It has been raining non-stop for three days and nights now. Seriously. Every time it looks like it is going to stop, it starts raining again. It is not just in Kota Kinabalu, but all the way to Ranau and Sipitang. I was on my way up to Kota Belud today, got within 5 kilometers of the town and had to turn back. It was flooded and cars were stopped everywhere.
Elsewhere I heard that there were some landslides on the road to Ranau. Nothing major, just about what we expect every time it rains like this. I don’t know about Keningau, but anyone traveling there should exercise caution. Not that there is a lot you can do when it happens. The good news is these are minor incidents and the roads are normally open again in a short time.
G-Mart in Kota Belud
This was where I was trying to get to, for reasons of work. Even before I was on my way, my colleagues reported that there some villages were already flooded. The town itself was okay, except for the main road leading into town. For most cars, it is all but impassable.
G-Mart Kota Belud was opened in July 2009, and making this the 8th general merchandise store operated by G-Mart. The focus is always on fresh and perishable products, with the aim to be the preferred choice in this category where ever the company opens a store.
Opening a store in Kota Belud brings modern merchandise to the people of rural Sabah, and opens up job opportunities as well. For visitors, you can pick up the things you need before you continue on your journey. If you are on an extended stay in Sabah, a general merchandise store in town is almost a luxury.
Kota Belud Town
Kota Belud is major rural town in its own right, and serves as a transit point to other rural towns in Sabah. You will pass by Kota Belud on your way to Kudat, or Kota Murudu. These towns are agricultural based, mainly palm oil, coconuts and other fresh produce. Kudat is famous for its seafood, and groundnuts. Kota Belud is well-known for its racing ponies. They come to race in Tuaran every weekend. KB, as the locals call it, is also known as Land of the Cowboys of the East.
To experience rural Sabah, take a trip to Kota Belud. It is an experience way different to that of being in the city. The population of this district is made up of many of the local tribes, the Kadazandusun and the Irranun, among many. The Kota Belud tamu on Sunday is a good time to visit. The famous Tamu Besar Kota Belud, translated as Big Bazaar of Kota Belud, is in October 2010. It is said to be Sabah’s largest open air market, an annual event on the Sabah tourism calender.
Kota Belud is some 70 km northeast of Kota Kinabalu, about an hour’s drive away. Taxis, coaches and buses, regularly service this route. The road is good and scenic, going through gentle rolling hills. You will see many padi fields, and traditional rural houses.