A walk down memory lane: KK (Kota Kinabalu) Heritage Walk
The KCC1M is back again with more interesting places. This time, the Kembara Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia (KCC1M) programme was held in Sabah from the 20th until the 23rd of December 2012 uncovered places that are sure to excite travelling enthusiasts, backpacking buddies and nature lovers!
Gaya Travel Magazine collaborated closely with the Domestic Marketing Division of Tourism Malaysia, Tourism Malaysia Sabah Office and Sabah Tourism Board and received generous sponsorship from Malaysia Airlines and Starbucks Malaysia. The entire trip was eye-opening and insightful.
Kota Kinabalu Heritage Walk was launched by Sabah Tourism Board Chairman, Tengku Datuk Dr. Zainal Abidin on the 22nd of March 2005 and has been receiving positive feedbacks from travellers all over the world. KK Heritage Walk is an interesting and a unique way to learn about the history of Sabah’s capital city in a truly experiential and interactive way.
It is a big loss to those who come all the way to Sabah without having any knowledge about its history. Led by a professional heritage guide, visitors will get the chance to discover the hidden histories and historical sites that takes them down memory lane.
The delegates of KCC1M Sabah started off their journey by having a traditional tea break at the classic Muzium Kopitiam. This museum cum coffee shop offers extensive menu list that serves fusion, Western and Malaysian fare. They then walked along the town of Kota Kinabalu, also affectionately known as KK. The duration of the actual walk, beginning from Padang Merdeka, takes approximately two hours and a half, accompanied by the guide’s interesting narratives on the pre-war, post war and post-independence eras of Kota Kinabalu.
Kota Kinabalu Heritage Walk covers the Atkinson Clock Tower, Australia Place, Malaysia Monument, North Borneo War Memorial and Gaya Street, among others. It not only provides information about the history of East Malaysia, but also covers the country’s historical relations with Britain,
Australia and New Zealand, which troops once contributed towards defending the British-occupied territories in Malaya and Borneo. We interestingly learned that the site where Muzium Kopitiam is located was once the base camp for the Australian regiment. After completing the walk, each guest received a cap and a booklet as souvenirs and reminders of the experience.
KK Heritage Walk is held every Tuesday and Thursday beginning at 9:00 a.m., starting at Muzium Kopitiam. The walk can also be organised on any other day except Sunday through prior arrangement and with the minimum participation of four persons.
Culture and nature, all in one place: MARI MARI CULTURAL VILLAGE
Sabah has always fascinated visitors from the world over due to the fascinating cultures of its natives and its wild flora and fauna. To learn a great deal about Sabah’s unique ethnic groups, visitors are always welcomed to visit Mari-Mari Cultural Village, located in Kionsom, Inanam.
This is the place where visitors have the chance to interact with and witness the lifestyle of Sabah’s various indigenous communities all in one area. It exudes the feeling that visitors have stepped into Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World. As visitors enter the Mari-Mari Cultural Village, they will be greeted by a well secured and safe suspension bridge that runs across a river.
After touring this green haven, our first stop was the Dusun traditional house. The Dusun people form the largest community in Sabah. Here, we were shown the household tools and items used during the olden days. There were also demonstrations on the making of tapai (wine made out of fermented rice) and cooking using bamboo. We then toured around the Rungus longhouse, which has shorter stilts than Dusun’s, where we witnessed fire-starting demonstration without using a match or lighter.
We then proceeded to the Lundayeh house to see the demonstration of ropes and vests being produced traditionally from tree bark. Afterwards we went to the Bajau House and were served with sweet and crunchy crackers called jala, accompanied by hot yet refreshing pandan juice. Exploring the Bajau traditional house required us to climb high and steep steps.
By the time we reached into house’s main area, we were amazed by its colourful decor and antiques. Visitors are able to take memorable photos in one corner of the house that has been turned into a bridal parlour.
The next longhouse, which was Murut’s, gave us a shock of our lives when out of nowhere Murut warriors garbed in traditional attire suddenly barged on us and screamed, then they inspected us, re-enacting Murut’s ancient ways on how they reacted to anybody they did not know who entered their village.
Once they see that we were harmless, the Muruts then greeted us traditionally by the Chief and warriors, who showed us how to use the blowpipe,which is similar to archery, except that the dart is aimed and launched by blowing it through a long tube. Inside their traditional house, there is a lansaran (a springy floor that acts like a trampoline made out of coiled rattan) that can hold up to six or seven adults at any one time, allowing visitors to jump as high as possible to retrieve the prize that is hanged on the four-metre high ceiling.
Mari-Mari Cultural Village admission fees for Malaysians are RM110 and RM140 for children and adults respectively, while non-Malaysians need to pay RM140 and RM160 for children and adults respectively.Our trip to Sabah would not have been complete if we did not visit this cultural village.