The central market in Kota Kinabalu was packaged on guide books as a tourist attraction and i guess i would not do it any justice by not visiting it when it was merely a few hundred meters away from Jesselton Hotel.
By and large, the first floor was a wet market similar to what we can find in Singapore (like Chong Pang) although there was a significant difference; the lack of chillers.
Fresh meat were simply laid on cardboard and newspapers; raising questions on the hygiene condition of the market even though such displays were common in Singapore about 20 years ago.
Such gory sight can be repulsive for tourists not accustomed to it. Funny how hypocritical some humans are; some of us eat fish and chips but could not stand seeing a whole steamed fish, with its mouth and eyes still intact.
Raw meat was just a small section and i guess those sensitive to the smell of blood and raw meat would be able to breathe better here.
Vegetables section! I was a bit late in my visit (around 12 noon when i reached) and the place was pretty empty; come at about 8am and i bet it would be a hotbed of activity!
Mangoes were in season, i think.
This little girl gamely posed for my photograph! So sweet of her! Unlike Singapore, it's quite common for kids to help out in the family business which i thought was great training for the younger generation!
To one corner was another raw meat section; the fish and the chicken. I only know chicken as chicken (at most old mother hen) and i initially thought there were nine types of chicken at this stall (ayam = chicken)!
Well, the supposed nine types could mean chicken wing, chicken drum, chicken bone, chicken breast, chicken thigh, chicken neck, chicken butt, chicken feet and chicken meat.
A typical stall in the market.
Sold in bundles, i could not quite remember what these leaves were used for even though they looked familiar; were they the bamboo leaves used as wraps for Chinese rice dumplings? Hm..... seemed too dry though.
The mix and match stall.
I didn't have much fruits while i was in KK! However, i did manage to find the Packham pears! When would they be back in Singapore?!?! I miss them so so much!
This part focused more on small kitchen products like sponges, brushes etc.
Raw honey! After been to quite a number of apiaries, i am now hesitant when it comes to buying off the rack honey as i would not be able to identify if they are real, fake or diluted. Speaking of honey, i have run out of stock! Maybe it's time to order a few more bottles from Taiwan!
Biscuit and spices stalls; my mom did request me to buy something from KK; a few packets of Sarawak pepper powder which was renowned for its aroma and spiciness!
Second floor of Central Market was the food section! Doesn't this remind you of some of the hawker centres in Singapore? Wet market at the basement and hawker centre on the ground floor?
I didn't try anything since i already had Laksa at Yee Fung. Visually, nothing appealed to me and i am also a sucker for queues which were lacking at all the stalls. To give it the benefit of doubt, maybe the place was more crowded in the morning.
One key advantage of the hawker centre; it overlooked both the sea and Pulau Gaya, the biggest island within the tunku abdul rahman marine park! One key disadvantage; the stench of fishes which can be off putting for some of you.
Take your time to roam through the tidy clothing and shoes shop on level two as well. For all you know, you might catch something of your fancy.
Frankly, you could get some of the experiences in Singapore too although i get the feeling that the shops in the lion city, given the need to make full use of shelf space, were much messier!
For the itinerary of my 7 days, 6 nights Kota Kinabalu (Sabah) trip, please click here.