Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Kundasang highlands


Makeshift stalls situated along the Tuaran-Ranau highland road in the middle of Kundasang proper, usually selling daily fresh picked vegetables, fruits, honey and flowers. Kundasang, Sabah, 2003.

Vegetable markets, one word sums the place up. Situated smack in the highlands near Mt. Kinabalu, Kundasang is the major producer of fresh vegetables and fruits for the Sabah area supplying daily vegetables straight to the markets of Kota Kinabalu. The area situated in large expanse of hillsides is prime agriculture land due to the fertile soil and lush climate with ample amounts of rain water irrigating the farms. It’s a sight to drive and see rows upon rows of vegetable plots on near vertical inclination hugging the hillside. The main attraction of the small hamlet of Kundasang would be the vegetable markets. Situated a little off the Kinabalu Park headquarters, Kundasang is about a two hour drive from Kota Kinabalu. Arranged in rows of wooden stalls along the roadside of the main road connecting Kk to the east coast, you’ll see vendors arriving early in the morning with today’s fresh selections. A must try and buy is a local specialty called Sabah vegetables (Sabah chai) which is really a sort of pakis (fern) and tastes great if fried with belacan and sambal. Gourds and cabbages are also found in abundance here. Try some of the local fruits for a low price, langsat, rambutans, durians (if in season) and also a local fruit called Talap. Flowers are also cheap to procure with roses and mountain orchids being sold. Don’t fancy fresh living plants or that you can’t bring them back on your flight? Well get a few cut roses for your loved ones here.


Flowers nicely packed away for loved ones, RM 5 for a bouquet only. Kundasang, Sabah, 2003.

Other than this there is not much else to see, the town is a small hamlet without much entertainment and a single petrol station but look over the stalls and you’ll be greeted by great scenery of hills converted into pastures for dairy cattle. Nearby is also the Kinabalu Golf Range, a most bizarre course if you ask me as it’s built on unleveled mountain slopes and the inclines are just out of the world, careful or your ball might just roll downhill! Try zipping past the golf carts that vie with you for the road and you’ll find yourself at the Mesilau headquarters, one of the two starting points for your trek up Mt. Kinabalu. Elevation is round 2,000 meters at this base camp and the air is cool. A minor detour can be had to view the veterans’ memorial for the Australian and New Zealand troops that fought in Borneo during WWII. For more agronomy minded fellows, various dairy farms are stocked full with Fression cows that graze the mountainside and farm stays can be arranged with the local tour groups. Not much to see besides an information center and unless you’re gearing for a climb, could be given a miss.


Applegal said...

Oooooo :D Take more, take more! I got a few shots of the beautiful mountains in Mesilau, we can compare notes ;)

anna said...

sounds simply gorgeous. simplicity has appeal. :)

Kervin said...

applegal: Yes the last time you were back in Kk and went there, pics were great, must really stay the night there one time so can get an unobstructed picture of Mt K. so far only day trips not counting the time I climbed.

anna: Harsh as well, farming the slopes can be a tedious job, inclines are steep, soil is often poor and living is hard but they still do it.