Well since this is out of the way, let us get back to business. I want to share my holidays in Kota Kinabalu in pictures (but also comments) This post may be long so bear with me.
Views of Likas
View of Tunku Abdourahman Islands from the Esplanade
Flower "art" at Berringis hotel
Last sunset of 2011, Tanjung Aru beachMalaysian fashionable girls
Students from Tawau on holiday in KK
Random girl who knew her style was a killerMalaysian girls are stylish. They like pretty, girly things. Actually I rarely seen edgy girls in the streets. Malay Muslim girls wear head wraps of all colors with added blings, skinny jeans or leggings, flats or wedges and oversized tee. Some also wear Summer dresses with cardigans to cover themselves. But what I liked the most is when they would wear the Malaysian traditional dress made of a knee length dress with a skirt underneath in the same pattern. I just wanted one just like that.
Chinese Malay Girls would wear short shorts, tees with logo and flats. Actually I was surprised at the amount of short clothes around here. I felt like I was in LA.
Boys were funny as well. They would have edgy hair style with some color, skinny jeans and piercing. They were very trendy, in a Chris Brown kind of style.
I just wished I could have taken more pics but it is kind of hard to snap at people without being noticed and with a pitiful excuse of a camera that is mine.
Food (very important)
If you like seafood, then you are in heaven in Kota Kinabalu. Forget about eating in seafood restaurants. I am sure they offer great food for a great prices. But the real experience is to take a walk down to the Filipino market or the KK night market next to the Esplanade to enjoy some seafood, local style. You choose your fish or seafood, choose the way you want it cook, and minutes later it is delivered to your table with added Sambal sauce. Pure delight.
Spicy seaweed salad bought at Filipino Market
Grilled Squid and grilled tuna steak
Beefun ( I could have this everyday)
Nasi Pataya (back) and veggie stir fried (sweetest and smallest cabbage I ate in my life)
My favorite of all: Teh ( I could live on this stuff, forget Starbucks)
Butter Prawn with rice (the batter was mixed with sugar giving the shrimp a sweet taste, pure heaven!)
Grilled Chicken wings
Fish curry (so different from the Indian curry I know but very fingerlicking)
Grilled fish or Ikan bakar with sambaal sauce on top (so tasty)
the basic: Nasi Campung with omelette
While in KK, I also indulged in one of my fave food: Roti canai...a very light and fluffy bread with curry sauce. To top it all, almost everyday I would enjoy drinking Teh, tea with milk, not to be confused with normal tea. I just wish I could have this everyday. Forget Starbucks! This Teh is the best in the world.
Malaysia having a huge Muslim population, I was happy not to care about the food I was eating here. I could find Halal food everywhere. For this reason, I ate too much fast foods like McDonald, KFC and Pizza hut. It was so cheap too, compared to Japan.
Half Half pizza: pepporoni, chicken masala at Pizza hut in Centre Point
And my breakfast plate at our hotel with lots of Roti
Shopping: Kota Kinabalu has a lot to offer shopping wise. They have several shopping malls that offer either high end stuff or very affordable stuff. I spent most of my time in Center Point and Wawasan shopping malls. They have many small shops that provide clothing and accessories. Since I wanted shoes, I concentrated on shoe stores such as Vincci, Doss. They have these selections of wedges that were so cute. But what I loved the most was that the sole of these shoes was so soft and light. I have never seen wedges like that.
For buying souvenirs, the handicraft market in Wawasan mall was great but some of the shops were often closed when I visited them. The Sunday Market on Gaya street was also excellent. They sell pretty much everything there (even pets).
An interesting T-shirt in Gaya market and no I did not buy itI ended up getting a few things like two pair of shoes and some souvenirs for family and friends.
Malaysia was great. I cannot get over at how lucky Malaysians are. They live in a beautiful place, eat great food that cost nothing. Sometimes I wished I could live here. However, I am realistic. There may be things I would not enjoy if I was living here full time, the poor quality of service for one thing. (Japan spoiled me)
Overall, I ate too much, slept too much and laze around too much. I think that 10 days or less will be just fine for the next vacation.