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Kota Kinabalu is the capital of Sabah, the second largest state (out of thirteen) of Malaysia. It is the sixth largest urban center in Malaysia due to its population. Being the capital the city is the most industrially (and commercially) developed city in Sabah. The city was named after the mountain called Mount Kinabalu. It features an equatorial climate and so, it is subject to wet and dry seasons. It is also prone to typhoons because of which it is known as the Land below the Wind. The city has a number of tourist sites and attractions- in fact tourism has greatly contributed to the economy of Sabah.
The Central Market of Kota Kinabalu is popular amongst many tourists. Prior to the development of supermarkets and their chains, the Central Market was and still is an important place as many people buy vegetables, fruits, seafood and other such foods here. It is still one of the busiest places in Kota Kinabalu and many locals get their foods from here as these are freshly supplied in the market. Behind the Central Market is the Fish Market where a variety of fish and other sea foods are available for purchase. These include prawns, snappers, bill fish, barracudas, marlins, Ham Keong crabs and groupers.
One of the historical landmarks of Kota Kinabalu is the Atkinson Clock Tower. It is the only structure that was not destroyed in the Second World War because of which it has historical importance. The Tower was made in honor of Francis George Atkinson who died of malaria in 1902.
The Gaya Street Sunday Market, as the name suggests, is open only on Sundays and you can get a number of items from here such as fruits, vegetables, souvenirs, herbs and other such things. The market is open till 1pm and so, you would have to wake up early in the morning to go to there.
If you want handicrafts the Filipino Market (also known as the Handicrafts Market) would be ideal for you. It is open from early morning till late afternoon. It can be found at the waterfront and it is a famous shopping destination. Many tourists shop here because of the availability of amazing, yet reasonably priced, items. Some examples of these include pearls, necklaces, sea water pearls and other cheaper versions of pearls. You would think that because it is a market the items are sold and presented in a manner that is not very pleasing to the eye- that is not so. The goods are laid out on tables, neatly packed (or presented in other such ways) and labeled with price tags clearly stating prices. The sellers also know how to deal with customers and of the dos and don’ts where it comes to selling their goods. If you know how to negotiate you can get goods at even cheaper prices and rates. You can also go to the Filipino Night Market in case you are in the mood for delicacies.
The City Mosque is an amazing example of Islamic architecture. It is made on water and so, it is also referred to as the floating mosque.
If you are looking for entertainment the Kota Kinabalu Times Square would be a fun place to visit during the night. You can find many disco jockeys and young people here as they come out during the night, looking for fun and entertainment. Live bands can be seen performing here, too.
The Wang restaurant is popular amongst many tourists because of the foods it has to offer. Though expensive, the foods are worth spending that much money on.