Trip to Menara Kayangan, Lahad Datu


This time, using only a car, with 5 of us, we dressed up and off to wander around Kunak, Sabah. 
“Kunak is a small town located in Tawau Division, east coast of Sabah in Malaysia. It was formerly a sub-district administered under Lahad Datu District Office, but achieved its status as a full district on 1 June 1981. Its population was estimated at 61, 094 in 2010. The population is mainly Bajau and Bugis and also a sizeable Chinese population.” –Wiki

Since it was only for a one-day trip, we thought we could prepare our own lunch so we managed to grab the ingredients needed a day before and cooked our lunch at 4.30am. Our first destination was to visit the Tingkayu Archaeological Site but we did not really know the exact location of it except we have seen the signboard somewhere along the road during our road trip to Sandakan few weeks ago. We have found the junction leading to Tingkayu but it was an estate area, not the one with the signboard and a big entrance of the archaeological site. 
My friend was certain that it was farther away so we agreed to further our trip which has led us to Lahad Datu. We stopped by and asked for the place but received only the same location, the estate. Kind of funny that we have already went too far and yet we could not locate the signboard anywhere along the road. It’s already passed Kunak area. Where does the signboard go?
So, we headed back to Kunak. Not long after we made the turn around, we saw this big green sign board that says ‘Menara Kayangan’ and we immediately thought we could at least make a stop for a little while in searching for the Tingkayu. Basically, we bought our tickets and made our trip up to the hill until we reached the tower, probably in about 10KM away from the entrance of the ‘Menara Kayangan’.

‘Menara Kayangan’ if translated in English as ‘Tower of Heaven’, offers a spectacular view from the top of one of the highest hills in Silam area. In a good weather, visitors would be able to see a clear view of Lahad Datu town as well as the scattered islands nearby Lahad Datu, including the Darvel Bay. Apart from that, this tower is located within the range of the Danum Valley reserved forest and therefore, signboards of animals crossing are placed along the road leading to the tower.

Personally, I would say the tower was in overall, great. I especially really loved the temperature whereby it is chilly and windy at the same time, but it definitely won’t burn out the skin. Probably because I was used to being brought to my parents farms, which were very far, somehow had given me the same feeling that I felt of the surrounding of the tower. The tower was a bit scary at some point, though it wasn’t very high, but we could definitely feel that it was shaky when the wind came. If you are an acrophobia then this is the right place to test your capability and to really reshape your mind set about height. and because the tower was built up with shield protection against falling, it is very safe and secured, less of a scary.

The place is also offering a great observatory deck made of woods, which located just next to the tower. Sadly, it was still a bit hazy during our visit and the place was surrounded with dense mist and a little haze over the horizon of the hill which covered up most of the area. I was not able to see the view of the sea and the town of Lahad Datu. I know, it was a big loss but at least the mist was able to make it up for us. It was exciting to feel the mist moving with the wind and went against you, which was a very rewarding feeling. You don’t get to feel mist in a daylight in a lower place where we usually live (Tawau, I am talking to you).

There is also other things that you can do, which is jungle trekking. This hike is going to take you to the highest peak of the Mt. Silam. The signboard of the trail is located behind the tower. There are two different trails that you can choose for the hike which vary in terms of the difficulty and the time of arrival. The first option which is called ‘Trail Kayangan’ takes up around 1 hour and 45 minutes with advances difficulty, while the second option that called ‘Trail Kalung-Kalungan’ takes up about 2 hours and 35 minutes to reach the top. There is no toilets available along the trek and therefore you are advise to dig a hole and cover it up again, for the business. Since it was already an immediate stop, we did not get the chance to do it.

So, that was it. There was only two persons that was there when we came up. It took just about 10 to 20 minutes to feel satisfied spending the time here, it would not take that long. Right before we get in the car, only then a car arrived and I thought that it was perfect for us to leave to give this little family their own time on the tower.

Menara Kayangan is located just about 11KM from the town of Lahad Datu and it can easily be accessed by taxi. From Kota Kinabalu, there is a flight that goes daily and take less than an hour to Lahad Datu. From Lahad Datu, take a taxi to give you a ride to the tower and arrange your time with the driver because there is no buses/taxis available from the Menara Kayangan to the town.

It is open daily from 8am to 5pm.

Local Adult :RM5
Local under 17: RM3

Foreigners Adult: RM15
Foreigners Kids: RM7

*Disclaimer: Ticket payment should be made in Malaysian Ringgits.

Toilets (M/F)
3D Map of the entire Mt. Silam
Parking lots
Glass-built Restaurant (Closed & Empty during our visit)

Always be careful up there.
Bring a friend to enjoy the chilling and refreshing breezes and mist together.
It’s a forest, don’t get too loud because it’s not our place.
Try to look down the tower once you’ve reached the top!

Head on to this blog to learn more about the Tower of Heaven. There is a bunch of useful information that you can learn from about the tower, the climbing of Mt. Silam and everything else about Sabah. 

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