Around the Filipino Market
When staying in Kota Kinabalu a visit to the Filipino Market is just one of the things that you have to do. The official name is actually the Handicraft Market, the Filipino Market is just a historical name that has stuck, coming from that many stalls were, and still are, run by Filipino immigrants.
Just as the name implies there is a lot of handicraft items, such as sarongs, jewelry and woodcraft, but also a lot of contemporary merchandise. The sidewalk off the Handicraft building, along Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens is famed for the many Filipino tailors, who have set up makeshift sewing stations. They use antique foot powered sewing machines and can for a very modest sum fix pretty much anything that needs to be sewn. Just next to the Handicraft Market there is a market for dried and salted fish.
During the day there is not much action in the area around the Handicraft market. You might see people sleeping or resting in odd places and people preparing goods in a rather relaxed way, but it is just the calm before the storm. As soon as the sun goes down the place gets intensely busy. The produce market nearby starts to draw its crowd. The makeshift restaurant stalls are getting operational, and the honey glazed chicken wings are starting to sell like hotcakes.