Located less than 2 hours’ drive from the bustling city of Kota Kinabalu, Kiulu Valley is a hidden gem that offers visitors a unique countryside experience.
Surrounded by rolling fields and lush green paddy fields with charming farms which offers and idyllic escape with plenty of activities that the solo travellers, couples or families can enjoy.
It is a community-based tourism product established in 2015, where visitors indirectly contribute to the benefit of local communities, giving them jobs and through community development fund they are able to support community projects around the area.
Getting here is fairly easy and visitors will quickly learn that Sabah’s rurals give wonderful zing to those who appreciate alluring country vibe.
First Stop : Tamparuli Town
The journey starts with about 50 minutes long of car ride that takes you to the town of Tamparuli, leaving Kota Kinabalu behind.
It is highly recommended to stop by at Tamparuli Town. You will find yourself be transported back in time seeing building and architecture from the olden days. Kid you not, the food served is authentic and delicious too! Make sure you get some tips from the local people there to direct you to your choice of restaurant.
Also, make your way to walk on the famous Tamparuli suspension bridge. You won’t miss it, it has the iconic ‘National Geographic’ inspired yellow arch!
Country Road Take Me Home
Along the way, you can enjoy the beautiful view of Mount Kinabalu and the distant South-China sea. Perhaps, make a quick drop-by for some Instagram-worthy pictures!
Further ahead, the road brings you to a rural area filled with verdant valleys, populated by villages.
Kiulu Valley Hub
Arriving at Kiulu Valley Hub for a warm welcome and some brief introduction of what you should be expecting from your visit.
Built in 2019 and partly made of bamboo, this hub acts as the information counter for arriving guests, and also a space for the local communities to conduct training, meetings and what not.
You will quickly notice that bamboo is the main theme in Kiulu Valley.
Kiulu Farmstay – Fig Tree Eco Chalet
Not far from the Kiulu Valley Hub, you will be taken to Kiulu Farmstay, the major highlight in Kiulu Valley. Enclosed by scenic view of paddy fields, plantation and clear rivers and streams, this place offers total serenity like no other.
Kiulu Farmstay provides visitors options of outdoor camp beds or staying in a 2-room rustic eco lodge made out of wooden and bamboo materials. Again, bamboo! We love how cool it is during the night and you could hear the river flowing nearby. A recipe for a great night sleep. On a clear night sky, one can simply observe at the breath-taking view of the sky covered with million stars.
No wi-fi available, but we guarantee you it is not required as you will greatly appreciate the peace it has to offer.
Kiharo Bamboo Hut & Riverside Bamboo Hut
Located not far from the farmstay and still within the misty forests of Kiulu Valley, there are new additions to the bamboo house collection in the area called Kiharo and Riverside Bamboo Huts. Beautifully crafted by local villagers, they are ideal rendition of olden local houses, hidden beside a beautiful waterfall alcove and lying next to gorgeous crystal river.
Here, you will experience the essence of traditional foods.
Take part in preparing traditional food like Linopot or packed rice, which usually best served with other local dishes such as fish stew, unripen wild mango locally known as Bambangan, salad made of edible leaves and believe it or not calamansi juice that will surely tickle your taste buds.
Just a moment after your scrumptious meals, you will be taken to more activities.
The unspoiled surrounding makes your stay more memorable; How often you get to stay such rustic non-urban, rich with local heritage and culture in the countryside. If you are looking for a short getaway with family, friends or even just by yourself, this is a must visit place.