Popularly known among locals as the Gaya Street Sunday Fair, but formally referred to as the Gaya Street Sunday Market, it is a weekly event that takes place every Sunday from 6am – 1pm in the centre of Kota Kinabalu on the whole stretch of road along Gaya Street, from the Jesselton Hotel all the way to the DBKK building.
You can get to Gaya Street by foot from anywhere in the city or take a cab into the town area.
On that day, instead of vehicles, a variety of exciting stalls will line both sides of the street and transform the area into a vibrant environment similar to a local tamu, offering a wide variety of items such as handicrafts (pearl and crystal brooches, woven baskets, parang, etc), fruit trees, plants and anything that are useful to gardeners, pets (kittens, puppies, birds, fish, etc), food and drinks including freshly ground Sabah coffee, toys, fruits and vegetables, clothing, collectibles, traditional medicines, and so forth.
Most of the time, there’ll also be musical or cultural performances serenading the public near the fountain. Gaya Street Sunday Market is one of the best places to experience the local fruits and snack, get a good bargain for local handicrafts and have a closer look at the multi-cultural Sabahan families that stroll there together.
The best time to be there is very early in the morning, around 7am to avoid the heat and the crowd which will make the paths very uncomfortable. If you have kids, do keep them close at all time as it’s quite easy for kids to get separated in the sea of people.
– Kota Kinabalu Travel Guide