Orchid is believed to be the second largest family of the flowering plants. It has an astonishingly variety of species, some 26,000 species in total. The Island of Borneo has around 10% of the world’s orchid, while in Sabah alone, roughly 1, 200 native plants have been found. Orchids, never fail to intrigue, and they are very much liked for its flamboyant colours, bizarre shapes, and sizes, ranging from as little as a pin head to a large pendant. Visitors to Kota Kinabalu like to take up this wonderful opportunity to visit the Orchid De Villa, which is only 25 minutes drive away from the city centre. Established in 1995 on 12 acres rural land, Orchid De Villa offers visitors a chance to see thousands of glorious orchids in bloom.
The journey to Orchid De Villa will take one to discover some of the lush beauty and peaceful tropical rural setting. On the last patch of gravel road towards Orchid De Villa, visitors will enjoy the view of simple local villages, paddy fields, fruit and vegetable farms, bamboo and tropical forest in a region that was first settled only around 1930. On reaching Orchid De Villa, a tour guide can be arranged, this is important if one wants to have good introduction and description on the orchids.
First stop is a tour to the hybrid orchid farm, which covers about one-third of the place. Hybrid orchids are the result of crossing various species to obtain flowers which are remarkable for their striking colours, unusual markings and their ability to last longer than many native blooms. Sprays of cut orchids are supplied to the various tourist industries in Sabah.
After visiting the commercial orchid farm, visitors will pass by a small lake through a wooden bridge, about 20 feet in length. The small lake helps to cool down the surround temperature which is very important for the survival of wild Borneo orchids which are located on a small hill, immediately beside the small lake. Some 300 species of native orchids are placed in this section. These orchids are blended into their natural habitat, either on soil, on trees, or on rocks.
These orchids include the rare and endangered slipper orchid, the giant elephant ear orchid, and the delicate Bulbophyllum lobbii found only on Mount Kinabalu. One has to have keen eyes to watch out for these small wild orchid flowers, as many of them are only the size of a pin head. A small section of this hill garden is dedicated to the carnivorous pitcher plants, a large variety of exotic cacti, and many colourful tropical plants.
On average a tour around the orchid farm will take about one and half hours, while photographers will take a longer time. The tour ends at a nice tea house, which is just about the right time for a cold drink, especially under this hot tropical sun.
RM 50 Adult / RM 80 (for guided tour, drinks and souvenior)
RM 40 Child* (International)
RM 20 Child* (Malaysian)
*Child: 12 years old and under
8:00 am to 5:00 pm (Daily)
How to get there? Take the Tuaran Road from Kota Kinabalu, upon reaching Inanam town, turn into Kiansom road. Look out for the first bridge after passing St. Catherine’s Church, and then turn into the junction on the right, immediately before this bridge. This road will lead to Kampung Kawakaan. From this junction Orchid De Villa is about 3 km away. If one relies on public transport, taxi is the best option. From KK one way is RM 40. For return and waiting the cost is RM 100. Or one can check with tour agents who offer this tour.
Orchid De Villa
6 km Off Kiansom Road,
Kampung Kawakaan, Inanam,
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.
tel: +6088 434 997 / +6088 380 611
fax: +6088 435 596