The name Mount Kinabalu remains shrouded in mystery even until this day. There are many folklores and fables that tell stories of how Kinabalu got its name.

“Kina Balu”
The first theory was from a popular folklore. The name Kinabalu actually means “Cina Balu” which translates to “Chinese Widows”.

A long time ago lived a mythical dragon, Tombuakar, that guarded a grand pearl among the raging mountain of Kinabalu. The Chinese Emperor lust for the precious pearl and ask his soldiers to get it. Many of them perished while attempting to take the dragon’s treasure and the wives of the Chinese soldiers became widows.

Another folklore similar to the story of “Cina Balu” tells a story of a Chinese prince who seized the grand pearl guarded by Tombuakar. Upon his successful conquest, he then married a Kadazan woman whom he soon abandoned to return to China. His heartbroken wife wandered into the mountains to mourn whereby eventually she turned into stone by the spirits

Photo by louispungphotography