Putanga – Life on the Road

Stories from my journeys around the world…

One Day in Kota Kinabalu

Posted by Monica Johansen on April 12, 2009

Last night Shane and I arrived in Kota Kinabalu, which is the largest city in the Malaysian state of Sabah located on Borneo. Today we have spent most of the day walking around in the city and looking for something nice to see and do while waiting for our flight to Sandakan on the northeastern side of Borneo. Sandakan is where the famous Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary is located, and we are planning to spend a couple of nights there in order to have a full day with the orangutans in the jungle and in addition have time to see other sights in the area.

Kota Kinabalu Harbor

Kota Kinabalu Harbor

Kota Kinabalu appears to be like most Malaysian cities, i.e. full of life but not particularly neat and tidy. The buildings are old fashioned and run down, but luckily the traffic is pretty well organized. We started off this morning by visiting the Sunday marked, which was very crowded already at 9 am. We didn’t really want to buy anything, but it was fun walking around and looking at all the stuff they sell there. However, to my disappointment I discovered that not only did they sell handcraft and food, but also live animals, such as cats, dogs, rabbits, budgies, chickens and gold fish, and it didn’t look like the animals were happy in their too small cages. It was in fact quite a disturbing sight to see the chickens hanging their heads out between the bars in order to get some air, and the poor baby rabbits were constantly poked and picked up by their tails. I think some of the international animal rescue organizations should have a look at that marked. I wanted to buy all the animals to rescue them from their horrible destiny, but as Shane so rightfully pointed out to me, I didn’t have anywhere to keep them, and it is not very likely to get them into Singapore.

Anyway, I look forward to the day it is illegal to treat animals like toys or objects. Although they don’t have the same level of intelligence as us humans, they are still living social creatures that can feel pain and that need positive social interaction. I boycott all cruelty to animals, and I will definitely not buy a fur coat or start eating meat again any time soon!

After visiting the marked we walked over to the harbor to have a look at the boats and the scenery. The harbor area is not as fantastic as in Sydney, but it is nice and fresh with the breeze coming in from the ocean. We ended up having lunch at an Irish pub by the water, and it was nice to get some good old fashioned western food. When I moved to Singapore I had Asian food all the time, and I wanted to get used to it and try all kind of different food you can get there. But now, after being there well over a year, I must admit that I have more or less completely converted to western food, and I think it is because there is so much bad quality Asian food out there. Western food is mostly more expensive, but at least you know what you are eating.

Well, Shane and I are at the airport in Kota Kinabalu, and it is time to jump on a plane again… 😉


One Response to “One Day in Kota Kinabalu”

  1. Yvonne said

    Im moving to Kota Kinabalu soon and I have a pet rabbit. Thanks for exposing the cruelty at the Sunday market. When im there i’ll snap evidence and report to authorities.

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