Thursday, August 11, 2011

Short weekend in KK

The 30% discount store at KK's latest shopping mall.

It was quite a while ago that I last spent anytime in KK, my most favorite city. At one time I was there almost every quarter if not at least twice a year. So it was with much expectation that I agreed to a weekend in KK amidst a busy month at home.

In KK, a favorite spot has always been the Phillipines market, though much more vibrant before the immigration crackdown, the spot still hold some fond memories for me. There are less street kids but there are still around if you look around with scrutiny, the kids are a part of Sabah's vibrant street life. The nite market at the same spot comes to life immediately after nitefall. You can get anything there, practically.

The view from our hotelroom. My favorite hideaway in KK has to be Hotel Diamond, a $50/nite joint near the old immigration office ... Wisma ???? Cheeky but friendly staff would man the front desk during the day, a burly security fella at nite. Warm water in old Chinese flask is a unique feature, delivered to your room by the chambermaids daily. Outside, street life bustled at all hours of the day. These days I stayed at a slightly posh hotel mingling about with tourists and dull conference attendees ; they moved the immigration office.

A nice stop-over place has to be the Kota Kinabalu Wetlands Center at Likas Bay. This place is well hidden amongst the spacious bungalows near Likas town. The mangroves are growing well, and nature taking it's rightful place rather nicely here over the past few years. If you are into birds and any other small mangrove critters, this might be a great break from the all day shopping in the city center.

Green Imperial Pigeon seen roosting the middle of Kota Kinabalu city.

The band playing into the wee hours at the hotel lounge, a more sedate version of the KK nitelife. Most entertainers at lounges similar to this are from a neighbouring country, I like the more respectable attire of these folks here though the songs they play were a tad "sleepy". But then again, there are worst places.

KK and Sabah in general has something for everyone. The islands, the mountains and the streetlife has always been more than a handful for visitors. These days shopping and dining has been added to the list of things to do here too, with less than an hour flying time from Miri, it's no reason not to come around and visit more often.

It's been a good trip.

Images from the famed Gaya Street Sunday Market:

Artwork for sale.

Sea-shells for sale.

Butterflies (paper craft) for sale.

Puppies for sale.

Masseus for hire, there's actually a bee-line queing up for these professionals.

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