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Published: February 5th 2012
We checked out of the Cottage Guest House around 10am and drove a short distance to the Kinabangtangan War Memorial Gardens. These gardens were established sometime around the 1950’s which is pretty amazing. Over time they had been left but in recent years they have been done up and upon walking in through the gates I was immediately filled with a sense of peace and calmness. The gardens are set out in tiers. The Australian Garden is on the ground floor, the English in the middle and the Malaysian on the top. Once we had watched (and cried) our way through a half hour Australian made and produced documentary in the gorgeous glass viewing room, we were free to wander the gardens. My favourite part is that the Malaysian garden is open roofed and you look out of the still very much rural villages of Sabah.
Another gripping experience from this memorial is that on display in the viewing room in a photograph taken by an Australian photographer who was walking part of the death march track during 2010 for a work assignment. In the photo, clear as day are ghostly shadows of stick thin men. It gives me goose
Resident lawn mower
bumps just writing it. You can see my photo of this photo and the paragraph the photographer write explaining it. Seeing this with my own eyes was a highlight of the trip for me.
After the memorial we drove the 2hrs through KK and a bit further south to the seaside areas. We were spending our last 2 nights of the trip at Seaside Travellers Inn. At first we were a bit disappointed that it was so far out of KK (30 minutes in a taxi) but it really was a cute spot. We said farewell to George (of course not without another tipping ceremony) and we spent the rest of the day lazing by the pool and chatting about the trip. Around 3pm we decided we needed to make up for lost happy hours and made our way next door to (a fancier resort) the bar. We spent all afternoon/ evening drinking up the beautiful views and cold refreshments (and taking photos of their pet sheep who wandered the grounds at his pleasure).
The last official day of the trip was spent in KK Shopping. We were in there by 10am and we didn’t get back to
the resort until after 9pm. It was a really enjoyable and relaxing day. We paced ourselves and spread out the many malls and markets with ample refreshment stops. We even had cocktail hour! It was the perfect way to finish up a great trip. We all had different things to look forward to. Katie and Heather were about to fly to Thailand, Soffia was off to meet her new group and head south to Kuching. I was heading back to Australia and ultimately, work but surprisingly, I felt ready to get stuck into it.
There you have it. Borneo in 10 days felt rushed and at times I really struggled with the ‘tour’. I don’t feel any reason to rush back there but I did enjoy my time. George has a lot to answer for and I hope the feedback I gave to Geckos will address some of my concerns. I guess, I rediscovered my passion for overseas travel and how much I need the challenges, people and new experiences – good and bad it offers. So, there’s only one question left…. Where to next????
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