Kundasang War Memorial & Market – Sabah

As we were staying in Kundasang we had some time to look around, our first stop was the famous Kundasang War Memorial, which to quote:

Established in 1962, this was one of the first memorials to commemorate the brave Australian and British Prisoners of War who died in Sandakan and during the infamous death marches to Ranau during World War II. The memorial also remembers the people of North Borneo who risked their lives to help the POWs.

If you are interested to learn more about the marches you can read up on Wiki here: Sandakan Death Marches. Some pretty gruesome events with very few survivors, visiting the war memorial is a stark reminder of how cruel human beings can be to one another.

There are various flags around the place including British, Australian and Malaysian flags.

Australian & British Flags

When you go in you are shown a video about the events that took place, it’s a very moving documentary and brought my mom to tears. After watching you can then take a walk around the grounds. The memorial is split into 4 gardens – the Australian Garden, the English Garden, the Borneo Garden and the Contemplation Garden & Pool.

There are various placards around the place such as this one, which explains some of the happenings. The motto is “Lest we forget”.

Kundasang War Memorial Placard

The pool in the contemplation garden.

Contemplation Garden - Kundasang War Memorial

And a poem/song by Nelson Short, one of the death march survivors.

Poem/Song by Nelson Short

It was a very misty day and we had a lovely soft view of the Kundasang valley and houses of the native people whilst we sat and thought about what had transpired over 60 years ago.

Kundasang Valley

There were beautiful flowers and tributes all over the war memorial.

Beautiful Flowers

After that we headed on down to the famous Kundasang market, which I have to say was rather underwhelming. There was a lot of stuff there, but all the stores basically sold the same stuff and there wasn’t anything super interesting. Mostly fruits, vegetables, honey and flowers with a few other things like the odd cactus.

Kundasang Market

It was good fresh stuff though grown in the area and there were a few odd local fruits that aren’t found in Peninsular Malaysia. The honey looked tempting, but not being a big honey fan I gave it a miss.

Local Honey

And of course the Malaysian favourite, the king of fruits was seen in abundance.

The King of Fruits - Durian

For the lazy tourist (or for those with no idea how to peel/open the fruits) there was a good selection of pre-prepared, packaged fruit for your consumption. I gave that a miss too, if I’m eating it…I may as well open it myself!

Pre-packed Fruit

Spotted this young fella too who didn’t look to pleased that his dad had left him to go and buy some groceries.

Sabahan Child

And well that was the end of that, with a last glimpse of the magnificent peaks of Mount Kinabalu shrouded in clouds we headed off back to civilization. We just made a stop at Menggatal for the most AWESOME beef noodles (ngau chap mee) I’ve ever had in my life. Makes me hungry now thinking about it, argghhh!

Anyway that’s the Sabah 2008 trip wrapped, maybe I can get around to writing about Sri Lanka now!

You can find all the posts from this trip here:

Sabah 2008 Trip – Sandakan and Kota Kinabalu

You can also view the complete set of pictures from this trip here:

Sabah – March 2008




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14 Responses to Kundasang War Memorial & Market – Sabah

  1. Supia March 16, 2010 at 1:39 am #

    Fruits look delicious.

  2. Tony Wan March 16, 2010 at 3:42 am #

    Love the Kundasang valley view! Good shot!

  3. Glo-w March 16, 2010 at 8:28 am #

    The poem was so poignant…

  4. KY March 16, 2010 at 9:28 am #

    i like the name Menggatal, itchy place

  5. fietheelf March 16, 2010 at 9:45 am #

    this makes me miss sabah 🙁

  6. JD March 16, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

    Very nice shots, only went to KK last time around. Maybe can arrange another trip and visit Sipadan as well.

  7. ben March 16, 2010 at 3:11 pm #

    1. What is the name of the restaurant in Menggatal?
    2. When I was at school an oft-repeated joke amongst teachers from the Peninsula was: “nak pegi mana?” “pegi Menggatal?” followed by much laughter.

  8. ShaolinTiger March 16, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

    Supia: Yah very fresh and nice!

    Tony Wan: Thanks, it’s very beautiful.

    Glo-w: It’s a very meaningful place.

    KY: Hahaha yeah made me laugh too.

    fietheelf: Go visit la!

    JD: Thanks 🙂 Yah I plan to go again too and hit Sipadan for some diving.

    ben: The only one worth visiting la, Nyuk Pau.

  9. SamuelGoh March 16, 2010 at 9:04 pm #

    Very touching poem.. wwII was horrible, but then our world wouldn’t be as advanced as it is now without it

    and its nice how you take a photo of the boy upclose, normally people shy away when they have a camera pointed at them

  10. Genova March 22, 2010 at 1:41 am #

    love that little kid portrait u shot at the end of the post. thumbs up

  11. ShaolinTiger March 22, 2010 at 2:36 pm #

    SamuelGoh: Indeed, yah street photography style..according to the pros, don’t shoot sniper style with a telephoto, get up close with a wide-angle 😀

    Genova: Thanks 🙂

  12. edrie March 23, 2010 at 8:56 am #

    I have ngiu chap once a week. Every single freaking day one time that I thought I’m going to die with high blood. Haha! Hello from Sabah! 🙂

  13. ShaolinTiger March 25, 2010 at 11:01 am #

    edrie: Hahaha yah better watch that, not so healthy!

  14. samuel September 5, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

    I do not agree with your saying “…how cruel human beings can be to one another.”

    We human are never cruel to other being.

    It is the Japanese are cruel. They are not human being. They are Lords. They traditionally believe themselves descendants of Samurai Feudal Lords. They think they are higher then we ordinary human being.

    As Lords have the right to do what ever they like to we human being…… and human being can not say bad of the Lords.