Nestled along the flowing waters of Sungai Liwagu, Ranau is located near Mount Kinabalu, but also has convenient access to a fish spa, hot spring and waterfall. You’ll find plenty of cultural attractions to explore, such as a number of iconic temples and buildings, as well as Malaysian restaurants serving local delicacies.
Things to do in Ranau
Most outdoor enthusiasts who come to Ranau have one thing on their minds: conquering 4,095-metre-tall Mount Kinabalu. Part of the World Heritage-listed Kinabalu Park, it’s the highest mountain in the Malay Archipelago and is a challenge to even experienced climbers. Fortunately, you can reach Low’s Peak on a relatively easy hike without climbing gear and enjoy the scenic countryside views it affords.
After hiking up Mount Kinabalu or even just walking around town, soothe your weary feet at Sungai Moroli Fish Spa, where the fish nibble at your feet, clean your skin and relax your muscles. It’s near Sabah Tea Garden, where you can enjoy organic tea while soaking up the valley and mountain vistas and tour the tea factory and gardens to learn about the tea-making process.
More rest and relaxation can be found at Poring Hot Spring, which features multiple pools with mineral-rich hot spring waters. Soak your tired muscles in the hot pools or venture further beyond the property and dive into a freshwater river under the cascading Kipungit Waterfall.
Don’t miss seeing the intricate architecture of Chon Chu Kung Temple in Ranau’s town centre. From the temple, it’s a short walk to a cluster of restaurants and storefronts, including Restoran Sri Hasanah & Katering, which dishes up an all-you-can-eat spread of Malay favourites.
Getting around Ranau
Ranau is about 2.5 hours’ drive from Kota Kinabalu International Airport, which has frequent domestic and international flights. You can get around town on foot, but you’ll need to hire a vehicle or join a tour to see the surrounding attractions.