Firing up our city adventure is the Atkinson Clock Tower. It is one of the city’s oldest standing historical landmarks. Built more than a century ago, its antiquity made us feel a bit of nostalgia. Tourists pay respects to this tower as it stands as a silent witness to the finest and darkest days of Kota Kinabalu.
Not from afar is the Signal Hill Observatory which nestled in the highest point of the city. Just few minutes of drive from Padang Merdeka is a view deck that offers the most idyllic spot for overlooking panoramas of the Kota Kinabalu, the South China Sea and the other outlying islands.
Signal Hill Observatory
Creating a floating perspective at Likas Bay, Kota Kinabalu City Mosque is one of the best examples of Islamic architecture. Its vast perimeter shelters three madrasahs (Muslim schools) and accommodates around 12, 000 of Muslim worshippers. Remarkably, it is an enormous house of worship.
We were lucky to get inside as our tourist guide/taxi driver knew someone here. We only had to wear these garbs as a sign of respect which they happily lent us. Women can’t show their legs and have to wear a veil.
Stunningly cuddled on a hill facing the South China Sea at Sepanggar Bay is the University of Malaysia. It is among the largest, most beautiful and most sought after universities in Sabah.
Another historical emblem in the heart of the city is the Mustapha Building. It houses a gallery that pays tribute to a visionary leader and one of Sabah’s first Head of State – Tun Mustapha. A showcase of interesting information and assorted memorabilia are all exhibited to commemorate Mustapha’s legacy.
Spicing up the tour is the intricate architecture of Puh Toh Tze Chinese temple. Found on its overwhelming façade are the ten gigantic statues of deities. Reflecting the rich multiculturalism of Sabah, this old temple is exceptionally a must place to visit.
Our final stop is the Sabah State Museum. It could be the last destination but absolutely not the least place to enjoy. Filled with various historical and cultural items, this museum outstandingly immortalizes the richness of Sabah’s early way of life.
Getting through this urban sprawl is another amazing reminiscence that my family and I will surely cherish. Kota Kinabalu truly offers an enlightening milieu of architectural, cultural, and historical landmarks. It is indeed a city that captured our hearts. So why wait, let yourself fall in love with this marvelous city.