Found a pretty cool little tea store in the heart of Kota Kinabalu today. It was in a mall that is mostly Chinese businesses and the guy had about two hundred pots, some with price tags over $5,000. I knew he was going to trip about me walking in, but I started speaking Cantonese and he was like WTF. lol. I told him I was from HK and he WTFed some more. lol. In much of Asia, where you're from is about your race and ethnicity...that whole culturalization being who you are thing doesn't fly over here so much. Being obviously NOT Chinese and speaking Cantonese does open doors out here though. I get discounts (sometimes without even asking). I like it.
Bought some liu bao ($50 for 100g) on impulse since I wanted to see how the MY-stored stuff compares since it's suppposed to be popular tea among the local tea aficionados. Haven't had a chance to try it yet, but I will when I get home and have access to my pots. The guy had lots of pu erh and prepackaged oolong from tea companies in Peninsular Malaysia. I didn't have much time since I was on a really tight schedule, but his store was packed with stuff.
The owner showed me a book of beautiful paintings by talented Guangzhou painters, and then told me the paintings were on exhibition in the office around the corner. He then GAVE me the book of paintings! LOL. He put his card in the bag with the tea too. Interesting character. Hope the tea's good, because it was much more expensive than I thought it would be!
I also saw some very nice Royal Selangor pewter tea canisters today. Thought of Marshal!