From a distance, the mere sight of the brushes graced by an opening iron gate right next to the heart of the Kundasang village leaves one dread at the possibility of a disappointing experience and wasted time to venture into this place which is part of the village’s list of interesting places. Knowing this is a once in a lifetime chance to acquire some photo documentation for the death.my project (and not forgetting the family itching to break a sweat in a curious adventure in this cold climate up in the mountains) we pressed on through these gates of Kundasang War Memorial.
A small white booth with flag poles next to it proudly flying various national flags, a lady greeted us and said “lima ringgit sahaja”. It didn’t occur to me that there is an entrance fee until I look-up the photos I’ve taken – MYR10 for foreigners, MYR2 for locals holding national identity card (MyKad), and MYR1 for students & children below 12 years old. Paid the nice lady and got my receipts for the entrance fee.
We climb a few flights of stairs and start noticing the colorful plants along the way up. I remember thinking to myself this is interesting because this sight is not obvious when standing outside the war memorial gates. Least did I know the what really lies up ahead will be something totally different from the CWGC Labuan War Cemetery & Memorial.
I must say – the gardens are magnificent here. I am not a civil engineer or a landscaping artist, but it is certainly a unique place that takes away the normal depressing mood or eerily silence at memorials/cemeteries and fill it with life, nature, beauty and history. I believe a lot of hard work and effort have been invested to keep this place running and remained in this pristine condition – kudos to the management and maintenance team.
Here’s my take at this – be deceived by the facade, first brush with nature while climbing stairs, greeted by historical shack hidden in the lush green garden, cold stone walls looming overhead turned warm and fuzzy by the colorful gardens, and the memorial plaques lined up at the Contemplation Garden overlooking the captivating hilly views of Kundasang town. There is only one word for this: lovely.