Kota Kinabalu is the capital of the state of Sabah, Malaysian Borneo located in the northwest corner of the island. KK is the center of adventure and travel in this part of Borneo. At the least you will probably find yourself there for a couple of days before moving on to your next jungle trek or wildlife viewing or climbing Mt. Kinabalu. If you’re luck enough to be there on a Sunday you can enjoy one of the cities best outdoor activities, the Gaya Street Market.
I find that visiting local markets is one of the quickest ways to get to know the people and culture of the area. What they eat, and shop for and what their personalities are like. Are they friendly and outgoing or reserved and shy?
In my exploration of the culture here I might not have been off to a good start with this toy sniper. I think I’m getting warmer. Hey who doesn’t need a chamois. Now here’s something really interesting. Right from the plantation in Sabah, fresh roasted and ground coffee.
Now here’s something that some may find a little unsettling, animals and pets sold at a market. If you’ve visited markets in Southeast Asia before you’ll know this is quite a common practise.
Because this is KK’s only day market in the center of town it can get quite crowded. This is why it’s such a great place to come to get to know the local culture. Everyone comes out to shop from the diverse groups that live here. It all shuts down by the early afternoon.
This is also where gardeners come to get their plants. Can you imagine growing some of these fruits in your backyard? Litchee, startfruit, mangosteens. If you can’t grow them you can still enjoy the bounty of Borneo. This is one of the best places to try the fruit of Southeast Asia with probably the most variety. These aren’t just your everyday supermarket pineapples or bananas so make sure you try them all.
These larger than football fruits are Jackfruit, the largest tree born fruit in the world. They are also used in curries. Like I said, lots of bananas that have unique textures and tastes.
Some people call this monkey fruit, it’s other name is tarap, jackfruit like taste very delicous and native to Borneo.
OK, what was this guy thinking? How can the reverb be helping vegetable slicer sales!
Another reason why it’s a must to visit the Gaya Street Market, this band made up of blind musicians and singers performing.
I took a quick break from the market to step into my friend Dominiques’ restaurant, The Fong Ip Cafe to get a lesson in eating and appreciating the wonderful local laksa, noodle soup of the region.
The Gaya Street Market in Kota Kinabalu. I can’t resist-one last passionate chamois demonstration and I’m done for the day.
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That’s it for this episode, thanks so much for joining me, until next time this is John Saboe. Safe travels, and Namaste!
Map:”SabahDistricts-KotaKinabalu-pp” by Cccefalon; Pushpin: McSush – Own work unter Verwendung von File:Map_symbol-pin.svg. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SabahDistricts-KotaKinabalu-pp.png#/media/File:SabahDistricts-KotaKinabalu-pp.png
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