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.

kk waterfront 1

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.

kk market 2

kk handicraft market 1

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.

kk handicraft market 3

kk handicraft market 2

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… 😛

kk handicraft market 4

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…

kk market 5

… and the Fruit Market as well.

kk market 6

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.

kk port 2

kk port 1

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!

kk market 4

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 😀

kk market 1

I loved being in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of people and things moving around 🙂

kk market 3

kk market 10

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.

kk market 9

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.

kk market 8

You can buy all sorts of food there, cooked or uncooked. Seems to be mostly seafood though.

kk market 12

kk market 13

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…

kk waterfront 2

Even the kids know how to appreciate a good sunset 😉

kk market 11

And here it is, the gorgeous sunset you’ll get by the waterfront!

kk sunset 2

kk sunset 1

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 😀

One Comment on “Markets and Sunsets by the Kota Kinabalu Waterfront

  1. Pingback: Kota Kinabalu Backpack 1 | meermusta

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