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Evenings in Sabah’s Capital

by becca on April 10, 2010

The night market in Kota Kinabalu was the highlight for me. A leisurely walk along the bay past the central market and through the handicraft market leads to tantalizing smells and variety of eating options. I felt like I was swimming through a sea of bright colors and rich aromas as we made our way past the Filipino seafood barbeque stalls, then through rows of fresh pans full of various curries and veggies, to the hot woks stirring up rice and noodle dishes, just before reaching the area full of sweets, fruits and veggies. Needless to say, where we ate dinner each night was not in question — the only question was what?

Kota Kinabalu, or KK, is the capital and largest city in Sabah’s Malaysian Borneo. It’s a hub of tourist information, a base for climbing the nearby mountain (which we were not prepared to do), and to our pleasant surprise, quite a charming city. One evening we tried to reach Signal Hill — a tourist attraction sitting on a cliff overlooking the city and a great place to watch the sunset — but we made a wrong turn some where and never found it. Instead we found a local neighborhood where children sat on the curb listening to Greenday on a small stereo and played badminton in the street. Workers from a nearby housing development climbed through a tall fence surrounding the new neighborhood, crossed the street, and carefully navigated a steep descent down to what appeared to be a makeshift community for the workers — two long rows of houses with aluminum roofs far enough from the street to remain completely out of view. Some how I failed to get a single decent picture from this experience, a bit timid to pull out my fancy camera around a group of people living so humbly.

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