A blog about food in Thailand
and elsewhere.

Kota Kinabalu’s evening market

Posted date:  June 7, 2007


Finally back to Asia…

I recently found myself in Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. It’s a small town with not a great deal to offer, but fortunately has what must be one of the most colorful and interesting fresh markets I’ve ever visited. The market is located right on the waterfront, and gets started just before sunset:


The emphasis here is seafood, and the market had the biggest variety of fresh fish I’ve ever seen anywhere:


In particular, there were several vendors selling a tuna-like fish that I’ve never come across in mainland SE Asia:


as well as every other kind of fish you could imagine:



and the people who prepare them:


There were also several kids walking around clutching plastic bags, begging for fish scraps. This girl, one of them, was very interested in my camera:


Other interesting sea-related eats were several varieties of edible seaweed:



and conch shells with their meat sold separately in plastic bags:


There’s also plenty of land-based food:



and a great deal of prepared food, including curry shops selling stuff such as these deep-fried soft shell crabs:


and drinks sold by flirtatious vendors:


I’ll detail the interesting meal I had here in my next post.

11 Comments for Kota Kinabalu’s evening market

I wish I could have that fish with the big eye – deep fried with chilli sauce on side please!

Definitely my kind of market! I will have to go one day!!!

Amazing pics… and what an extraordinary market… all those conch shells… I wonder if conches are endangered? And what does conch meat taste like?

I do love markets! That tuna-like fish looks like fresh mackerel.

rain. vibrant colors. love it.

Very cool, lovely shots, gorgeus fish, thanks for sharing. I really need to go to Malaysia!

Love this post, and place. Would have loved to stroll along the stands…

You are a lovely person, a talented writer, and you weild a mighty camera. But I forbid you to mention favorite food, fried soft-shell crab, again unless you FedEx me some to Paris. We can’t get it here and my cravings lead to expensive plane tickets to BKK. Please stop taunting me. 😉


Those ARE tuna and they’re great teriyaki-ed! KK is definitely small, but if you know where to go, you’ll love it. : )

Flirtatious? She’s just happy, like many other Thai people. Sounds like maybe someone had a crush on HER! 😉

Dude, you misunderstand.. The kids do not beg for fish scraps, they are selling the plastic bags to help you carry the goods for 20 cents per piece! I also thought of them begging but alas, they are small entrepeneurs.. Truly an amazing market to go, however, too icky for my wife’s taste 🙂

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