(Gaya street 5:30am in the morning)
Gaya Street Bazaar
…is as common as Mount Kinabalu to any Sabahan. Come Sunday, and you happened to be in the vicinity of Kota Kinabalu and and you’re thinking of what better thing to do other than watching the Sunday morning cartoons on tv? Then, Gaya Street will immediately comes to the picture . It has been around for ages, but we’re still excited about going to Gaya Street.
So, what is it about Gaya Street Bazaar that got us so eternally hooked?
What is Gaya Street Bazaar?
It’s a loooong-stretched street bazaar commonly known as Gaya Street Sunday Market. Gaya Street, formerly known as Bond Street has been the centre of business for over a hundred years
The long stretch of Gaya Street will be closed to give way to hundreds of street vendors, with their canopies and over-sized umbrellas, selling various things – from local handicrafts, to food and beverages, herbs, potted flowers, fruits, antiques, pets and so much more!
Where is Gaya Street?
As stated in the name, the happenings took place at Gaya Street, right in the heart of Kota Kinabalu. The street, which is parallel to Jalan Pantai (Pantai Road) is partially paved and the entrance is marked with a very Chinatown-ish looking arch (as you’ve already seen in the first picture).
Other landmarks that you should look for, to know that you’re indeed approaching Gaya Street:
- the old Sabah State Library building
- Kota Kinabalu City Hall building
- Horizon Hotel
- Sabah Tourism Board
- Banks everywhere! – Jalan Pantai and Gaya Street are in the middle of Kota Kinabalu busiest business district, so banks and financial institutions are common sights
When Is The Best Time To Visit Gaya Street?
It’s a Sunday market. Come rain or shine, it will always be on Sunday.
To be honest, I’m not really sure of the exact time that the bazaar started. But the earliest I’ve ever been there was a few minutes after six, in the morning that is. And by noon to 1.00 pm, most of the sellers are already packing up.
How to Get To Gaya Street?
If you’re staying in the city centre, chances are Gaya Street is only a few minutes short walk away. If you’re staying outside, take a public transportation (e.g bus, mini van, cab) to city centre. Most buses and mini buses will lead you straight to city centre. If you’re driving, it’s advisable for you to come early; parking spaces are super limited!
Again, What’s So Great About Gaya Street Bazaar?
The walk; take it as a lazy Sunday Morning stroll, with good panoramic view and vast selections of things to buy along the way
Setting up stalls
Entrance of Gaya Streety
Kuih-muih, Chinese and Malay cakes
Fancy a new tree in your backyard?
Noodles for breakfast!
Freshly grinded coffee beans, Sabah’s own famous Tenom coffee.
Birds for sale.
Have itchy back?
Original honey, you cannot get anymore original that these… which are squeezed directly from the honey comb.
Wallet made from real frog skins.
Fresh eels – alive and kickin!
There will never be enough words or pictures to describe the this-and-that of Gaya Street Bazaar. You have to come and experience it yourself. Sure, it’s crowded, it’s hot and it’s loud, but indeed, it’s definitely worth all that.
About the author: Nizam Shadan is a born and bred Sabahan. She scribbles and doodles. If you care to read more of her rants, go to: http://ijamshadan.blogspot.com
Photo credit: Ahbing.com