A Pit Stop At The Desa Farm

/////A Pit Stop At The Desa Farm

One of the popular things to do in Kota Kinabalu is to visit the Desa farm. The Desa farm is located closer to the foothills of Mount Kinabalu than to the city. This is why almost everyone clubs it with their trip to the mountain of Kinabalu National Park. We weren’t particularly excited to see the farm but since we were passing through on our way back from Kinabalu National Park and the Botanical gardens we decided to spend a few minutes there. I’m glad we stopped because the view and the scenery is absolutely gorgeous. I can see why the farm has become so popular as a wedding photography destination.


The Desa farm is located around 100 kilometers away from Kota Kinabalu. That being said it is a long drive and it took us almost 2 and a half hours to reach Kinabalu National Park. So I assume that it would take you approximately the same amount of time if you are heading out just for the farm. I don’t recommend that though because there isn’t much to see or do there and driving for so long doesn’t really make sense. For me the Desa farm is great as a stop on the way.

If you don’t have a car or don’t want to rent one then you can also choose to hire a taxi or hop on a bus. A friend drove us around so I don’t have the bus routes but don’t freak out. Kota Kinabalu is really well planned. You can check out the bus routes at any bus station. The map is very easy to understand and from what I’ve heard public transport is really cheap.


DESA farm

Even the parking lot has a view!

The Desa farm certainly takes a lot of precautions and I don’t blame them for it. After you pay for your ticket (Adult: RM 5.00 and Child: RM 4.00), you drive your car through a chemical that is placed in a small depression in the ground. You will find this at points where you enter to see the animals too. I assume that the chemical is used to keep insects and parasites out. After the number of leeches that crawled on us I can’t say that I blame them especially since almost everyone comes to the Desa farm after traipsing through the Kinabalu National Park.


DESA farm

Trying to pose. Unfortunately I haven’t gotten the suave sophisticated blogger look right yet!

The one thing that I fell in love with about the Desa farm was the view. It was beautiful. In fact it took me all the way back to Europe and part of me really thought I was there. The clean crisp air, the green of the meadows and the lack of noise was something that overpowered me with a raw urge that made me want to stop and admire the place. We definitely had to click a few photographs too!


DESA farm

You got to love the gelato!

Another big attraction at the farm is the gelato which is made from fresh milk. When we visited there were two options available: Chocolate and Yoghurt. The cost was just RM 5.60 a serving. We definitely had to try both and since we were three of us we thought we would try out the flavors before getting the third serving. I’m so glad that we did. The servings are huge! We barely managed to finish the two that we bought. Three would have been impossible!


DESA farm

Striking a pose!

The idea of going to the farm was to see the animals. At the Desa farm you can catch a glimpse at how the animals are milked. It is very odd to see all the cows line up on their own. This is generally where all the crowds are. I wasn’t interested in it so I ditched the elbows and smelly armpits to walk around outside in the fresh air. If you are lucky enough (I was!) to visit at around 2 pm the back gate gets closed and the cows are herded from the barn to the milking area. That is about as up close and personal as you can get with the big guys!


This little guy was so friendly.

A smaller barn houses the goats and the calves. This is where you are allowed to feed them (at a cost of course!). I had fun scratching their heads and clicking photographs. It is relatively quiet unless you have the misfortune to arrive along with a tour group.

As I said before, there isn’t much to do in the Desa farm. It is a great stop on the way to Kinabalu or on your way back from the Kinabalu National park. I loved the calm feeling around the farm and I thoroughly enjoyed the scenery even though the farm itself didn’t impress me much.

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2018-08-11T14:43:59+00:00 July 29th, 2017|Asia, Destinations, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia|11 Comments


  1. Nuraini August 2, 2017 at 8:33 am - Reply

    Well, at least the farming at this particular farm seems like it’s still the kind that we imagine farming ought to look like!

    • Penny August 3, 2017 at 3:29 am - Reply

      I really loved this part of the trip. It was refreshing to say the least!

  2. Lindsey August 2, 2017 at 9:34 am - Reply

    This looks like such fun! I love going to places that are partially fully self-sustaining. Having gelato from fresh milk!? I’ve never had that before. Yum!

    • Penny August 3, 2017 at 3:32 am - Reply

      Was my first time with fresh milk gelato too! It was lip smackingly delicious!

  3. Lou | reallifewithlou.com August 2, 2017 at 9:47 am - Reply

    What a fun trip!

  4. Louise August 2, 2017 at 10:55 am - Reply

    I can see why the farm has become popular for wedding photos! It’s so green and looks so lush. I love the sound of the fresh chocolate gelato too – yum!!

    • Penny August 3, 2017 at 3:33 am - Reply

      The scenery was picture perfect! Definitely a great place for any shoot! Weddings included!

  5. Jessica C August 2, 2017 at 12:23 pm - Reply

    I love little surprises going from place to place like this. I’m so happy you did do a pit stop because these photos are lovely! It’s so nice to be around nature and farm animals. There’s just something so down-to-earth about it all.

    • Penny August 3, 2017 at 3:34 am - Reply

      I wasn’t going to stop. Wasn’t really sure what to expect from the farm but let’s say that I was pleasantly surprised.

  6. Crazy Travelista August 3, 2017 at 10:18 am - Reply

    This looks like a great experience. Ohh, and I had gelato from fresh cows (or maybe it was goat) milk in Iceland and it was to die for! The first time I’d ever had fresh gelato like that and you can really taste the difference.

    • Penny August 4, 2017 at 12:28 am - Reply

      I had gelato made of fresh goat milk in Netherlands. It was seriously drool worthy!

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