13 June 2010

Kota Kinabalu Highlights - Shopping

Since the last time I visited KK, the number of shopping malls has doubled with new ones cropping up at the suburbs. Even so, the usual shopping mall like Wisma Merdeka, KK Plaza, Centre Point and the ever so popular Karamunsing Complex, all within the city centre, still draw in the crowds. If nothing else, the air-conditioned malls are incentive enough to get inside, away from the heat.

Apart from the shopping malls, there is always the shops that line the roads within the city business district and the ever so popular KK Handicraft Market. You'll find a range of markets where you can pick up bargains on handmade crafts, crystals, antiques, the freshest seafood, local cakes, vegetables and exotic fruits. The Handicraft Market alone boasts exquisite pearl jewellery and a wide range of ethnic wares; handbags, table runners, shell ornaments and carved wood furnishings. There is also the Gaya Street Market that opens only on Sunday's with wares ranging from antique gongs, potted plants, ceramics, clothing to local cakes and biscuits; some of the hundreds of items on offer.

However, this trip highlights a particular shop that is off the usual shopping area and is a gem for shoppers who are looking for style or something different. We were brought here by Susan, Margaret's sister-in-law who seems to know where all the best stuffs or bargains can be found in KK. She is a very good person to go shopping with as almost every proprietor seems to know her. Either she is a very seasoned shopper or KK is not as big a town as I thought.

Asiana, is a tourist souvenir shop with the usual tourist items that you would find, but almost half the shop specialises in jewellery ranging from silver and gold to pearls and sea-shells. Asiana target market are the Japanese and Korean tourist as it is heavily advertised in these two countries.

The photo with the four pieces of jewellery shows a sample of the unique design work that you can find. The greenish colour parts are made from abalone shells.

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