Category Archives: Kota Kinabalu

Strollin’ the Streets of Kota Kinabalu- Night Market and Gaya Street Market

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Strollin’ the Streets of Kota Kinabalu- Night Market and Gaya Street Market

One thing I love about Korea is the outdoor open air market we shop at. I have said it 100 times, but it might be one of my favorite things about Korea. So, naturally I was excited to explore markets of Malaysia! In Kota Kinabalu we found that the night market sold lots of fresh food! It’s as fresh as it comes 🙂 After asking the lovely ladies who worked at Lavender Lodge (where we stayed) for some tips on where to go, we grabbed a city map, and explored. I loved that in Kota Kinabalu (even though it was a “city”) it was small enough you could walk around/through/across it- easily in just 30 min.

While Gaya street market also sold fruit and other delicious food items this market was more of the souvenirs, clothing, live animal type of market. Just about everything could be found at Gaya Street!

Here are my favorite shots of us strollin the streets of Kota Kinabalu…

Lots of little street vendors :)

Lots of little street vendors 🙂

I have no idea what we ate, but it sure was delicious. I would say it tasted like a cross between a pear and an apple. With "plum powder" sprinkled on top. (I saw the label on the package, but I had no idea plum powder even was a thing!)

I have no idea what we ate, but it sure was delicious. I would say it tasted like a cross between a pear and an apple. With “plum powder” sprinkled on top. (I saw the label on the package, but I had no idea plum powder even was a thing!)

Night Market in KK

Night Market in KK

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Always lots of veggies. :)

Always lots of veggies. 🙂

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The night market is right along the water. Made for a really pretty sunset.

The night market is right along the water. Made for a really pretty sunset.

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Exploring more of the port.

Exploring more of the port.

Love this guy and this photo!

Love this guy and this photo!

Gaya Street market the next day!

Gaya Street market the next day!

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Selling freshly ground coffee beans. yum!

Selling freshly ground coffee beans. yum!

More coffee for sale

More coffee for sale

Butterfly made from feathers

Butterfly made from feathers

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Crazy hat.

Crazy hat.

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...and even animals for sale.

…and even animals for sale.

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Kota Kinabalu- The Gateway to Malaysia’s Rainforests.

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Kota Kinabalu- The Gateway to Malaysia’s Rainforests.

We arrived after a day of travel from South Korea to the quaint little city of Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. Admittedly we had no idea that Malaysia is separated into two regions (two islands) BUT the part we mainly visited is known to tourists as “Sabah” or “Borneo” and to locals as “East Malaysia” and to Midwestern U.S folk: the boonies, the sticks, or middle of no where. We found ourselves loving the Malaysian rainforest!

Our last two days were spent in Peninsular Malaysia at the country’s capital: Kuala Lumpur. First things first though.

There is so much to say and so much to share, but I thought I would try to first keep it simple, and secondly keep it short. (Both extremely difficult after so many incredible adventures.) To say we had the trip of the life time is definitely an understatement. From the people we met from all around the world who had incredible travel stories where they are making travel a way of life, to the food, and the beautiful islands, wild life, and rain forests… I can’t tell you how many times I would just sit back in awe of where we were, what we were doing, and how we got to the place (path) that led us to cross paths with Malaysia. The trip just kept getting better and better.   Kota Kinabalu was where we spent two days and two nights eating REAL Italian food with a table for two in the bay, getting in 3 AWESOME scuba dives in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park with a cool little company called Scuba Junkie, taking a boat with locals over to Manukan island for a day at the beach,  and visiting Kota Kinabalu’s famous Gaya Street market where you could buy everything from an animal to souvenirs! Kota Kinabalu was where our journey in Malaysia all began. You’ll also see pictures of the places we stayed at…where almost all of the places were either eco friendly, or had amazingly helpful staff, and most of the time they had both. Tom has been quite inspired by a man named Rob Greenfield who’s blog he has been following, and reading. Rob’s blog has begun to in small ways positively affect the way we travel, and live life.

We always tried to do two things:

1. Keep it affordable!

2. Seek adventure.

I’d say we achieved them both, but maybe pictures will tell it better than I can. Most of the photo credit certainly goes to my awesome husband Tom…and now without further ado I bring you my very favorite photos of our first two days before we climbed Mt. Kinabalu, and the explored the rainforests! I give you Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia through our eyes…

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We devoured our meal so quickly that we forgot to take pics! It had been so long since we had Italian food. Eating at Gusto on the bay.

We devoured our meal so quickly that we forgot to take pics! It had been so long since we had Italian food. Eating at Gusto on the bay.

Our digs for 2 nights in KK. We loved staying here because of the incredible staff!

Our digs for 2 nights in KK. We loved staying here because of the incredible staff and the bang for our buck! We had our own cozy little room.

Getting ready to scuba dive off the boat!

Getting ready to scuba dive off the boat!

Tunku abdul rahman marine park for some diving.

Tunku abdul rahman marine park for some diving.

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Stop between dives on Sapi island!

Stop between dives on Sapi island!

This guy wanted to hang with us for lunch!!!

This guy wanted to hang with us for lunch!!!

Heading out for more diving.

Heading out for more diving.

Gaya Street Market

Gaya Street Market

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Rambutan- SO amazingly delicious once the skin is peeled off. Inside tastes and sort of looks like a grape 🙂

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We bought a big bag of Durian- known in Southeast Asia as the “King of Fruits.” It has a thorny outside and is known to smell like onions (we didn’t smell it) but it tasted like custard and almonds to me. Pretty delicious! Tom loved this one.

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Dragon fruit or Pitaya was pretty delicious as well. We had a great time buying fruit and tasting it. All of which we had never had before in the States. It was really this bright neon pink!! It didn’t stain the hands/ mouth as much as I thought it might.

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This cutie was working the market stall all by herself! She was tiny!

Island exploration to Manukan Island

Island exploration to Manukan Island

Saw another one of these guys... looked like a dragon!

Saw another one of these guys… looked like a dragon!

Beach bummin for the day.

Beach bummin for the day.

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A storms a brewin' just as we caught our little boat back to the mainland.

A storms a brewin’ just as we caught our little boat back to the mainland.

Up next more pictures of  exploring Gaya Street Market as well as the night market in Kota Kinabalu, and the continued journey through Malaysia as we headed East to climb a mountain, hang with the orangutans, and even manage to get in 3 river safaris to check out the rainforest wildlife.

In the meantime I’ll just be here pretending we are still travelin’ and trekkin’ through Malaysia 😉