You can read about the history of Kota Kinabalu in most guidebooks or do a bit a googling, but nothing beats walking down the street with a well-informed guide pointing out things and telling you its hidden story. A boring looking plaque comes alive and a fading building has more layers than the peeling paint reveals.
Unfortunately Kota Kinabalu doesn’t have a lot of physical evidence of its history as it was almost completely destroyed in World War II, but the extremely knowledgeable and passionate guides from KK Heritage Walk are able to raise tales from the ashes and throw in some fun alongside the lessons.
KK Heritage Walk offer a two-and-a-half hour walking tour of the city that is a crash course in local history. The interesting commentary covers the pre-war, post-war and post-independence eras of Kota Kinabalu and visits notable sites including Padang Merdeka, the location Independence was declared; Atkinson Clock Tower; the North Borneo War Memorial and Australia Place, where the Australian Forces set up camps during WWII. The walk concludes in a local kedai kopi, one of the oldest coffee shops in KK.
The easy-paced tour is informative and interesting — full of anecdotes, and personal insight that a guidebook can’t offer. Recommended for history buffs.
The price of 120 ringgit includes local snacks, coffee and a souvenir. Advance booking is a must and the tour requires at least four participants to run.
By Sally Arnold
Last updated on 9th November, 2016.