Words by Aw Yuong Tuck
Photos by Hamza Delbar
On day three, the crew had breakfast in the common area of Kg. Kipouvo homestay and we gathered around at 7:30am and departed to Ranau at 9am.
The crew having breakfast in Kg. Kipouvo
After one hour of driving, the crew stopped by a rest stop along Gunung Alab for a break. Gunung Alab is a located in Tambunan, which is a district that is 50 km away from Ranau. According to Nasiri, our guide, Tambunan was a logging area in the 80s-90s, due to logging being the main economy for Sabah back in the days. Besides taking a break, the crew also went on to take pictures on the highway for social media purposes of course.
Jumping photos for Social Media Purposes
After 45 minutes, we moved on to Ranau to have our lunch. Ranau is a town and district located 107km away from the capital Kota Kinabalu and the town was a victim in the 2015 Sabah Earthquake. Due to the incident, shops in the town had to close for two weeks and reconstruction took place.
A picture of Ranau town
At 1:30 pm, we moved on to Kundasang to visit the Kundasang War Memorial. The Kundasang War Memorial is a memorial to remember the 2,345 British and Australian soldiers who died in the Sandakan prisoner of war camp. The soldiers were held captive by the Empire of Japan back in World of War 2 and most of them had marched to death from Sandakan to Ranau. The range was 260km and there were only six Australians survivors. The six Australians managed to return to their country and that was how the stories were told. In the memorial, we visited a few interconnected gardens that told different stories of the incident. We also visited the gallery in the memorial that was showing letters and photos of the soldiers. The session ended with a documentary that featured nine Australian soldiers who recently marched the route from Sandakan to Ranau in remembrance of the fallen soldiers.
The Kundasang War Memorial
After 2 hours of immersing ourselves in history, we went to the Malaysia’s first World Heritage Site which was the Mount Kinabalu Park. Mount Kinabalu Park was declared as a World Heritage Site in the year 2000 due to having various vascular plant species and lowland mammals. Besides that, the park was claimed as a heritage site because of cultural influences to the Dusun and Kadazan people. The natives believe that Mt. Kinabalu is a place where all their ancestors rest in the afterlife. Even though we did not take part in any hiking or walking the trail, we managed to visit the lookout point in the heritage park. We took pictures of the Mt. Kinabalu and it the scenery was almost unreal
Unreal scenery on Mt. Kinabalu
We left Mt. Kinabalu Park at 6 pm and arrived in Kg. Kiau at 6:30 pm. The dorm in Kg. Kiau is pretty cosy with a fabulous view of Mount Kinabalu. We settled down, had dinner at 7:30 pm and wind down around until 10 pm and prepared ourselves to continue our journey in Kg. Kiau on the next day.
In general, Tuck is an actual representation of every non-conformist.