilities at Poring are, if not primitive exactly, decidedly lacking in changing rooms and lockers, so be sure to come prepared.
After regaining one’s stamina (as well as one’s clothing), the nature reserve offers walking trails, gardens, a butterfly farm, and a high canopy walkway, each with a separate (if inordinately low) admission fee.
Trekkers inclined to cover some ground often head off in pursuit of one or both of two nearby waterfalls, both of which can be reached by way of hikes of varying distances and durations.Depending on the time of year, the area is also a noteworthy place to spot the Rafflesia flower, the world’s largest, with an aroma that has been likened to rotting meat.
Planning a trip? Browse Viator’s Malaysia Things To Do, especially Kinabalu Park Canopy Walkway and Poring Hot Springs Full-Day Tour from Kota Kinabalu and Malaysia’s Nature and Wildlife Attractions.