Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Atkinson Clock Tower, Sabah.

Prominently located on the opposite of Jalan Gaya.

For a view of colonial edifices visit the Atkinson Clock Tower. Standing prominently on the bluff along Signal hill Road with its natural surroundings, is one of the best places to view the city's skyline that extends to the islands.

Built by Mary Edith Atkinson in 1905 in memory of her son Francis George Atkinson, the First District Officer of Jesselton, as Kota Kinabalu was then known. It is located in an area that was the first developed part of the city. He died of 'Borneo fever 'in 1902 at the age of 28.

It was formerly used as a navigation aid for ships until it was overshadowed by taller buildings. It was one of three buildings that survived the destruction of the Second World War, one of Sabah's oldest standing structure. Over the year it has undergone renovations and repair but has managed to retain most of its original characteristics.

Just below to the left of the tower is where a very well known hotel stood in the 1930s (now the old police station). The tower is also the land mark to look for if you wish to board a private long distance taxi or bus to destinations such as Kinabalu National Park, Kota Belud, and others.

*Additional information on surrouding area:

A 15 min walk from here is the Gaya Street Market.

If you are in town on Sunday, the colourful Gaya Street Sunday Market is a must! Come as early as seven in the morning where you can polish up your bargaining skills. You can find all sorts of items available for sale by locals. Some come from the far interior of Sabah to offer their produce. Here you find also a rich assortment of antiques, handicraft, potteries, batiks, fruits, pets, plants, flowers and much more.

Local fast foods and snacks are also available. If you like a local breakfast, try out the variety of shops along the street : Laksa, Nasi Lemak, Noodles, Dim Sum... the list goes on and on. The street gets very crowded, but by midday the fair is over!

The Gaya Street market also has a ‘mobile clinic’ manned by the Sabah Nurses’ Association where visitors could get simple medical tests, including blood pressure checks. Come election time, it is also a fair ‘fishing ground’ for votes by politicians, both aspiring and veterans.The tamu is such a hit that the half a kilometre Jalan Gaya market branches into adjoining streets.

Away from the hawkers and traders, shops along Jalan Gaya — goldsmith, cloth merchants, hardware traders and coffee shops — also do a roaring trade on Sunday.Even the Sabah Tourism Board office is along the road, at No. 51.

Jalan Gaya is named after Pulau Gaya, one of the five islands in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park opposite KK.

By Wendy


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