A Walk Along Gaya Street

Posted by : foongpc | Tuesday, May 12, 2009 | Published in


Gaya Street or Jalan Gaya is one of the most famous streets in KK town. Formerly known as Bond Street, it is also one of the busiest streets in this town. I had the opportunity to visit it on my 3rd day in KK.

After I left the Atkinson Clock Tower at 9am, I realised I had many hours left before the pick up van arrive at 1pm for my Klias Wetland Tour to see the proboscis monkeys. I decided to have a leisurely walk along Gaya Street.

One of the first buildings I saw on Gaya Street was the Sabah Tourism Board. If you had read my earlier post, you would have known that I went into this building to enquire about the tarap fruit that I've been trying to find.

Do you know that this nice looking building was constructed in 1916 and it survived the Allied bombings during World War 2? It was gazetted as a heritage building and officially became the Sabah Tourism Building in January 1991.

Walking along the road, I soon reached a junction and it was here I saw the famous Jesselton Hotel.

Established in 1954 when KK was then known by its colonial name Jesselton, this hotel has the distinction of being KK's oldest hotel. Despite that, it has managed to retain the serenity of bygone days, while offering the conveniences of a modern hotel. It was completely refurbished in the mid 1990's and today stand as the only premier boutique hotel in KK, and possibly one of Malaysia's leading boutique hotels.

Walking further along Gaya Street, I came across the Daily Express office.

Daily Express, by the way is the largest circulation daily newspaper in Sabah. Known as an independent newspaper of East Malaysia, it first hit the streets on March 1, 1963. It is published in 3 languages - English, Bahasa Malaysia and Kadazan.

Like the famous The Star Online, now you can read the latest news concerning KK on Daily Express Online.

A few shoplots away from Daily Express, I saw one of the well known NGOs in KK - Persatuan Hokkien Kota Kinabalu or the Kota Kinabalu Hokkien Club.

I noticed that this Gaya Street was a really busy street with lots of cars and people. Well, it is no wonder that this area is the centre of business in KK. There are many businesses here that had been passed from one generation to the next. The older folks would remember well the wooden shops with nipah roofs now being replaced by modern buildings lining the street.

Walking further, I reached a small roundabout with a nice looking water fountain in the middle.

There is a tourism college here as you can see from the photo. Not a bad idea to have a tourism school in a popular tourist town!

It was a pity I did not have the opportunity to walk along Gaya Street on Sunday as I would have already left KK by then. Every Sunday, the entire length of Gaya Street would be closed off to traffic to make way for the Sunday Market.

To the locals and tourists alike, this market is known as the Gaya Street Fair or simply Gaya Market. It is reported that you can find almost anything there. For write-ups and photos of the Gaya Market, you might want to visit QuaChee's blog.

Coming up next - The Procession And A Swordfish


(63) Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Morning Foong!! :)

    May 12, 2009 at 8:10 AM
  2. Anonymous

    I missed Gaya Street and the Sunday market the last time I was in KK. When I travel, I like visiting the local markets.

    May 12, 2009 at 8:13 AM
  3. Che-Cheh said...

    I loved the dim sum at Gaya Street. So yum-yum!

    The only thing I can recognize is the water fountain. :)

    May 12, 2009 at 8:28 AM
  4. Cashmere said...

    Oooh...I'm so gonna go to Gaya Street if I'm going there.. It sounds so interesting.. I love scouting for markets and splurge there..lol! :D

    May 12, 2009 at 8:31 AM
  5. lina said...

    Ooooo I love your photos. And Gaya Street sure looks nice, tress, fountains and all. :)

    May 12, 2009 at 8:34 AM
  6. Superman said...

    That's the only street in KK town you can find many better Chinese coffee shops. Very crowded there on Sunday as the market is selling a lot of things from handicrafts, foods, tools...etc. I was there for a short one hour only as need to catch a flight. what a pity.

    May 12, 2009 at 8:56 AM
  7. nic

    good morning foong foong~

    May 12, 2009 at 9:18 AM
  8. khengsiong said...

    I had a business trip to Sabah last year. I wrote a post in which I touched on the various names of the state capital.

    Before the arrival of the Britons the city was known as Api-api. During colonial time it was Jesselton. After independence it became Kota Kinabalu.

    I absolutely hate the new name. Why? Because my home town is KK too!

    May 12, 2009 at 9:33 AM
  9. Gallivanter said...

    I miss KK already!

    May 12, 2009 at 9:48 AM
  10. Jade said...

    Hiya Foong ...KK seems to be a charming place, thanks for the write ups. Very useful for future trips.

    May 12, 2009 at 10:18 AM
  11. iamthewitch said...

    Oh I went to the Gaya market before. There were really things of all kinds sold there! But it was a bit warm since it was late morning when I reached. Haha, to think of what I remember most was the weather! :P

    May 12, 2009 at 11:37 AM
  12. annant said...

    im going kk end of this month sempena keamatan festival..hehe

    and im gonna stay in lavender like what u recommended in da previous post.. :)

    did u went to filipino market?

    May 12, 2009 at 11:39 AM
  13. Anonymous

    Foong, do you have prob accessing your blogger profile this morning? I can't access mine. And I cannot post anything. Can only leave comments.

    May 12, 2009 at 11:54 AM
  14. Borneo Falcon said...

    The place still look the same since my last visit

    May 12, 2009 at 11:59 AM
  15. foongpc said...

    mei teng, morning! As usual you are FC here. Yeah, we both missed the Sunday market. Maybe next time I go KK, will go on a weekend so I can visit the market!

    No problem accessing my blogger profile this morning. I think it'll most probably resolve itself : )

    che-cheh, I don't even know there's dim sum there! : )

    cashmere, oh yes you should go there if you ever go KK : )

    May 12, 2009 at 12:06 PM
  16. Anonymous

    Foong, I still can't access. I know why...disallowed during working hrs coz network congested..that's what I was told. Will try during lunch hr :(

    May 12, 2009 at 12:08 PM
  17. foongpc said...

    lina, glad you like my photos! Yes, Gaya Street is a nice place to visit : )

    superman, yes I saw a lot of Chinese coffee shops too. Pity I had to leave before Sunday otherwise can visit the Sunday Market : )

    nic, good morning! Hey, long time didn't hear form you. Some more say you religiously follow my blog! :p

    May 12, 2009 at 12:10 PM
  18. foongpc said...

    khengsiong, went to read your post. Too bad Kota Kinabalu hijacked KK initials from your hometown Kuala Kangsar! haha!

    However, KK may no longer be known as Kota Kinabalu at least when you are referring to food, cos KK may soon stand for Krispy Kreme, which just opened in Berjaya Times Sq to long queues! : )

    gallivanter, so do I! : )

    jade, thanks and welcome! : )

    May 12, 2009 at 12:16 PM
  19. foongpc said...

    iamthewitch, haha! I think you like places with cool weather like Cameron Highlands, no? : )

    annant, oh you are going KK? Wish I can be there! Staying in Lavender Lodge too? Cool! Yes, I visited the Filipino market, though I think their stuffs were quite pricey, obviously aiming at foreign tourists!

    borneo falcon, so not much changes since your last visit? Thanks for dropping by! : )

    May 12, 2009 at 12:32 PM
  20. DC said...

    Seems like a nice place to visit!

    May 12, 2009 at 1:15 PM
  21. nic

    i do follow ma.. i read every single word u wrote man... just tat, im not active commenting...

    May 12, 2009 at 1:42 PM
  22. Twilight Man said...

    I passed there so many times and didn't even know it's Gaya Street. I like KK very much for its spacious feeling and relaxed townfolks.

    May 12, 2009 at 1:56 PM
  23. suituapui

    You didn't go on a Sunday morning? That's when they have the tamu - Sunday market and that's the time when Gaya Street is the most interesting! Didn;t go to the islands, did you? Awwww.... Now you'll have to go to KK again.... LOL!!!

    May 12, 2009 at 2:12 PM
  24. [SK] said...

    and i supposed the Sunday Market would be more interesting than Gaya Street itself for tourists??

    May 12, 2009 at 4:04 PM
  25. Medie007

    how come i dun remember all that... :(

    but hey, i saw hakka association! heheheh

    May 12, 2009 at 4:34 PM
  26. bluedreamer27 said...

    hello foongpc
    i just tagged you here my friend


    have a great day

    May 12, 2009 at 4:41 PM
  27. A Common Singaporean said...

    We don't have that in Singapore.

    But there are some conservation monuments from colonial times around the island.

    Gaya Street looks like a nice and peaceful place from the photograph you presented.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:49 PM
  28. eastcoastlife said...

    A quiet and quaint looking town. I would love to visit this place. :)

    May 12, 2009 at 5:49 PM
  29. Bengbeng said...

    u missed it. u should have gone to the islands. the islands, snorkeling n the mountain were the highlights of my trips to KK. forgot to mention the seafood :)

    May 12, 2009 at 9:10 PM
  30. Ciela said...

    KK looks like a very peaceful place.
    It's beautiful and orderly. I'm not surprised if you enjoyed your backpack trip.

    May 12, 2009 at 10:06 PM
  31. foongpc said...

    DC, yes it's a nice place to visit! : )

    nic, if you say so lo. Anyway, thanks for dropping by : )

    twilight zone, yeah it's a nice town, more relaxed than KL definitely : )

    May 12, 2009 at 10:41 PM
  32. foongpc said...

    suituapui, how did you know I didn't go to the islands? In fact, I did and I will blog about it soon. Yes, miss the Sunday Market as I initially only planned to climb Mount Kinabalu and didn't take into consideration of the Sunday market.

    SK, the Sunday market should be a very interesting place to visit for tourists although Gaya Street is in itself an attraction.

    medie007, when did you go KK? Maybe you went there long time ago so that's why you don't remember? : )

    May 12, 2009 at 10:45 PM
  33. foongpc said...

    bluedreamer27, thanks for the tag! Will check it out! : )

    a common singaporean, yes KK is indeed a nice place to visit for your holidays : )

    eastcoastlife, I'm sure you'll love it here! : )

    May 12, 2009 at 10:47 PM
  34. foongpc said...

    bengbeng, I went to the island on my last day in KK. I don't think I missed anything except the Sunday market and the Padas white water rafting : )

    tita beng, I enjoyed my backpacking trip immensely! : )

    May 12, 2009 at 10:49 PM
  35. Ayie said...

    Once again, the early bird caught you again! =P

    Too bad you missed the sunday market, it's really fun going to market fairs because of great bargains. Well at least you got a good leisurely walk.

    Nice photos and very informative, have a great night (i believe it's night there now) foong!

    May 12, 2009 at 11:39 PM
  36. Monica said...

    I was there during the CNY and the street was dead quiet ;-)

    May 13, 2009 at 7:41 AM
  37. foongpc said...

    ayie, haha! Yes, the early bird is always early! Good night to you! It's morning here right now! : )

    monica, I thought they told me that during CNY, they even have lion dance at Gaya Street, no?

    May 13, 2009 at 10:03 AM
  38. Anonymous

    Thank you for sharing your views of a city that I would never get a chance to see otherwise.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:33 AM
  39. vialentino said...

    wah...Gaya Street ....sounds like a glamour street...hehehe

    May 13, 2009 at 11:11 AM
  40. eiling lim said...

    Gaya street only for gaya people! lol..

    May 13, 2009 at 2:07 PM
  41. MiChi said...

    It looks like oversea... I love KK too, quiet, peaceful and fresh air... I don't mind visit there again

    May 13, 2009 at 3:12 PM
  42. Rozella said...

    It's too bad you couldn't visit the fair. It is kinda cool actually, but oh well maybe next time? AirAsia currently got 0 fare now also! Go check, check, check!

    May 13, 2009 at 4:30 PM
  43. JL said...

    The Jesselton Hotel sure caught my attention. Love the decos inside boutique hotels hehe.

    Hmmm, should I follow your footsteps and take pics along the super busy roads of KL? Keke. It was a thought. xD

    May 13, 2009 at 8:30 PM
  44. foongpc said...

    meandtheblueskies, you are welcome! Long time no hear! How are you?

    vialentino, haha! It does sound like that but in reality, it's not glamorous : )

    eiling, 'Gaya' people only can walk the Gaya Street? So I very 'gaya' lah! Haha!

    May 13, 2009 at 10:06 PM
  45. foongpc said...

    michi, really? look like overseas? It sure does not look like that in reality : )

    rozella, yeah next time I will go to the Gaya Fair. But not sure if I want to go back there so soon, cos I've other places in mind! : )

    JL, I think you should just take any photos you think will make your posts about your KL visit more interesting. Buildings, food, people. Anything! But I would love it if you can take pics of Bintang Walk and the surrounding place. Btw, where will you be visiting in KL?

    May 13, 2009 at 10:17 PM
  46. Monica said...

    but I didn't see any lion dance at Gaya Street, Foong! :-D

    May 14, 2009 at 1:09 AM
  47. Monica said...

    anyway, YAY for FC on yr latest post.. hohohoho....lol

    May 14, 2009 at 1:09 AM
  48. foongpc said...

    monica, didn't see? I guess maybe it's at a different time? Congrats again - I think this is the first time you become FC here, right?

    May 14, 2009 at 1:56 AM
  49. Does it matter? said...

    You're are the first blogger i know who's willing to take time and reply his readers' comments one by one.

    Look up to you man =)

    May 14, 2009 at 1:58 AM
  50. Tekkaus said...

    Morning~Foong! Ha :D

    Gaya Street? A weird name indeed. And previously known as Bond street? I wonder if they had filmed the earlier Bond movies here. It's good that the pick up van is late huh! So that you can "merayau-rayau"! Ha :D

    May 14, 2009 at 4:45 AM
  51. Tekkaus said...

    Atkinson Tower? Is it Rowan Atkitson's? Ha :D

    I thing earlier Blogger was having its usual maintenance so wecan't log in. :D

    May 14, 2009 at 4:47 AM
  52. JL said...

    I just saw your comment here. Well I think you should know some of the places I intend to visit. I'll definitely bring my camera go snap at Bintang Walk, who knows can snap "special" people there! LOL!!! xD

    May 14, 2009 at 9:45 AM
  53. Reanaclaire said...

    wow..what a great response to this post.. syabas!

    May 14, 2009 at 10:29 AM
  54. Anonymous

    jalan gaya memang bergaya..
    haha.. like the buldings around that area.. =D

    May 14, 2009 at 6:43 PM
  55. jam said...

    I was there in the Gaya Street Sunday market a few years back. You are right, virtually anything can be found there!

    May 14, 2009 at 8:05 PM
  56. Unknown said...

    hey foong many thanks for all the links on this trip to my blog. really appreciate it lots. btw see u enjoyed yr trip. it was nice rite doing the walks in kk town :)

    May 14, 2009 at 11:07 PM
  57. foongpc said...

    kenT, thanks! But I think I'm not the only one : )

    tekkaus, morning! OMG! What are doing at this unearthly hour visiting my blog? It's 4.45am! You just woke up or you stayed up all night?

    haha! You're damn funny again with reference to James Bond and Rowan Atkinson. No connection to these two, I'm afraid : )

    May 15, 2009 at 1:09 AM
  58. foongpc said...

    JL, looking forward to meet you in KL! : )

    reanaclaire, thanks! : )

    kenwooi, haha! Seems like everyone is making fun of the name of this street! : )

    May 15, 2009 at 1:12 AM
  59. foongpc said...

    jam, I will go back to visit the Gaya Market one day, maybe next year! : )

    quachee, you are welcome! Yes, I enjoyed walking round KK town. Also thanks to your KK posts, I managed to plan my KK trip quite well! : )

    May 15, 2009 at 1:15 AM
  60. fufu said...

    gaya street on every sunday is so happening... lucky we arrived on the staurday...and managed to visit the morning market =p

    May 15, 2009 at 8:07 PM
  61. HappySurfer said...

    I love these pictures. They are so vibrant with colors and life. That walk must have been a lot of fun, Foong.

    May 18, 2009 at 1:32 PM
  62. HappySurfer said...

    Did you check out the Jesselton Hotel? One of the best boutique hotels in Malaysia? Really?

    May 18, 2009 at 1:34 PM
  63. foongpc said...

    fufu, yes you are lucky to arrive there during weekend. I hope to visit the market when I go KK in future : )

    happysurfer, yes I enjoyed the walk along the street and take pictures. Felt like a complete foreign tourist!

    Yes, I just took a quick walk inside the hotel but did not take any photos. I'm not really sure if it's one of the best boutique hotels since I haven't been to that many boutique hotels myself! But that's what they claimed.

    May 19, 2009 at 12:41 AM