In Sabah, the word ‘Tamu’ means ‘meeting’. In the olden days, seafarers, traders and farmers would occasionally meet to exchange their produce and goods ranging from fish, salt, woven cloth for rice, tobacco, fruits and forest products. Tamu is now widely known as the local marketplace

Tamu in Keningau district is held every Sunday and Tamu Bingkor (a smaller township in Keningau) is open every Thursday.

Here, you can see the local folks gather and sell their fresh produce. Among other interesting findings at the tamu ground is fresh catch, live poultry, tobacco and betelnut, exotic fruits and vegetables, traditional snacks and medicine, various type of rice and handicrafts. In fact, the Keningau district is famously known for its handwoven goods and it was once the primary producer of cinnamon, earning it the moniker “Sabah’s Cinnamon Town.”

In Sabah, the bustling atmosphere around tamu fields is something special. Tamu day used to be a social event for the locals, and watching people singing and dancing around was a joyful sight. If you happen to be in Keningau during tamu days, make a stop and wander around it!

To reach Keningau, visitors can take the Tung Ma Coach Bus from Kota Kinabalu to Keningau (Approximately RM 20 per way). Schedule runs 3 times daily at 8am, 12pm and 4pm (subject to change) departing from Padang Merdeka Bus Station.

No admission fee but it should be noted that a normal tamu business hours usually start from 6am to 3pm.

Last reviewed: May 19, 2022
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