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Gaya Street Sunday Market …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, this Sunday market 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 this street that got us so eternally hooked?

Read more: Where to stay at Kota Kinabalu?

What is Gaya Street Bazaar?

It’s a long-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 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 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 this stretch of stretch:

– 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!

uber sabah guide

Update: If you are not-walking distance from Gaya street, consider taking Uber (RM10 discount when you use coupon code: #ubersabahguide)

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
  • Local snacks
  • 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.
  • Yummy snacks.
  • Birds for sale.
  • Cactus
  • Local handicrafts
  • Keychains
  • 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 kicking!
  • Vegetable market

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.

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More resource: TripAdvisor

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