Kota Kinabalu’s Phenomenal Market

By Mark Wiens 1 Comment

At about 4:30 pm, the threatening clouds would build until the heavens spilled water like a bursting dam.  The rain would downpour in sheets of fury and roads would instantly turn to water canals.  Like clockwork by 5:30 pm the orange ball of fire would burst through the surrendering puffy clouds, taking ultimate supremacy and stealing the show.  The bay would rest as calm as a mattress, the sun would choose it’s brightest colors, and the market would metamorphose into something magical!

Tropical fruit and vegetables would emerge from plastic sheets, charcoal grills full of seafood would reveal themselves, vendors would start rapping rhythmically to promote their goods (see VIDEO at the end!) , women would begin deep fat frying absurdly sweet doughnuts, and boys would shatter the calm water by stripping to their undies and belly flopping into the sea.  The sound of boat motors, the yelps of the kids, and the chatter of thousands, all still seemed to be drowned out by the powerful silence that the natural environment disclosed.

This nightly scene of the wet vegetable, seafood, and ready-made food market in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia, was some sort of a fictitious dream that turned into a glorious reality for 5 nights after climbing Mt. Kinabalu.  The smell of the freshly grilled seafood, the delicately prepared nasi  campur (mixed dishes and rice), and the wok searing mee goreng (fried noodles), all recruited me as a  number 1 fan of this flawless market phenomenon in Kota Kinabalu!

Following are a few pictures that I took to reveal the magic of the Kota Kinabalu market!

wet market in kota kinabalu

kids in kota kinabalu

wet market kota kinabalu

kids playing in kota kinabalu

yellow fin tuna in Borneo

kota kinabalu fish market

kota kinabalu vegetable vendor

seafood in borne

grilled fish in kota kinabalu

fresh market in borneo

borneo sunset

kota kinabalu borneo sunset

kot kinabalu sunset

-Migration Mark