|The writer near the Filipino Market.|
What is the best way to see how the locals of a place live? For me, the market. In Kota Kinabalu, the most famous would be the Filipino Market. In the morning, it is the most happening spots in KK. The market, located on Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens is the place where you can find the uniqueness of Sabah's food and culture.
|Dried edible marine food.|
The traders, many of whom are originally from the Philippines and hence the name, sell an interesting selection of souvenirs and pearls. There were many parts of the market that you have to explore- the souvenirs, the clothes section near the sea and the food section at both sides of the souvenir section. Get your camera ready since you will find lots of things new.
|Dried gamat that will make you 'more handsome'.|
One of them is the dried sea cucumber or gamat in Malay. A trader asked me to buy it since it will make me more handsome (makan ini, adik makin handsome in his words). Funny, huh? More handsome?
Like other market in Malaysia, the traffic is busy. The traders were chanting loudly calling for customers to buy their goods. I particularly interested in the souvenir section of the market where there were so many things sold under one roof. I've been to KK and to Filipino Market before, but this trip is the most exciting with friends who are just awesome!
One skill that you have to develop before going to the market is 'bargaining'. The prices put on the goods here are freaking super duper expensive since lots of tourists come there to shop. You must know how to bargain really really well to get the lowest price possible.
|Seen at the back (peach coloured buildings) is the hotel that we stayed during the trip, Marina Court and Residences.|
If you feel like going to the beaches or islands afterwards, make sure to buy batek pareo so that you come to the islands in stylo! Well, I did not buy one since I don't think me being stylo helps my tummy look slimmer!
I went to the dried food section for quite some time since there were lots of interesting food that are never to be found in Peninsular Malaysia. Apart from the gamat, there were lots of dried edible marine creatures- ikan bilis, sea horses, shrimps, scallops, mussels and calamari.
For Palaeontology students, this is the place where you can see and buy gastropods, bivalves, corals, bryozoans and many other stuffs. They are good for your own collection.
The Filipino Market is located right in front of Le Meridien Hotel too, so if you want to stay in there or go for toilet break during your visit, you may do so although please act nonchalant if you want to go to the toilet without staying. If not, gila tak malu. My friends and I did that since there were no toilets around. Yeah, like the hotel people believe some bunch of teenagers who wear no Prada can afford a room in Le Meridien! But in times of emergency (in this case, explosions of gall bladder), toilets in Le Meridien Hotel is highly recommended. -The Chukai Insider