Monday, July 04, 2016

Travelmefit: Poring Hot Springs, Sabah


Back on the road we made the journey from Sepilok to Mt Kinabalu National Park. The journey is not far and took around 3 hours and the roads were smooth with next to no pot holes unlike our previous journey.

On the way to our accommodation we stopped off at the the Sabah Tea Garden in the mountains near Ranau, although I am not sure if we visited out of season but the restaurant was completely deserted.

The views however from this point are absolutely outstanding and we stopped for a good few minutes to take it all in.

As well as the Sabah tea factory this spot also has a memorial garden and tribute to those men who died in the Sandakan Death Marches of 1942-45.

The Sandakan Death Marches were a series of forced marches in Borneo from Sandakan to Ranau which resulted in the death of 2,345 Allied prisoners of war held captive by the Empire of Japan during the Pacific campaign of World War II in the Sandakan POW Camp.

The prisoners, captured in the Battle of Singapore in 1942, had been forced to work in the Prisoner of war camps at Sandakan. In 1945 allies bombed and destroyed the airfield and it was then decided to move the prisoners to Ranau. The men were forced to carry baggage and supplies the 260km journey with limited food supplies.

Many of the men died 0f exhaustion and starvation on the journey and the survivors were held in crowded huts to die of dysentery and disease. In total only six men managed to escape and survive.

Around 40km northeast of the Mt Kinabalu National Park are the Poring Hot Springs. Although reviews we had read about these had been mixed, we thought that they might be a good afternoon’s activity on the way to our hostel.

Built by the Japanese during their occupation, the Poring Hot Springs are a little bizarre. Like individual bath’s that you fill up yourself, the complex itself is a bit like industrial public bathing than it is a spa experience.

Whilst we were a little disheartened at first after a little exploration we found a few more things to keep us entertained in the complex.

We first paid a little extra to take the canopy walk. Warning, this is very much a tourist photoshoot spot and you will inevitably get stuck behind a group taking photos like their life depends on it. You do however get some good views from up here and a little bit of a Tarzan experience.

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