03 Oct - 10 Oct 2009 Kota Kinabalu

Malaysian Borneo
Sabah aka Land Below the Wind
Jalan Sulaman 1Borneo Hypermall
Clean and comfortable double room with fan for the steal of only MYR 16.- or US$ 4.40 per night, booked long ago on the internet, including unlimited free shuttle service between 1Borneo Hypermall and Warisan Square in Kota Kinabalu.

Click below for an interactive satellite view of this excellent Tune Hotel at 1Borneo in Kota Kinabalu, which we would highly recommend, and for directions:

Celebrating the Autumn Moon Festival, a popular Chinese harvest festival, together with fellow travellers Christina & Liau plus Liau’s extended Malaysian Chinese family under the competent and caring command of his older sisters Liau Siew Moi and Liau Siew Yun at their house in Tuaran, c. 30 km north of Kota Kinabalu, with (i) plenty of traditional mooncake (a thick filling made from mung-bean paste and lotus-seed paste is surrounded by a relatively thin crust and contains yolks from salted duck eggs, symbolising the full moon) and (ii) a bountiful basket of fresh Sabahan fruits: traditional pomelo (limau besar), red durian (sukang), juicy papaya (betik), mango-like bambangan, aromatic langsat, purple mangosteen (manggis), spiky rambutan, soft tarap, jackfruit-like chempedak and local bananas (pisang rastali).

Exploring the bustling boomtown Kota Kinabalu, formerly Jesselton (originally named after Sir Charles Jessel, a chairman of the British North Borneo Chartered Company), with its particularly attractive markets: (i) the Central Market, a fresh-produce market with long rows of "coconut bars" and all sorts of tropical fruit and veggies, (ii) the famous Filipino Night Fish Market, set up daily at around 05:00 p.m. and open until midnight, visited by both domestic and international tourists, with its vibrant barbecue area where giant shrimps, crabs, tuna steaks, whole small tunas, squids, skates, rows of crispy baby shrimps on skewers and prawns of all sizes are grilled until crisp and where you can mix your own dipping sauce from sambal belacan, chilli, salty soy sauce, garlic, fresh lime and as much MSG as you want, arguably the best seafood fiesta in all of Asia, and (iii) the down-to-earth Filipino Day Market with the complete range of cheap Asian banalities, from pots and pans, via cigarette lighters and sunglasses to clothes, accessories, blankets, bedding and shoes (mostly with compliments from Red China).

Teaming up with our Chinese/Sabahan friends Christina & Liau from Kuala Lumpur and hiring/sharing a powerful 4x4 Mazda Fighter TD Twin-Cab from Amazing Car Rental Kota Kinabalu +60143526626 for MYR 150.- or US$ 45.- per day, including unlimited mileage and comprehensive insurance, and rambling together for five days and 750 km through North Borneo - great fun, many thanks, Christina & Liau, for being such wonderful buddies!

Exploring the bustling little town of Tuaran with her distinctive nine-storey Ling Sang Pagoda, whose approaches are dominated by vividly painted guardian deities, visiting the birthplace of the famous Tuaran Noodles (Tuaran mee) at the traditional noodle factory above Liong Ten Sau’s busy Lok Kyun Restaurant +6088788441, eliciting successfully the deep secrets of Chinese noodle making without having our tongues ripped out in order to keep these secrets, thus afterwards still being able to join our close friends for a rowdy noodle-tasting session ("You and Mee") in the crowded family-run eatery downstairs, being rewarded for our gluttony with the most striking, noodle-yellow staff T-shirts and, eventually, leaving Tuaran, invigorated and filled to the gunwales with noodles, towards Kundasang, our next scheduled stopover.

“Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.”

Click below for more blog posts about Kota Kinabalu's Filipino Night Fish Market

Click below for a summary of this year's travels
Visit the Konni & Matt online albums and order high res travel photos

Recommended books - click below for your order from Canada

For your orders from Germany click here
For your orders from the United States click here
For your orders from the United Kingdom click here