When visiting the Kinabalu Park and Poring Hot Springs, do take the opportunity to visit the many places of interests along the way…
Kundasang is 6 km (4 miles) from the Kinabalu Park HQ, renowned for temperate vegetables. A long row of wooden stalls ‘gerai’ bustling with vegetable whole-sellere. Pick-up trucks fully laden with vegetables from farms around the valley deliver and unload their goods at the stalls. Bulk-buyers come from all over Sabah, even Sarawak and Brunei. Passing travelers also stop to purchase. Nearby are few rows of shops, seemingly sleepy except on Fridays, the weekly Tamu, market day.
Kundasang War Memorial and Gardens is like a fort on a hill, located immediately behind the rows of shops.
Major G.S. Carter, D.S.O. (Toby Carter) a New Zealander employed with Shell Oil Co. (Borneo) initiated the building of the Memorial to remember 2,428 Australian and British prisoners of war who died during World War 2 at Sandakan POW Camp, the 3 infamous forced death marches from Sandakan to Ranau, adn as tribute to the many local people who risked their lives to help prisoners of war. Only six Australians survived to tell the horror. There were no English survivors.
The ‘fort-like’ design of the Memorial was by local resident architect, J.C. Robinson. It has 4 interlocking but separate Gardens to represent the homelands of those who died: ad Australian Garden, a frmal Englisg Garden of roses, a Borneo Garden with wild flowers of Kinabalu and at the top level is the “Contemplation Garden” with a reflection pool and pergola.
To commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the end of WW2, the Memorial was and beautifully restored in 2005 privately. The Gardens now replanted with flowers, roses and rare orchids including the much sought and valuable Rothchilds slipper orchids. ANZAC memorialService and private Memorial Services are welcome with prior arrangements. The memorial is open to visitors with minimal entrance fee charged.
Agro T Nursery is situated just a few meters from the Kundasang War Memorial on the left. At a small fee, it is possible to tour the nursery’s gardens of flowers, such as roses, orchids, hybrid hibiscus, tomatoes and other vegetables.