7 things to do in Kota Kinabalu

7 things to do in Kota Kinabalu

This was my 3rd time visiting KK and is my free and easy food exploring, 3 Days 2 Nights of chillax. Anyway, just sharing some of the things that I did during this trip in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah Malaysia.

1. Rent a whole apartment and cook

Yea, I rented the whole apartment to myself equipped with 2 bedrooms, functional kitchen, a living room with a table that fits 10 people and tv which I have no idea how to use…haha..(call me crazy..)

If you are interested to book through booking.com and get a 10% discount, feel free to click the link below:


Anyway, my aim was to do some mini cooking during the stay and to my surprise, their kitchen is quite impressive! There’s a rice cooker, oven, water boiler, washing machine (??), and some basic cooking tools and ingredients. Well, the first thing to do before cooking is to shop the grocery of course! Well, you must be thinking what good stuff I can cook with such limited kitchen? Tadaa…

Steam-egg in a bowl with clam meat! (Well the meat was inside, for presentation purposes I better not show you, hahaha..)

2. Drink their famous YOYO bubble milk tea

I was pretty surprised YOYO is more famous in Kota Kinabalu than other well-known bubble milk tea merchandisers back in west-Malaysia (like Tealive, Chatime, or KOI). Well, they have quite a number of branches and I got to try their chocolate flavor drink. I would recommend it if it is your first time here.

YOYO (Google map link)


There are many choices, varieties, and ranges of seafood restaurants you can choose to go. I personally like this best called the Welcome Seafood Restaurant, their restaurant is so big that the whole stretch of shophouses along the street belongs to them!! Secondly, they have all kinds of fresh seafood, some are not commonly seen in West Malaysia, like baby geoduck – best when steam with onion and garlic.

My usuals orders are spiral 🐚 shellfish, prawns, butter-milk crab, paku-vege (local greens), and fried calamari. Yummilicious!!

Welcome Seafood Restaurant (Google Map Link)

4. Visit their local market

It was my first time trying to visit their morning market and I didn’t quite get to feel the morning rush as I woke up rather late..haha..when I got there, most of the stalls had closed. (Please come early tomorrow ah boy)

Alternatively, there’s another local market which happens only after evening time when the sun is about to set, the Filipino Market!! This is basically seafood heaven to me when I first came to this place, there are varieties of grilled fish, salmon, big prawns, squid and so much more!!

However, as a responsible blogger I must let you know and caution you this, this place got me so addicted that I bought all the seafood so happily. It is best to choose uncooked fresh seafood and have plenty of time to wait for the seller to cook for you. Otherwise, you might encounter something just like what I have encountered.

I was in a hurry and hungry while in the market, so I picked a few ‘cooked’ salmon, prawns, tuna and squid 🦑 from some stall (I always have a thing for squid, yum!). So what happened was the seller reheated my seafood on the grill and packed into bags for me to bring back. It was so lucky that I did not eat them immediately. After I reached my stay and was about to eat the grill tuna fish, to my horror, there were worms wiggling and partying in the tuna flesh!!! (Eww..gross!!), and my favorite squid were undercooked!!

Hahaha…Lessons learned from this experience for me are – never ever buy ‘cooked’ seafood at the market as you wouldn’t know how long they have laid them there. Secondly, is always look at your food before putting it into your mouth. You definitely wouldn’t wanna have those extra proteins.

5. Go Gaya Street on a weekday and try Yee Fung Laksa and Ice Milk Tea

Anyway, let’s park that bad experience aside and focus on other food that is actually good and drooling.

If you are at Kota Kinabalu on a Sunday, pay a visit to the biggest morning market at Gaya Street. Would highly recommend you to take a Grab or Taxi coz the parking here is hard to look for.

However, if you are just interested to eat the laksa at Yee Fung, it is highly suggested that you come on any days except Sunday. This is because the crowd here on Sunday is full and inside the shop can be quite hot 🥵!!

Here is the laksa (is not the Assam Laksa you found in Penang yo) that I ordered together with this bubbly milk tea, best combo!!

Yee Fung Laksa (Google Map Link)

6. Eat a tray of Lokam Bakar (Char-grill Clams) by your own for less than RM20

Yup, fan of clams!! This is one of the foodie places you ought not to miss! I fell in love with this place immediately the first time I was brought here. They serve super yummy char-grill clams (locally known as Lokam bakar).

We ordered the big size clams and they are so juicy and fresh. The owner will grill the clams with their secret recipe sauce..yum yum. You can choose to order small-size clams so you have more, per tray is about RM15.

Other than grill clams, they also sell refreshing fresh coconut drink (RM4), coconut jelly (RM4) and warm coconut (RM5). What they do is they grill fresh coconuts and serve them hot. Tasted like kaya which is okay for me.

Lokan Bakar (Google Map Link)

7. Try their fluffiest steam bread with kaya and butter

I came to this restaurant called Fook Yuen, in a rush but manage to takeout their fluffiest steam bread with kaya and butter. The last trip I went, they were closed on that day. So sad.

The bread is so soft with their sweet and moist kaya and butter filling. Mmmm…yum yum 😋

That’s all for now, remember to like my Facebook page at Nonoepanda ya. More food posts to come!!

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