The Two Towers

Posted by : foongpc | Wednesday, May 6, 2009 | Published in


On my 3rd day in Kota Kinabalu (KK), I went for the Klias Wetland Cruise to see the proboscis monkeys as you all already knew if you have read my last post.

Since the tour only started at 1pm, I had the whole morning free! Determined not to waste that few hours time, I decided to visit some of the more famous landmarks in KK.

So which landmarks did I visit? Well, I visited the two Towers.

One was the famous Signal Hill Observatory Tower and the other was the historical Atkinson Clock Tower.

I started out early with a map in hand. And since the sun was hot, I put on this cap which I bought at a souvenir shop.

After a 15 minutes walk, I reached Jalan Istana which according to the map, would lead to the Clock Tower and the Observatory Tower. Walking along Jalan Istana reminded me of that quiet road in KL leading up to KL Tower. Same kind of ambience.

To my right, I could see the KK's famous Padang Merdeka (Town Field).

This is the site where the declaration of Sabah's independence and the formation of Malaysia took place in 1963. Today, Padang Merdeka is used to host the annual City Day celebration on 2nd February and Merdeka (Independence) celebration on 31st August.

Reaching a junction, I took a left turn into Jalan Bukit Bendera.

There were many cars that zoomed past me as I walked up the road. I think I must have passed the Atkinson Clock Tower on my way up because according to the map, it should not be too far from where I was.

Anyway, I snapped a photo of the Bukit Bendera (or Signal Hill) road going up the hill.

After walking for about 15 minutes, I saw two UFO-shaped structures. I must have reached the Signal Hill Observatory Tower.

Reading the words on top of the entrance gate confirmed that I was correct. Although, they should have placed English words there too, don't you think?

There was no one around! No tourists, no locals. So much for being known as one of KK's famous landmarks and tourist attractions! Or maybe because it was an early weekday morning. Perhaps there would be people coming here during weekends.

Standing under one of the UFO shelters, I snapped these photos.

From this Observatory Tower, I had quite a good bird's eye view of the town of KK and even the South China Sea!

You could see the Gaya Centre building from here with the sea and the Gaya Island (if I am not mistaken) behind it.

At the other side of the Observatory Tower were views of green forests covering part of Bukit Bendera.

After seeing enough, I decided to make my move. As I left, I could not help wondering where the road uphill leads to.

But I did not intend to walk up the road to find out as I was more interested in the Atkinson Clock Tower.

Walking back the way I came, I soon reached the Clock Tower. This time, I made sure I did not miss it. It was quite difficult to see the clock tower from the road where I walked as it faces the main road, but luckily, I managed to spot it.

It seems that there is quite an interesting history behind this clock. You may read about it from this signboard that was placed there. Click onto this photo to enlarge it for easier reading.

Interestingly, this Clock Tower was previously used as a navigation aid for ships for many decades until taller buidings started sprouting around and blocking the view of the clock tower from the sea. Having survived the air raids in World War 2, it remains the oldest standing structure in KK.

I am glad I was able to visit these two landmarks in KK. No doubt, they were not on the priority list of places to visit among tourists, and you may even skip them if you have a very tight schedule. However, as a first timer to KK, I really think it is worth-while visiting these two places.

As I walked down the road leaving the Atkinson Clock Tower, it seemed to bade me farewell with the sound of its chime. I counted. It chimed 9 times. I was leaving Signal Hill at exactly 9am.

Coming up next - My Elusive Search For Tarap Fruit


(55) Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Good morning Foong!

    May 6, 2009 at 8:44 AM
  2. Anonymous

    Nice view of KK town from the observation tower. The Padang brings back familiar memories of my last trip a couple of years ago.'ve ventured to the off beaten track since not many tourists / locals mingle there. It's good to visit places where others don't...sometimes, you see another side missed out by others.

    May 6, 2009 at 8:48 AM
  3. Che-Cheh said...

    I didn't know about this 2 places. Haha

    May 6, 2009 at 9:39 AM
  4. lina said...

    Mei Teng on a roll again, chopping FC left right centre. :D

    May 6, 2009 at 10:07 AM
  5. lina said...

    Why wasn't it be filled by tourist buses and loads of tourists if it is KK's famous landmark? Hmm...

    But then again, you got the place to yourself. So, no crying no singing there, right? XD

    May 6, 2009 at 10:11 AM
  6. TZ said...

    I should make a trip to KK... never been there :p

    May 6, 2009 at 10:54 AM
  7. khengsiong said...

    So the observatory tower is a waste of taxpayers' money?

    Wondering if they also have parade in Padang Merdeka on Sep 16...

    May 6, 2009 at 11:00 AM
  8. foongpc said...

    mei teng, good morning! Yes, I agree it's good to go to places where tourists and even locals don't normally go. Glad my photo of the Padang brought back familiar memories to you : )

    che-cheh, you don't? I guess it's not that popular on the tourists' map! But it is mentioned in KK's tourism brochures. I think also mentioned in Lonely Planet.

    May 6, 2009 at 11:33 AM
  9. foongpc said...

    lina, haha! She's the chopping champion! No fight lah! : )

    Why no tourists at these landmarks? I guess there are other far more interesting places to go. Would you rather go Kinabalu Park or one of those islands near KK or visit these two towers? Haha!

    But I have no complaints. I don't really like crowds of tourists all over the place! It's nice to have the whole place all to myself. More relaxing and no need to jostle with the crowds for a good position to take photos! : )

    May 6, 2009 at 11:34 AM
  10. foongpc said...

    TZ, yes you should! : )

    khengsiong, not sure if it's really a waste of taxpayers' money. Maybe there are locals who go lepak there during the evening to see the sunset? Or perhaps tourists go there in the evening?

    Not sure if they have parade in Padang Merdeka on Sept 16. Any readers from KK who can answer this? Hmmm, I notice not many bloggers from KK - in fact, I know of no blogger from KK.

    May 6, 2009 at 11:39 AM
  11. heidi said...

    I cannot believe it was so deserted! Beautiful view though and I love looking at your pics! Wow!

    May 6, 2009 at 11:47 AM
  12. Superman said...

    You really can walk! Hehe.

    May 6, 2009 at 12:00 PM
  13. iamthewitch said...

    Wow 9am! Considering you walked so much, you really went there very EARLY! No wonder you didn't see anyone around. :P

    May 6, 2009 at 12:09 PM
  14. Anonymous

    When I travel..I like to get up early to see what most would have missed if they had slept on. It's a good opportunity to photograph away from the hustle and bustle of ppl. Just my thoughts :)

    May 6, 2009 at 12:42 PM
  15. Anonymous

    hey.. did you plan this trip by your own? it seems very organized to me coz you know all the 'strategic' places in KK.. im sure you did a research before you travel there right?

    the scenery pics you took are simply amazing.. now my impression towards KK has already changed.. haha =D

    May 6, 2009 at 1:00 PM
  16. Merryn said...

    now i know bout KK sooo much! thanx to u.. i've never been there. hmm.. dunno if i'll ever get there! looking forward to see wat is a tarap fruit though.. hehehe..

    May 6, 2009 at 1:01 PM
  17. Anonymous

    like the way you write your entries.. coz you have pics to entertain me.. instead of just words.. i dont like wordy entries.. haha.. keep it up foong! =D

    May 6, 2009 at 1:02 PM
  18. HappySurfer said...

    That's a pretty (and very British) clock tower and a memorable name to go with it. At least there is history there unlike most clock towers that are just called "(City name's) clock tower". Eh?

    Nice view from the observatory. I like the picture of the town - so clear. Nice weather and firm hands, I suppose. ;)

    Great picture of the padang - quite like those found in school textbooks. LOL!

    Thanks, Foong, for sharing your visit. Looking forward to the next day's events. Quick...

    May 6, 2009 at 1:08 PM
  19. HappySurfer said...

    And oh.... nice red cap. One for the souvenir shelf.

    May 6, 2009 at 1:09 PM
  20. Ayie said...

    Nice photos foong, you're right about the observatory it should have an english translation.

    Mei is always too early! I also agree about going out earlier so no hustle with picture taking. I can snap as much as i want without distractions.

    Enjoy your day foong, I'm off to sleep! =D

    May 6, 2009 at 1:35 PM
  21. bluedreamer27 said...

    it seems that the place was so relaxing my friend
    have a greatday and thank for sharing

    May 6, 2009 at 1:54 PM
  22. .:: Ant ::. said...

    Other than the monkeys and Mt Kina, the place has not much else interesting to offer hor?


    May 6, 2009 at 4:17 PM
  23. Neo said...

    I haven't even visited KL Tower. :)

    May 6, 2009 at 4:27 PM
  24. Borneo Falcon said...

    This place definitely worth visiting

    May 6, 2009 at 6:19 PM
  25. bluedreamer27 said...

    hi there just dropping by here again

    May 6, 2009 at 8:37 PM
  26. eiling lim said...

    the view is nice. Hmm... how come I haven't heard of the tower?!! So jakun la me..

    May 6, 2009 at 10:23 PM
  27. foongpc said...

    heidi, I guess it's too early in the morning, that's why no one was around! Haha! Thanks for the compliments! : )

    superman, I can walk and you can fly! LOL!

    iamthewitch, yeah, maybe I was very early. But you know 7am in KK is like 10am. So even though I started early, the sun was already up there and shining hotly on me! Didn't feel like I was early at all! : )

    May 6, 2009 at 11:25 PM
  28. foongpc said...

    mei teng, that's a very good idea! To get up early and take photos while everyone is still asleep! : )

    kenwooi, yes I planned it on my own with the help from blogs, websites and Lonely Planet.

    Your impression towards KK has changed just from reading my blog? Wow! I'll take that as a compliment! Thanks!!

    Glad you like reading my blog. I really appreciate it! : )

    May 6, 2009 at 11:30 PM
  29. foongpc said...

    merryn, glad that you know more about KK now. You should go there for a holiday. It's really a nice place! : )

    happysurfer, yeah nice clock tower with a nice name! Haha!

    Thanks for all the compliments! Yes, the red cap makes a nice souvenir : )

    May 6, 2009 at 11:37 PM
  30. foongpc said...

    ayie, you agree don't you? English speaking tourists would not know it's an observation tower without any English information although they can guess, I suppose.

    Mei Teng is always early - she's an early bird. Well, the early bird always catches the worm, right? Haha!

    bluedreamer27, yeah it's relaxing looking at the city from way up there! You have a great day too! : )

    May 6, 2009 at 11:42 PM
  31. foongpc said...

    anton, oh, there is much more than just Mt Kinabalu and proboscis monkeys! You can go white water rafting at Padas River, island hopping at Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, go clubbing at Waterfront nightclubs, visit Loh Kawi Wildlife Park, take a train to visit Sabah Agricultural Park, visit Monsopiad Village to learn about Kadazan Dusun headhunters and culture, and shopping at Central Market, Filipino Market and all those shopping malls! There's so much to do! My 4D/3N trip just wasn't enough! : )

    May 6, 2009 at 11:54 PM
  32. foongpc said...

    neo, well it's about time! But be warned of the high entrance fee - I think it's RM38 if not mistaken!

    borneo falcon, yes, definitely worth visiting. Glad you agree with me! : )

    bluedreamer27, hi! thanks for dropping by again! You can drop by as many times as you like! : )

    eiling, don't worry. I also jakun before I went to KK. I only know about the towers from research : )

    May 6, 2009 at 11:57 PM
  33. Monica said...

    nice shots Foong! oh I love tarap :-D

    May 7, 2009 at 12:46 AM
  34. Ayie said...

    Totally agree foong!! =D

    May 7, 2009 at 3:15 AM
  35. LifeRamblings said...

    the environment looks so peaceful, quiet and serene. The tower is great for glimpses of the city skyline.

    May 7, 2009 at 7:11 AM
  36. Ciela said...

    Hi Foong! Visit you back here. I enjoy reading your adventures. It's as if I'm tagging along with you. ha ha ha! Thanks for sharing those wonderful places. I wish I could visit them too.

    Btw, I only have this two blogs. And you're up on these blogs.

    May 7, 2009 at 7:50 AM
  37. ladyviral said...

    Wow this two towers is better than LOTR :P. Though it seems like the sunny side of KL is everywhere! I would supposed it was early in the morning since you mentioned you left at 9am sharp and the sun was already so bright and sunny!

    Love the greenenry of the place. Very nice view of the SCS too! Thank you for sharing this <3

    May 7, 2009 at 10:06 AM
  38. Neo said...

    RM38?! Wah, so expensive! Have to start saving for the entrance fee! Can you sponsor me a bit? lol

    May 7, 2009 at 12:07 PM
  39. lina said...

    I guess one reason there aren't many people there was due to the high entrance fee.

    May 7, 2009 at 12:49 PM
  40. foongpc said...

    monica, everyone who is from Sabah tells me they love this fruit! So I already expected you to say the same! : )

    ayie, : )

    life ramblings, yes I love the environment there! : )

    tita beng, thanks for putting my links on both your blogs! : )

    May 7, 2009 at 1:53 PM
  41. foongpc said...

    ladyviral, are you sure it's better than the Two Towers of LOTR? Haha! Anyway, yes in KK, the sun is up so early. Even at 7am, it looks like 10am over there! : )

    neo, haha! You just do a few more photo shooting assignments for irenelim, sure you can afford lah! : )

    lina, I think you've misunderstood my conversation with neo. We are talking about the KL Tower, not the two towers in KK! : )

    May 7, 2009 at 1:57 PM
  42. J2Kfm said...

    LOL. Two Towers, corny but worked.

    never heard of any of those though. you were right, not on tourists' priority list. but a good find nonetheless.

    May 7, 2009 at 6:32 PM
  43. Bengbeng said...

    wow..u really can walk..i would have called for a taxi... too apek oledi :)

    in fact the last time we were in KK, we jus arranged for a taxi to b with us the whole day :)

    May 7, 2009 at 8:10 PM
  44. [SK] said...

    hmmm, by looking at all your KK photos, why wasn't there a single other person at wherever you have been going?? and you are all alone by yourself, safe ah?? :p

    May 7, 2009 at 11:09 PM
  45. foongpc said...

    J2Kfm, haha! Well, I'm not sure if it's corny or not! : )

    bengbeng, actually, it's not a very long walk. But I love to walk of course! : )

    SK, are you sure? You must have missed some of the photos! : )

    May 7, 2009 at 11:36 PM
  46. Anonymous

    i came and expected an update! but.. lol =D visiting again =)

    May 8, 2009 at 1:39 AM
  47. eastcoastlife said...

    It seems tourist attractions are quite costly every where in the world. :) Singapore's will be times 2 for RM. :P

    May 8, 2009 at 10:53 AM
  48. JL said...

    KK is a nice cosy town indeed. It's ok if the spot didn't have people, now I can take pics all I want without people staring at me xD

    May 8, 2009 at 6:10 PM
  49. foongpc said...

    kenwooi, thanks for dropping by again! : )

    eastcoastlife, yes they like to take advantage of tourists! I only visit Singapore when they have half price promotion for Malaysians : )

    JL, actually I also prefer no people. Can take as much photos as I like without jostling with others : )

    May 8, 2009 at 10:54 PM
  50. Pete said...

    Nice pictures of the town you took from the highland! Very clear!

    May 9, 2009 at 1:45 AM
  51. Tekkaus said...

    War...the 2 towers? How come not the same from LOTR? ha :D War...mei ting can really relate huh! You'd even been into the UFOs?

    Anyway nice snaps. :D Hopefully I can go KK too.

    May 11, 2009 at 2:03 AM
  52. foongpc said...

    pete, thanks! It's a nice view from up there : )

    tekkaus, hope you can go KK one day and blog about it! : )

    May 12, 2009 at 12:43 PM
  53. Hanging lamps said...

    the two towers pc game free?" Ive been searching all the day long with no results. And dont say like "buy the game, its more ligal etc.

    January 28, 2010 at 9:39 PM
  54. Hanging lamps said...

    you would like to find another Lord of the rings game or any other game for that matter just request it on Jeugo Forums.

    January 28, 2010 at 9:39 PM
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