Ranau is situated in the state of Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, to its west is Kota Kinabalu and to its east is Sandakan. The area produces a lot of vegetables as it is over 1000 metres above sea level. It is popular with tourists visitng Mount Kinabalu National Park. Mount Kinabalu is the tallest mountain is S.E. Asia. Visitors also come to see Poring hot springs, Sabah tea gardens and the memorials to the prisoners of war that died on the Sandakan Death March.
During World War Two the Japanese captured British and Australian prisoners of war in Singapore and transported them to North Borneo to construct an air strip. In 1945 it was decided the prisoners should be moved to Ranau 160 miles away. The result of lack of food and brutal treatment was that only six POW’s survived because they escaped. Memorial parks are in Sandakan, and Kundasang and the stations along the route have been marked with sign boards.