Ranau (Malay: Pekan Ranau) is a hidden gem in the West Coast Division of Sabah, Malaysia that is often overlooked by tourists. It serves as the capital of the Ranau District and has a population of around 8,970 people as of 2010. Despite being a small town, Ranau boasts of its unique attractions that will surely make any traveler’s visit worth it. One of the best things about Ranau is its climate. It has a tropical rainforest climate (Af) with heavy rainfall year-round. This makes it a perfect destination for those who want to escape the heat and enjoy a cooler, more refreshing climate.

The main attraction in Ranau is Mount Kinabalu, which is the highest mountain in Malaysia. It is situated in Kinabalu Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here, visitors can enjoy hiking, bird watching, and even camping. The park is also home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including the famous Rafflesia flower, which is the largest flower in the world. Another popular attraction in Ranau is the Poring Hot Springs, which is a natural hot spring that is believed to have medicinal properties. Visitors can soak in the warm water or take a dip in the nearby waterfall.

For those who love history and culture, Ranau also has several museums and historical sites. One of the most notable is the Ranau War Memorial, which commemorates the death of 2,345 Allied prisoners of war during World War II. There is also the Kundasang War Memorial, which is dedicated to the soldiers who died during the Sandakan Death Marches. Additionally, Ranau is home to several indigenous tribes, including the Kadazan-Dusun people. Visitors can experience their culture by visiting the Sabah Agricultural Park, where they can see traditional houses and learn about their way of life.

Lastly, Ranau is known for its food. Visitors can try local specialties such as hinava, which is a raw fish salad, and bambangan, which is a type of wild mango. There are also several markets and restaurants where visitors can sample other local delicacies.

In conclusion, Ranau is a hidden gem in Malaysia that is worth visiting. Its unique attractions, cool climate, and rich history and culture make it a perfect destination for any traveler. Whether you are an adventure seeker, a nature lover, or a foodie, Ranau has something to offer for everyone. So why not plan your next trip to this charming town and experience its many treasures for yourself?

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