Monday, August 30, 2010

Malaysia: Filipino Market and other markets in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

There are several interesting markets in Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia. I've already featured the Gaya Street Sunday Market which is open only on Sundays. But there are markets which are open daily. Aside from the Pasar Besar Kota Kinabalu or the Central Market along Jalan Tun Fuad Stephen, there are specialized markets along the same street. Would you believe that this complex of markets is more popularly referred to as the Filipino Market or Pasar Filipina since most of the stalls are run by Filipino immigrants mostly from Sulu and Tawi-Tawi?

The most popular is the Handicrafts Centre or the Pasar Kraftangan where you can buy local handicrafts such as shell curtains, baskets and bags, cultured pearls, cultural items and other souvenirs including key chains, magnets and t-shirts. Notice also the Filipino tailors station in front of the market with their sewing machines.

Beside the Handicrafts Market is the Salted Fish Market or Pasar Ikan Masin where you could purchase dried fish and other seafood. I saw a lot of dried fish, sea cucumber and even seahorses!

Next to the Pasar Ikan Masin is the Pasar Buah-Buahan Tempatan or the Local Fruit Market. Aside from the local fruits (Mindanao and Sabah virtually have the same selection of fruits), there are also snacks and other delicacies sold in this market.

Behind the main building of the Pasar Buah-Buahan Tempatan is a tent market which sells even more fruits and produce, and seafood among others.

Beside it is another tent market which hosts dozens of hawker stalls which is referred to as the Kota Kinabalu Night Market or the Filipino Night Market since the stalls usually open at sunset from 6:30 to 11 p.m. If you're a fan of street food, this is one place you should visit.

Another night market is the Kampung Air Night Market or Pasar Malam where you can find t-shirts, pants, shoes, and watches and other items you might want to give to friends.


  1. Butch Tan30.8.10

    Brod, Pinoys are the swing vote in Sabah. Refugees are given identity cards on election day so they can vote for whoever - sabida. The Pinoy pop. there is HUGE!

  2. Ca de Ramos30.8.10

    i've seen from a documentary that there are lot of Filipinos from Mindanao who are trying their luck in Sabah. Marami daw tnt dun..

  3. Pj Coronel Reyes30.8.10

    there are a lot filipinos in that area, majority are muslims. they just take a ferry from tawi-tawi or basilan, even as far as zamboanga and saranggani.

  4. Neil Tristan Mejia Yabut30.8.10

    you should hear them. if you wear touristy clothes and look southeast asian, they greet you in filipino, then if the next group of customers wear hijab and slacks, they don't miss a beat in talking to them in bahasa. trilingual rules.

  5. Actually, when the locals had difficulty understanding our English at restaurants, they'd send in their Filipino staff to talk to us

  6. You should see Miri, Sarawak!

    Zambo City is to Manila as
    Miri City is to Kuala Lumpur.

    Miri has nice people, smiling faces, no congested traffic, relaxed lifestyle, no need to dress up, no discrimination, no Manila-pollution with lots of trees and birds around.

    And yet, you can make good money here because of the Oil & Gas industry.


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