Tamu, A Bazaar In Tuaran,

A Tamu is a weekly market, a bazaar where local farmers, fishermen and traders can gather to showcase their wares. The natives, such as Kadazan-Dusun, Murut, Bajau and other local races, some of those who will attend dressed in traditional clothing. It is colorful, noisy, filled with smells and exotic offerings. You will also see Chinese traders, which shows you how closely our people here are integrated. All coming together in the native market to trade.

The Tamu in Tuaran gathers every Sunday. You can see stalls selling cooked food for those who want a snack or perhaps a late breakfast. Moving on, you will see the Tamu roughly divided into local produce such as fruits and vegetables, fresh seafood such as fishes, prawns, crabs and cockles, as well as a section for fresh meat. This is where locals of all races come to visit. The amount of fresh produce is wonderful to look at and cheap to buy.

There is also a section that sells clothing, accessories such as belts, wallets and handbags. Also a section that sells household products such as cookery pots and pans. Since the local recipes are varied, you will see just about every possible way to cook your food. Things of interest are the baskets used by our native races. They come in all sizes, and are made from rattan and straw. Native musical instruments are also made from the available bamboo. As well as local tobacco, and the essentials for hand-rolled cigarettes, and betel-nuts which is chewed by the older generation. You can still find some peddlers selling medicines and oils, their sales pitch is a performance in itself.


In today’s modern lifestyle, Tamu still plays an important part in Sabah’s rural population. It is a venue for them to sell their wares or homegrown produce. As well as keeping the tradition active, the younger generation still help to mind the stall. It is also an outlet for those living here, to get away from the supermarkets and take in the sights, smell and sound of a bazaar.

For more information, download the 2009 Calender Of Events.

Tamu Schedule
While Tamu happens on a daily basis, throughout the various towns in Sabah, the main bazaar is called Tamu Besar is on the 1st of the month in the town of Kota Belud. This Tamu Besar is widely advertised and promoted. This is where you can see the Bajau horsemen in their traditional gear.

Sunday – Tuaran, Kota Merudu, Putatan, Papar, Tenom.
Monday – Tandek
Tuesday – Kiulu
Wednesday – Tamparuli
Thursday – Penampang, Telipok, Sipitang, Tambunan, Keningau.
Friday – Penampang, Kundusang
Saturday – Babagon, Kinarut, Beaufort, Ranau

A Bit Of History
The population in Tuaran and its surrounding areas, Telipok, Tamparuli, Kota Belud are traditionally involved in agriculture and fishing. Padi rice, vegetables, fruits, beef, mutton, seafood, the entire food-chain. You ate what you grew, and bartered for other food stuff with your neighbors. The Tuaran Tamu was a venue where everyone could get together to trade. In olden times, the Tamu was located in neutral ground, giving a place where other races can meet to trade for the necessities of life. I would imagine meeting a headhunter will probably be a short engagement. In those times, raids occurred frequently, from the Bajau horsemen, or the seafaring Ubian, or the Murut warriors with their blowguns.

Getting There
To get to Tuaran, you can take the bus from Kota Kinabalu. Look out for a green bus from Tuaran Union Transport (T.U.T.), their main depot is near Padang Bandaran (Town Field or Stadium). The trip to Tuaran takes about an hour by bus, and the fare is RM 4.00 for a non-air conditioned ride. For private buses, the depot is next to Wawasan Plaza. The rates are the same, and both bus services will travel via Tuaran Road. Being private buses, they are smaller in size and they travel faster, so the trip will take about 45 mins. The pick-up point back to Kota Kinabalu city is the same as where you got off. The buses in Kota Kinabalu are not particular where they stop, and bus-stops are rarely seen outside of Kota Kinabalu city. Anytime you want to get off, just press the buzzer.

A more expensive option would be by taxis, this can set you back by up to RM60. The taxis in Kota Kinabalu is painted red and white, and will take you almost anywhere you want to go.
The Tamu starts in the morning and winds down by afternoon. So you will have plenty of time to take in the sights, and not have to worry about getting back.

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This entry was posted on Saturday, March 7th, 2009 at 7:57 am and is filed under Featured, Places. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “Tamu, A Bazaar In Tuaran,”

  1. Tamu, A Bazaar In Tuaran, | AboutSabah.com Says:

    [...] Tamu, A Bazaar In Tuaran, | AboutSabah.com [...]

  2. Archie Says:

    wow.. very nice info. :P

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