About travel, holidays and hotels in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
Saturday March 24th 2012

Chinese New Year In Kota Kinabalu

Chinese New Year In Kota Kinabalu 2012

Chinese New Year celebrations does not end until the 15th day, which is 6th February 2012.

What you should expect if you find yourself in Sabah and it is the Chinese New Year. In the run-up to the festival, expect to see throngs of people at the shopping malls. Chinese New Year means new clothes, from your head to toes. It also means getting your hair done.

Many retail outlets will have good deals, and it is generally a good time to do your shopping. You have a choice of buying the latest arrivals or pick up some bargain prices. Expect a lot red though, for clothes as well as decorations.

Chinese New Year Sabah
Chinese New Year decorations in retail outlets in KK

Heavy traffic in the days before Chinese New Year as businesses rush to get deliveries done. Most modern retailers will be opened during CNY, but you can also expect many businesses to be closed for a couple of days. Officially, Chinese New Year is 2 days of public holidays in Malaysia. But many businesses will be closed for up to a week.

What To Expect During Chinese New Year In Kota Kinabalu

If you go get your hair done just before CNY, expect to pay extra. It might not be fair but it does happen.

On Chinese New Year, some restaurants and coffee shops do charge extra. The coffee shop we had lunch in at Kingfisher, Likas charged an extra 30% on top of their normal price. Which unexpectedly treated us to a funny if it was not so pathetic display of outrage from a woman in the table next to us.

Modern and professional managed businesses will not do this. Many restaurants will also be packed on Chinese New Year eve.

Getting around on public transport and taxis should not be a problem. They are still available. Although some of the places you were planning to go to might not be opened.

Chinese New Year Decorations At 1 Borneo
Chinese New Year Decorations At 1 Borneo

Expect to see lion dances throughout the city, hotels and in shopping malls. Lion dance are performed during the first 15 days of the new year.

What We Do During Chinese New Year In Kota Kinabalu

Since we live in the city, we spend most days visiting our relatives and friends. Our kids love to hand out at noisy gatherings and they enjoy the experience of open houses. kids love Chinese New Year for the lion dance and ang pows. For the past couple of years, we have been flying to Tawau on the second day. This year, we opted to stay in Kota Kinabalu.

Driving around during the holidays is a joy, with less cars on the road. There is also a lot to catch up on, with everybody going their separate ways these days. Sometimes it seems that there is more to do during the festival, meals to prepare and places to go.

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