Tag Archives: handicraft

Nabalu, the mid-way stop to Kinabalu Park

Pekan Nabalu

Pekan Nabalu (“pekan” means town) is used to be a “toilet stop” for tourists heading to Kinabalu Park. Now this small town is flourishing and become a “must stop” for tourists.

junction to Pekan Nabalu

Pekan Nabalu is only 12 KM before Kinabalu Park, so a lot of tourists stop here for toilet break or breakfast. Tourist buses love to stop here due to the ample and spacious parking space in Nabalu.

Nabalu town
However, there are more reasons why tourists like to stop here but not other places.

Location of Nabalu:
location map of Pekan Nabalu

View My Sabah Map in a larger map

Reason 1: View of Mt. Kinabalu

The 15-Meter watch tower of Nabalu is so prominent at the roadside that every motorist passing by will notice it. Nabalu town is one of the best spots to see Mt. Kinabalu and its adjacent landscape. Tour Guides also like to bring climbers here for a “preview” of the mountain before the climb.

watch tower of Pekan Nabalu

Pekan Nabalu and Mt. Kinabalu
Above: the view of Mt. Kinabalu from watch tower

platform of Pekan Nabalu
At the edge of the town there is also a platform to see Mt. Kinabalu. It’s an ideal photography point to use Mt. Kinabalu as your backdrop, as there is nothing obstruct the view, no tall trees, no electricity wire, etc. The mountain also looks very close as if you can hug it.

Mt. Kinabalu
However, Mt. Kinabalu is covered in mist most of the time, so you need to be lucky to get a clear view of it. You will have better chance if you get there before 8am or 9am and the weather is good.

group selfie with Mt. Kinabalu
Above: group selfie with Mt. Kinabalu

information board at the platform
Above: The information board at the platform to show you what peaks you are looking at.

sunrise of Mt. Kinabalu
Above: a lovely morning view of Mt. Kinabalu from Nabalu

Reason 2: Local Handicraft & Food Markets

Another reason that draws the tourists is the handicraft and food markets in Nabalu. The price is cheaper than city, provided that you have good bargaining skill. Don’t be shy to ask for discount.

stalls in Nabalu town
Above: a corner of the food market

food market of Pekan Nabalu
You can find rich variety of local food and produces. Almost every type of fruits, vegetables and snacks are available in the food market of Nabalu.

honey for sale
Above: honey with bee nest for RM85 (≈USD26)!

hill paddy
Above: hill paddy in 5 colors, RM5 per pack (≈USD1.50). The seller says the 1st one (from left) has aroma of maize, and the 3rd one is Pandan favor.

Above: local peanut

wild durian
Above: they even have wild durian if you come at right season

handicraft corridor of Pekan Nabalu

Sabah handicraft

There is a building with tons of handicraft and souvenirs line up in its 50-Meter long verandah. Being bombarded by so many colorful and beautiful items, very few tourists can resist not buying anything.

handicraft walkway in Nabalu town

handicraft and souvenir

The shops sell almost any item that you can name, e.g. T-shirt, bags, stationary, key-chain, refrig magnet, puff toy, batik cloth, hats, baskets, purses, handicraft, photo frames, bead work, postcards. The things pile up like factory outlet and you will be spoiled with choices. Remember, ask for discount.

Reason 3: The Toilet

The last reason, but not the least, is the toilet. Though it’s not a 5-star toilet, it’s reasonably clean. The air in Nabalu is cool and refreshing, so it’s nice to take a short walk and stretch your muscle, after sitting so long in the car.

toilet of Pekan Nabalu
Above: public toilet, RM0.30 per entry (≈USD0.10)

Photos taken in Kota Belud, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

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Tamu Besar, Kota Marudu (Day 1)

This year the launching of Pesta Kaamatan (Harvest Festival) month was held in Kota Marudu town from April 29 to May 1. I didn’t want to miss anything, so I was already there on the first day. To go to Kota Marudu, you can take the mini bus near the Padang Merdeka (in Kota Kinabalu). The ticket costs RM14 and it takes less than 3 hours to get there.

Tamu Besar

Tamu Besar

Most of the events were carried out in the football field of Kota Marudu. The first day was only a “warm-up” day, so the only highlight was the Tamu Besar (big local market), where you could buy some food, drink, fruits, vegetables and handicraft. Besides, there were some exhibition booths of government and a mini fun fair.

Tamu Besar

Tamu Besar

The second day was the Marudu Bay Carnival with lot of water sport activities. The BIGGEST attraction was on the third day (May 1), the Unduk Ngadau (Miss Harvest Festival beauty pageant). I will blog about them and upload the photo gallery ASAP. Make sure you come back and check later.

Tamu Besar

There were lot of handicraft on sale. I think most of them are made by Rungus people, who are skillful weaver live in Kudat and Kota Marudu area nearby. The prices are so cheap, can be up to 50% lower than the price in Kota Kinabalu! One of the booths even offered to weave my name on a bead bracelet, everything for RM5 only. The handicraft sold in the city was marked up really unreasonably high. It is the “tourist price”, I guess.

Tamu Besar

After shopped around for a while, I decided to buy the ship handicraft below. This 9-inch-tall ship is made of seashells and requires great deal of time and labour work. But it only costs RM10 each, so unbelievable, so I bought two. If you want to get this in city, I am afraid you will have to pay RM20 or more for each? But it was quite a headache to carry these fragile things back, on a bus. Glad I made it. They are in my room now.

Tamu Besar

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