Tag: kota kinabalu

Kota Kinabalu: capital of Sabah, Malaysian Borneo

Kota Kinabalu , Sabahis very different to it’s neighbors State capital – Kuching, Sarawak – and if you are new to Asia, this would be a very easy place to start exploring the region. Food is often the stumbling block for travellers but here you can choose from many western style eateries . . . as those who know me through Facebook, or this blog, know, I mostly eat local food wherever I am.  Today I grossed out some of my friends with the photo of durian I’d just bought for Sunday breakfast. ( from the weekly Gaya Street market).

However this blog is not about food but just a few of the highlights from my time here – to date.

KK (as the city is often called) has the KK City Bird Sanctuary only 2ks from the city centre … I emerged from there an abject failure as  birder as could hear many of the 80 species there, but saw few. Seems I’m more of a social birder, requiring big slow birds to watch. But it WAS high tide so not a good time in among the mangroves; well that’s my excuse.

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Boardwalks are essential in mangrove area
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I did watch these ants carry a crab claw home ... they have good taste
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KK City Mosque - the biggest here, and arguably the most beautiful in Malaysia
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Walking back from the city mosque I did see a feww of these birds
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The Atkinson Clock Tower where I had my inelegant fall
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A purple heron keeps its distance at KK wetlands
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Pot-bellied proboscis monkey .... quite an unfortunate face too!
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And finally, the naughty long tailed mcaque!

Not everything has been covered, so more highlights in another blog. (I went to see the proboscis monkeys with a bus/boat tour with TYH Borneo – http://www.tyhborneotours.com )

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Food … a vital part of travel

Food is not only vital when travelling, it’s also essential.

Over the past few days I have taken photos of restaurant names, Mummy’s; Wondering; Prosperity Food Centre and, Oh La Oh La Eating House … some entice you in, others leave me wondering. But it’s made me realise I had stopped taking many photos of signs – so more will follow now I’ve reminded myself .

Food is tied up with travel – for many it’s ‘where can I find vegetarian food’, halal food; while for others it’s merely looking for familiar food ..  a western burger, beans on toast for breakfast, a salad, or for Chinese in New Zealand, where can I buy authentic Chinese food. It seems  many cultures or races are not adventurous with food and like the tried and tested and familiar. For others, like me, trying new foods that are local to where  I’m travelling is an essential part of the journey.

One of the disadvantages with solo travel is that sometimes i just want to invite myself to join a table of  happy Asians who have a whole round table full of different dishes … traveling alone means I get to choose one or two dishes only for my solitary meal!

Today I’ve been pigging out or fruit: bought mango, banana, papaya, an avocado and some of those red hairy fruit rambuton  and with them I had a great picnic lunch on the waterfront  of Kota Kinabalu.

I nearly always go for the ‘local food’ and have no problem with Laksa Kuching  or roti cani for breakfast – but, each to their own.

Arriving in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah last night I went looking for dinner in the area around my cheap hotel: to my amazement the first place I came across was a Mexican place, the next, Mrranian. For some reason this surprised me which is absurd – I expect to be able to have world wide food in my city  and the locals in this very cosmopolitan city deserve the same. However, I will be dinning in the Malay, Chinese, and other  ‘ ethnic ‘ food outlets  – making the most of local expertise whenever I can.

Scratch a Malay and under the surface is a food expert, critic and guide. As a young woman I shared a table with at the Kuching Fair Sarawak last week said, ‘no,  I dont know how to cook … but I do know how to eat.’

Also in the capital of Sarawak (Kuching) one night I had to choose between taste or the benefits of the food.  For example betweeen these:

EIght Treasures Homemade Chicken Soup (Efficiancy; Fine Tune Blood System; Loss of Appetite)

Ten Treasures Herbal Chicken Soup (Make skin; Nourish Vitality; Strenghen the Body; Relieve Heat; Neuturalise Poison )

Apart from the poison or lack of appititie I could have used all those benefits I’m sure.

I ended up with Ginger Chicken which always tastes good … and this one had lots of ginger … unfortunatly it didn’t say what it would be good for.

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