Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Kota Kinabalu & Seafood

To pick up where we left off - we landed in Kota Kinabalu (KK), Malaysia on the island of Borneo and we desperately needed summer clothes to fit the new tropical climate.  Sweaters and long sleeve shirts don't have much place when its HOT and HUMID.

Luckily there was a mall right across the street where we spent more time than needed trying to find the cheapest clothes that, err, actually fit!  We quickly found that the Malays are bit more petite than the average American - especially the ladies!  Josh had an easier time, whereas I was trying the largest size they carried and couldn't get them past my thighs!  This is an XL?  It looks like it would fit a 12 year old!  Uh oh.  But as luck would have it we found a "Factory Outlet Store" where they stocked Western brands we recognized.  Score!

So after several painstaking hours of shopping we headed down to the waterfront to grab some food and tour the market.  One of the other things we will take away from KK is the seafood.  It's everywhere for breakfast, lunch and dinner - in the rice, noodles and even the veggies are cooked with the little dried anchovies for flavor!  The variety is endless as well - huge squid and shrimp plus all types of fish.  As you'd expect at the markets there were numerous stalls selling the day's fresh catch.  Just walking through the stalls was fascinating, if not a little fishy dodging fish juice spilling off the stalls in flip flops!

The market had lots of stalls selling fresh fruit and veg along with rows of tables with a grill at the back and pre-cooked seafood at the front ready to be reheated and eaten.  It was fun to look at but the idea of pre-cooked seafood just didn't sit well with us...

Amongst all of the seafood we did find one non-fish dish that Josh loved.  Its a veggie dish made of pickled cucumber and carrot, mixed with fresh pineapple and fresh chili.  Pickled in this case means sort of a salad mixture that's had time to soak and mix the flavors.  It sounds as strange as it comes but it was basically sweet chili veggies!

In addition to some new clothes, Josh needed a hair cut and to shave off the beard - it wasn't fitting of the new tropical environment - haha!  He hated seeing the beard go - he had good fun being the token Westerner with a thick beard - but he felt refreshed afterwards.

We also hit up the Gaya Street Sunday market - like many other street markets we've seen they sell a little of everything and it was definitely interesting.  The thing we most coveted from the market was the coffee!  Our hostel was serving local coffee - it was so thick and rich - but unfortunately we had no way to brew it and they didn't really sell packages that were airtight enough to send home.  Oh well - it's left us with fond memories of a delicious cup of jo.   

Oh and for those wondering how long we could take the seafood noodles and rice dishes, we finally broke down and had a large Pizza Hut pizza.  Pepperoni!  I'm not gonna lie, it was good!


  1. Where are you going from here? I'd like you to go to Easter Island then on to Machu Picchu. Please?? Can we go there next?

  2. Hey Donna - well, our blogs are a little behind...from KK we went to a little island for some R&R and scuba diving, then to Malaysian rainforest, then to Brunei (also on Borneo island) to see some more rainforest and now we're on mainland Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur. We're saving South America for when we're back in the States...shall we plan a trip to Easter Island next year???!!! You should go with us!