The Double Six Monument in Kota Kinabalu is a peculiar tourist attraction. It does not commemorate an important historical event, national hero or religious sight; instead it stands on the exact spot where an airplane crash landed killing all its passengers, which included the first chief minister of Sabah, Tuan Fuad Stephens, and six other chief ministers. The disaster happened on June 6 of 1976, hence the name Double Six Monument.
Kota Kinabalu is Sabah’s capital city. It is the most industrialized and progressive city in this part of Malaysia. Asia and the rest of the world have seen the admirable rise of Malaysia to its present status as a leading Tiger Economy in the region. Its capital city, Kuala Lumpur (KL) is one of the commercialized cities in Asia, and Kota Kinabalu (KK) is not very far behind. KK demonstrates an effective mixture of traditional and modern, of old and high-tech. Alongside its cultural centers and traditional villages are upscale malls, hotels and restaurants, which make this city truly an eye-candy to tourists from all over the world.
In addition to the crash-site monument, other KK attractions, among many, are the Atkinson Clock Tower, the oldest standing structure in Sabah, constructed in 1903 and located just a few minutes and walking distance from the city center; Signal Hill Observatory, which provides a breath-taking view of the city center, located 10 minutes uphill by foot from the Atkinson Clock Tower; and the Green Connection Aquarium that showcases the best of Borneo’s marine life including sharks, turtles and all sorts of fish, located about 10 minutes outside the city center by taxi.
The true star attraction, however, is the majestic Mount Kinabalu, which the city was named after. Mount Kinabalu is 4,095 meters tall, making it the highest peak in Southeast Asia and the 20th tallest in the globe. It is part of the Kinabalu National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to exotic tropical plants, which include carnivorous plants and wild orchids, and endemic animal species such as the Kinabalu red giant leech and Kinabalu giant earthworm. Mount Kinabalu is frequently trekked by top mountain climbers from all over the world.
Finally, topping all these local attractions is the friendliness and uniqueness of the people. Malaysians are very hospital, especially to visiting tourists. KK residents are getting very used to receiving foreign guests since their city is already receiving hundreds of thousands of tourists each year.
Getting to Kota Kinabalu is easy, convenient and cheap since a number of airlines, including budget carriers fly in daily from major Asian cities such as Bangkok, Manila, Cebu, Singapore, Taipei, Seoul, Tokyo and Kuala Lumpur. Visitors arriving for the first time will be delighted to discover that it is easy walking around the city or getting a taxi.
The Double Six Monument is located in Sembulan between Jalan Coastal and Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman. Admission is free. It is a short 10-minute drive from the city center for about RM15 (US$5) one way. Another option is to take a bus, specifically Bus No. 17B, from the Wawasan Plaza bus station for RM 1.50 (US$0.50). Buses in KK are available from 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.