Kundasang is a town in the district of Ranau in Sabah, East Malaysia. Located near the famous tourist town of Kota Kinabalu, this town is often overlooked and is not well integrated with the nearby cities. Change your mind about this hidden gem with our list of 6 things to do in Kundasang.
Places to visit in Kundasang
1. Kinabalu Park
Kinabalu Park has 4 climatic zones and is host to one of the richest melanges of biodiversity in the world, housing and protecting more than 4,500 species of flora and fauna, including 326 bird species, an estimated 100+ mammal species, and over 100 snail species. If you’re a fan of hiking or even just nature in general, walk through the winding trails and see all the park has to offer, including a sky bridge, observation deck/tower, and even the chance to spy a rare rafflesia in bloom. This is the perfect attraction for those looking to see something off the beaten path, since it is located a good 60 km from the large tourist town of Kota Kinabalu.
2. Poring Hot Springs
The Poring Hot Springs are located within the nature reserve of Kinabalu Park. The naturally-occurring hot spring contains geothermically warmed water packed full of minerals. Bring a swimsuit and a towel, because the rent for private bathtubs starts at just RM15 per hour. The park is open from 7 am to 6 pm. If you are due for some R&R, drop by the hot springs and enjoy the bounties of nature from the comfort of civilization.
3. Desa Dairy Farm
If you’ve always been interested in the efforts that go into animal husbandry and the processing of animal products, try visiting Desa Dairy Farm. For a nominal entrance fee (RM5), you can explore the vast, picturesque grounds, learn about the rearing and care of cattle, sample fresh milk and yogurt, spend time with the Fresian cows which dot the landscape. Early visitors can enjoy a special breakfast prepared on location with fresh ingredients. For those who are interested in learning about the benefits of organic farming, Desa Dairy Farm is the perfect tourist experience for you.
4. Sabah Tea Gardens
Sabah is home to large, sprawling tea gardens which blanket the hillsides, and is one of the largest exporters of tea in Southeast Asia. At the tea gardens in Kundasang, you can roam the huge expanse of tea gardens. For a fee of only RM14, you or your group can take a guided factory tour, where you will learn about the growth conditions, manufacturing, and processing of the tea. You can even taste various flavours of Sabahan tea like ginger, lemongrass, cinnamon, etc. Overall, if you enjoy nature but not strenuous explorations of it like hiking, or if you just like tea, this is definitely a must-see tourist spot.
5. Kundasang Market
Kundasang’s location in the countryside means that it is not home to many large chain supermarkets. As such, the only place residents buy produce is at local markets. This makes Kundasang’s market a perfect tourist attraction. Peruse the stalls which sell things like fresh vegetables, fruit, flowers, tea, handicrafts, souvenirs, and clothing items. This market has the added benefit of not being a tourist trap; since it is geared towards the locals and not tourists, you can be sure that the prices and products offered are definitely high-quality.
6. Kundasang War Memorial
During World War II, Australian and British prisoners of war were held by the Empire of Japan and led on “death marches” to Ranau. These marches led to the deaths of multiple POWs. The Kundasang War Memorial has been constructed in order to commemorate these deaths. The memorial also remembers the people of Borneo who perished in this war. The memorial also contains a small museum and a video about the Malaysian side of WW2. If you visit Kundasang as a tourist, it is important to pay your respects to people who visited under less cheerful circumstances. It is a key part of the human experience to learn about the bad parts of history along with the good, and this is why this memorial should be visited by all the tourist visitors to Kundasang.
On that sobering note, this article concludes. Be sure to visit places which are overlooked, as they are often home to the most unforgettable tourist locations. Visit Kundasang today and discover the true Borneo countryside experience.