Markets and Sunsets by the Kota Kinabalu Waterfront
If I had but one wish for KL, it would be for this city to have more spots to catch the sunsets from – something KK is not lacking of!
After returning from the train ride to Beaufort and Papar on my first day in Kota Kinabalu, I had a couple of hours to spare before getting dinner with Jacqkie, so I headed off to find the Handicraft Market, which is just a stone’s throw away from the city’s waterfront.
Here’s part of the waterfront boardwalk – it’s totally empty here because who stands out there getting sunburnt and bathing in sweat at 3pm? … Crazy tourist nuts like me, that’s who. But I digress. A few hours later, this place does a 180° and comes alive when people flock here in droves to catch the sunset and get dinner too.
Kota Kinabalu has a row of markets right by the waterfront, along Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens – there’s the main Central Market, and three smaller ones, namely the Fruit Market, Dry Sea Product Market, and Handicraft Market. I started walking from the Handicraft Market, which is almost directly opposite the Le Meridien hotel, and next to a pasar malam I’ll talk about later.
The Handicraft Market doesn’t occupy a lot of space at all, but it does have quite a fair number of stalls inside, so going in is sorta like trying to navigate a really narrow maze. With lots of things you can buy for your friends back home.
One interesting thing about the Handicraft Market is the row of people at sewing machine “stations” just right by the many entrances! I don’t think I’d be able to get much work done if my workplace was out in the open with curious tourists passing by every 5 minutes… 😛
After I got out from the mazes of the Handicraft Market, I followed the road further down and walked past the Dry Seafood Product Market…
… and the Fruit Market as well.
The Central Market was just a 5 minute walk further down, but because I was an idiot, I didn’t really recognize the Central Market for what it was, and instead ended up wandering over to a nearby dock where I suppose the fishing boats were.
Didn’t seem like I was supposed to be there, but nobody yelled at me, so it was a good day 😛
After wandering around the docks for a while, I headed back to the Handicraft Market. If you’re ever walking around the area at about 4-ish, do swing by the pasar malam next to the Handicraft Market to watch the vendors set up their stalls for the night!
There’s photo ops aplenty, and they’ll just go about their business for the most part, but some of them will even ham it up for you 😀
I loved being in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of people and things moving around 🙂
Come back a few hours later at about 6-ish, and everything will be in full swing by then! The vendors are all in business, and there are scores of tables ready to support your massive dinner platters.
Be warned: the air will be filled with the smell of grilled something, whether it’s chicken wings, or fish, or a nice fat lobster. And you will be hungry.
You can buy all sorts of food there, cooked or uncooked. Seems to be mostly seafood though.
That was the first time I’d seen a puffer fish that size in real life 😐 They’re not exactly the most photogenic of fish…
Even the kids know how to appreciate a good sunset 😉
And here it is, the gorgeous sunset you’ll get by the waterfront!
So that was the (almost) end to an adventurous birthday – I overloaded on crabs and went salsa dancing later that night, but I wasn’t in my shutter-happy mode then, so no pictures!
Up next, BEACHES! And my newly discovered favourite spot in all of Sabah 😀