Poring Hot Spring, Ranau | Sabah Vacation Guide 

Poring Hot Spring, Ranau

Hot Bath, Butterfly Farm, Orchid Center, Canopy Walkway, Waterfalls

Attraction, Information, Guide and Tips about Sabah Vacation, Eco-Tourism and Adventures


Poring Hot Spring, Ranau is one of the major tourist attraction in Ranau and is a favorite destination among the locals who like to soak their body in the hot water. It is believed that the sulfuric rich water has medicinal properties and can heal skin diseases and also soothe aching and tired muscles. Poring Hot Spring was developed by the Japanese army during World War II and as such the place has some of the Japanese bath characteristic although the original wooden tub have all been replaced with tiled tubs.

The name 'Poring' comes from the Kadazandusun word for a bamboo species found abundantly in the area. Although soaking in the hot water is the major attraction here, there are a lot more of other attractions that Poring Hot Spring has to offer for the tourist during their Sabah Vacation.

The following are the attractions at Poring Hot Spring:

  1. Poring Hot Spring Bath Area. The bath is the main attraction here, especially with the local. The bath area has several open air and indoor Japanese-style tiled bathtubs. For those who want some privacy, there is also private cabin baths for rent. The hot water is piped in from the source to the pool and the bath water temperature can be regulated by mixing it with cold water which is piped in from the nearby river. For hygiene reason, the tubs are drained after each use, but they are quite big and will take quite a while to fill up. There is also a cold water pool nearby for those who prefer a cold dip. (Note: The bath area will be packed with local tourist during the weekend and school holiday, to get an empty bathtub, be sure to arrive there early)

    Poring Hot Spring Water Source
    Poring Hot Spring Water Source

  2. Butterfly farm. This is reputed to be the first butterfly farm in Borneo. Beside an open garden here where the butterflies are free to roam, there is also a butterfly enclosure with hundreds of butterflies in different colors and shapes flying around. The farm also has a nursery and hatchery for research, education and preservation of the endangered species. The best time to visit Poring Butterfly farm is before 3.00 pm as that is the butterfly active time.

  3. Poring Orchid Conservation Center. This is the place for orchid lover to view the magnificent and beautiful orchids which are native to Borneo. There are about 1,200 different species of orchids at this center, making it the largest orchid's collection in Sabah. Here you can view the rare Rothschild’s Slipper Orchid (Paphiopedilum rothschildianum) or known locally as 'Sumazau Orchid' which is reputed to be one of the most expensive orchid in the world and also other famous species such as Renanthera bella, Phalaenopsis giganteaid and many more.

  4. Gardens. There are a few theme gardens here. Firstly is the Tropical Garden, where you can enjoy the peaceful surrounding of the tropical rainforest and see some deer that is in the garden. There is also an aviary in the Tropical Garden with some native birds. In the Ethno botanical Garden, you can view some useful and medicinal plants as well as jungle fruits that are planted there. In the Bamboo Garden, you can see and get to know the difference between the various species of bamboo.

  5. Poring Canopy Walkway. This is a 515 feet (157 m) long and 135 feet (41 m) high walk way that is built by connecting a few very big Menggaris trees (species: Kompassia excelsa) and Seraya trees(Shorea sp) together. The walkway is basically a suspension bridge made with ropes, steel cables and a series of aluminum ladders joint together with a plank floor. For those who are afraid of height, do not worry of falling down as there is netting on both sides of the walkway. There is also an observation deck for you to enjoy the surrounding better and to observe the wildlife and birds.

  6. Rafflesia flower. Depending on your luck, you might have the opportunity to experience and smell the rare Rafflesia flower, the world's largest flower in this area. However, this chance does not come often as each flower will take up to 15 months to bud and the bloom will only last for about 7 days. If there is a blooming or budding Rafflesia flower, the park management will post a notice to inform the visitor.

  7. Kipungit Waterfall and Laganan Waterfall. The Kipungit Waterfall which is about 33 feet (10m) high is a 30 minute walk(0.4 mile or 665 meters) from the hot spring bath area and is a good place to swim or to have a picnic here. Kipungit Waterfall is also known for its natural and free fish SPA. Just soak your legs in the cool water and stay still to let the small fishes come and bite you. Laganan Waterfall, which is a 328 feet (100m) high waterfall is about (2.3 miles or 3.7 km) from Poring Hot Springs. Even though the return journey will take you about 3 hours through some 'unfriendly' jungle trail, it is a trip worth taking. The height and sheer water volume from the magnificent Laganan Waterfall will mesmerize you. For those who like bats, take a short detour to visit the 'Bat Cave' which is beside the trail to the Laganan waterfall. Inside the 'cave' that is filled with the smelly smell of guano, are hundreds of bats hanging on the rocky roof. (Note: For your own safety, please register at the Ticket Counter before you go to Langanan Waterfall and to sign-off upon your return so that they will not send a rescue team to search for you.)

Getting There: Poring is a small town, located about 12 miles (19 km) east of Ranau and 85 miles (136 km) from Kota Kinabalu City. The journey by road will take about 2-3 hours and you can choose to go there during your Sabah vacation by bus, taxi, or a rented car. Poring Hot springs bath area is open daily from 7am to 6pm. For the other attractions, please confirm the time at the counter.

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