We found these notices in Kinabalu Park to be of interest as it detailed the climb to the summit, something we never intend to do.
Our guide had previously informed us of the dangers of climbing Mt Kinabalu, although only 4,095 metres high it is very dangerous, and lives have been lost when the mist decends early morning. Climbers when decending can get caught in the mist cannot see very far,get lost and have to wait to the next morning. The overnight low temperature can cause loss of life.
The Kinabalu Park covers 754 sq km extending to Poring Hot Springs (seperate page) 40km away and northwards to Mandalon.
The forest is one of the richest in the world with an estimated 5,000 flowering plants. There are many wild orchids including the beautiful Paphiopedilum Rothschildianum. Many varieties of Pitcher Plants, some of which are unbelievable size, and the world's largest flower Rafflesia.
The fauna in the park is amazing, countless beetles, insects and spiders, snakes etc , all beautifully coloured to blend into the background, part of survival mode.
Over 300 species of birds have been observed and recorded in the park.
For anyone who is interested in nature the Kinabalu Park provides a smorgasbord.
The garden has been completely renovated and now contains many Australian species which ar suitable for the local conditions.
As I entered the garden the first thing that caught my eye was the Map of Australia included in the lawn.
A very nice touch.
We were ushered into this theatre/museum room where Mr Sevee spoke to us for a few minutes and then played some videos provided by the Australian Government. Included was a reenachment march by members of the Australian Army forces, including the struggle these current day soliders experienced .
We were unlucky that the morning mist covered the Borneo Garden. Dinstictive in its structure from the Australian and British memorial gardens. The Borneo Garden is filled with local plant species representing what much of what we had seen during our treks through jungle and rainforest of Sabah.
A relaxing garden.
Mr Sevee Charuruks , a retired Thai businessman undertook the task of renovating the run down and overgrown memorial gardens. After contributing much of the money for the initial restoration of the gardens, the Australian Government commenced contributions towards the project as the 60th Anniversary Celebration was to be held.
In recognition of his hard work and commitment to the Kundasang War Memorial, in 2007 Queen Elizabeth II awarded Mr Charuruks the MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire). Later in 2012, the Australian Government awarded Mr Charuruks the Member of the Order of Australia (AM).
Mr Sevee Charurucks was very friendly to our group and spoke with each of us individually. A very modest man.
This memorial lists all soldiers who died whilst Prisioner of War at Sandakan Camp or during the Sandakan to Kundasang death march during World War II and the Borneo people who assisted and often perished as a result of helping these soldiers.
1800 Australian and 600 British soldiers perished.
Whilst viewing the names I noticed a father and son perished.
The memorial is maintained to a high standard.
Almost having the same concept of the Harmony street in Malacca where the worship places of different religions is just next to each other. Here in Ranau, the Chinese temple is adjacent to the town's church and there are situated on the street called Jalan Masjid (Mosque Road). Is there a mosque nearby? Indeed there is. Just further down the road, the Muslim Mosque will be within sight.
One of the strange and 'unknown to me' fruits I saw here on the market was the snakefruit. The snake fruit grows in clusters at the base of the palm. And why it is called this way.... well, that's no surprise. The skin of the fruit is very thin and reminds a lot of the skin of a snake.
Of course I had to try a snakefruit! And it tastes delicious! :-)) It had a nice 'tropical' taste to it. Peeling the fruit is a bit tricky though. But luckily we had our guide 'One' around to help us out and tell us how to do it. When you have peeled the fruit, you'll notice a thin little skin still surrounding the fruit. Just rub that off with your finger and the snakefruit is ready to eat. Watch out for the seeds! You can't eat those.
Today I learned a little bit more about this fruit from an entry in my guesbook. The snake-skin fruit, is called BUAH SALAK by the locals. It is sweet if it is not too ripe but it tastes sour if it is very ripe and also like fermentating smell! Thanks Loretta! :-)
We all enjoyed this moment at the Memorial Garden, sitting, relaxing, enjoying the wonderful view. It was sad to leave, but of course we couldn't stay here for the rest of the day. 'One' our guide had more in store for us for the day, so the trip continues. Our next visit is going to be to Poring Hot Springs. But that is another story on another page.....
My visit to Kundasang has come to an end, but my Borneo adventures continue!
The previous leg of my journey was a visit to Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain in South-West Asia.
From Kundasang with its lively local market, its war memorial and wonderful views over Mount Kinabalu, it is time to be heading to Poring Hot Springs. You can read all about this place on my next page.
I hope you will join me on this virtual trip and enjoy reading my travel stories and see the pictures. For me it has been fantastic to write about my journey because it has made me relive the trip once again :-)
Zooming in with my camera.... It is great to have a zoom lens that can bring everything so much closer. I just clicked around a bit with my camera to capture parts of the surrounding landscape, and bring home with me some of these wonderful views and memories. Borneo and Mount Kinabalu, a place I won’t quickly forget.
You need to climb some stairs to get to the War Memorial Garden. The garden is made of several plateaus with nice gardens. When you reach the top of the garden, you come to this wonderful viewpoint. It was so amazing to sit here on this wonderful sunny day and having this amazing view over Mount Kinabalu and surrounding area. This was a moment I think that I'll never forget.
The reason why this place was selected to be a Memorial Garden is very touching. Here, in the shadow of Mount Kinabalu, many of the prisoners of war died. According to the local custom, the by clouds surrounded mountain, harbours the souls off all those who have died. And the views from this place over the mountain are breathtaking. The mountain feels so near. A worthy place for this war memorial.
In Kundasang you can find a war memorial to commemorate the people that died here during World War II. It is a sad story to read on this plaque and it moved me very much bringing tears to my eyes.
The Kundasang Memorial Garden was build and funded in the late 1950's by the people of Sabah. It is dedicated to 'those men and woman of all races that gave their lives for and in Borneo during the war'.