If there were a capital city of Borneo, it’d be Kota Kinabalu. KK, as the city is known, is a great base for exploring Sabah, the northern of the two regions of Malaysian Borneo. Many travelers will fly into KK (a new hub for Air Asia) and linger for a few days before moving on to see wildlife on the Kinabatangan, hiking Mt. Kinabalu, orangutans at Sepilok, or diving at Semporna.
One of the highlights of KK is the night market. Located next to the waterfront in front of the Le Meridien hotel, the market is a vibrant display of produce, raw fish, as well as prepared food. Grab a fruit shake and wander around deciding what to eat.
Order rice or noodles fried up in a giant wok as you watch. Try squid, snapper, grouper, tiger prawn, lobster grilled up on a charcoal flame. For desert, eat cendol, a refreshing Malaysian concoction of shaved ice over different types of jelly, bean, and corn with coconut or sweetened condensed milk drizzled over the top. Sounds weird to a non-Malaysian, but something you should try at least once.
The night market in Kina Kotabalu is open daily, from late afternoon til about 11pm.