Friday, April 16, 2010

Japanese tunnel the hidden tourist attraction of Kunak

KUNAK (Sabah): “Where is Kunak located?” This is the query that disappoints Kunak District Officer Susilo Sumarto every time he mentions the district to outsiders.

Based on this, he concluded that most outsiders were not familiar with Kunak unlike districts like Tawau, Semporna, Lahad Datu and Sandakan though all are located within Sabah’s east coast.

Outsiders, especially tourists know Semporna due to its resort islands, Sandakan for its Orang Utan, Lahad Datu through Danum Valley and the Tabin Forest Reserve while Tawau for its seafood.

Maybe Kunak, located between Semporna and Lahad Datu, is less known because it lacks an identity like the rest though it has many of its own attractions. In fact many think that Gua Madai, that is well known for its bird nest farming and its ancient history, is located in Lahad Datu whereas it is actually in Kunak.


As Kunak seems to be oblivious to the outsiders, the administrators of the district have planned out activities to introduce Kunak to the outside world through the 2010 Kunak Carnival on 17 and 18 April, organised with the cooperation of the Drug Prevention Association (Pemadam) and the Information Department.

“Those from the district have pondered over the economic, socio-culture and tourism aspects that holds potential in showcasing Kunak. We saw a big potential.

“One of the attractions in Kunak that even the locals is not aware is the underground tunnel built by the Japanese during WWII,” he told Bernama here.

Susilo noted that the eight kilometer long tunnel that branches into four directions is located within the grounds of the Sime Darby plantation. The site of the tunnel is about 12 kilometer from Kunak town. The secret tunnel is believed to be used by the Japanese Army to ferry and store weapons.

Continue reading at: Japanese tunnel the hidden tourist attraction of Kunak

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