A Dusun village in Kundasang, south-east of Mount Kinabalu; home of Maragang Hill, many Kinabalu mountain guides, and many scenic mountain attractions.

Mesilau @ Mesilou

Kampung Mesilau (or Mesilou) is a village in Kundasang, situated south-east of Mount Kinabalu. The area is more famously known for the Mesilau Substation of Kinabalu Park, highland vegetable farms, and various tourist attractions in the famous Desa Farm and many scenic lodges or homestays. Together with Kiau and Bundu Tuhan, Mesilau produces most mountain guides who lead the climb up to the 4092m Kinabalu, especially via the Mesilau Trail.

The 2015 earthquake (and subsequent landslides) put a halt to all climbing activities, and caused the closure of Mesilau Substation till this day. The people of Mesilau formed the Mesilou Volunteer Club to provide alternative livelihood to the mountain guides.

On 2017 Malaysia Day (Sep 16), a hiking trail was opened in Maragang Hill, a small community reserve at the edge of Mesilau and serving as buffer to Kinabalu Park. The scenic trail became an immediate hit among local hikers.

In mid-2020, Mesilau Eco-Tourism Association (META) was established to better manage eco-tourism activities at Maragang Hill.

The Mesilau Eco Tourism Association (META) and its predecessor Mesilou Volunteer Club (MEVOC), manages all guides and hiking activities at Mesilau, especially to the popular Maragang Hill.
The backbone of META/MEVOC, many were seasoned Kinabalu mountain guides affected by the 2015 earthquake. Hike Maragang Hill with them to support their livelihood and initiative to preserve this beautiful forest.

(All text and photos by M.S. Khoo, unless otherwise stated)