Sembulan was formally just a fishing village with houses on stilts. The sea shore was stretched right up to the where KK fire & Rescue HQ is located now. Sea water was found on the left and right side of the coastal road.
You can still find these houses on stilts at the back of Sutera Harbor but they are not in good condition. Since the land reclamations started most of the water outlet has been blocked. The stench and filth from the stagnant water is unappealing. There is no proper plumbing and you will find human waste piled up at every corner
It is an eye sore for KK people so the city hall builds a blue fence to hide it. There is work in progress trying to move the remaining residence still living there but I heard it is an uphill task as most refused to accept the relocation offer.
Sembulan town is actually just two blocks of very short shop houses. It also has a small market that sells vegetable and fish. Located next to the market are three food stalls that operate only at night. The night food stall offers home cooked meal. Ordering your food here is slightly different from the usual. There is no menu and no head captain to take your order.
You tell the staff what you want by pointing to the choices of vegetables, seafood and meats that is being displayed on a table. After you have selected the dish, you can tell her how you want it to be cooked or just let the cook chose it for you. The price per dish is cheaper than those at restaurant so you cannot expect a high quality cooking but it is tasty enough. In the photo below, a plate of sweet and sour fish, vegetable, omelette and rice only cost RM30.00
About 200 metres away from Sembulan town is Grace Point Square (GPS). GPS is a food court being managed by Sutere Harbor Resort so you can be assured the place is pretty clean. You can find local and international cuisine at the food court. It also has the Most Clean toilet in KK and entry is free. The 666 memorial and a small museum dedicated to those who died in the historical air crashed is located here.
Among all the food stalls found at GPS my favourite is the Baba Nyonya stall. The list of food offered is very limited but you cannot beat the price. One of the cheapest in KK. The food court is open for lunch and dinner only.
For breakfast you have the option of having it at APIWON that is famous for its fish or beef noodles or Chinese Restaurant located at a Sembulan Town corner shop lot furthest away from main road. Chinese Restaurant also follows the same style of menu selection like what you find at the night food stall market. It operates from morning until 6 pm only. Food here is delicious but the ambience is questionable.
A stones throw away from GPS is Grace Point Commercial Centre where there is 24 hour restaurant called Jamal Salim Curry House. It offers Indian food as well as other type of local food such as mee goring, soto ayam and many more.
There is a stall here that sells fried banana fritter in the afternoon. The stall also sells yam, tapioca and sweet potato fritters. You can request for cheese toppings on your fritters or just dip them in the special hot sauce provided.
Next to Jamal Salim is few other Malay restaurants you can try. Also in the same vicinity is a souvenir shop and a supermarket.
Since Sembulan is mainly a malay community area, there is not many Chinese restaurant around except for the ones I mentioned at Sembulan town.
The main highlight of Sembulan town is of course the State Mosque which has a tragic history linking to the 666 memorial.
Across the main road from the State Mosque is a Train Station Stop when you can hop in and ride the train to visit Papar town.
KK historical museum is also near to the mosque. It is within walking distance if you do not mind the heat as there are no shades to protect you from the sun.
Some of the hotels within this Sembulan area are:-
Sutera Harbour (Pan Pacific & Magellan)
Tang Dynasty Park
Green Motel (Backpacker)
KK Times Square, Harbour City and Sadong Jaya are 3 commercial area nearby. The hotels located within these commecial are are:-
Epal Hotel - Sadong Jaya
Kingston Hotel - KK Times
Zara's Boutique Hotel - Harbour City
Two other hotels that is sort of at the edge of Sembulan area is Ming Garden Hotel and Sabah Oriental Hotel.