Sabah can really be proud of its Tamu. In Malay language, ‘Tamu’ means open-air market. Traditionally a place where farmers, fishermen and vendors trade their produce, Sabah’s Tamu has certainly evolved to become a favorite hang-out place for locals and tourists.
I noticed this in my recent trip to Kota Kinabalu (KK). My Sabahan friend mentioned this before – if you come to KK and stay over the weekend, KK Pasar Tamu or Gaya Street Sunday Market is a place you must not miss.
Strategically located in the heart of KK city center, Gaya Street which is a home for many banks has definitely transformed into a colorful and vibrant place on Sunday.
As Sabah receives early sunlight, traders in Gaya Street start as early as 6:00am. When we arrived around 7:15am, this place was already packed.
Unlike open-air market in Peninsular Malaysia, here you can find many all sorts of things that are local produce, among others – local arts and handicrafts, souvenirs, layered cakes, biscuits and coffee powder. I bought a small packet of freshly packed Tenom White Coffee (Brand: 168 Enterprise), cost only RM5.00.
Other than that, you can also get live plants, pets, food and stuffs for pet, accessories such as pearls and crystals, clothing & handbags, including T-shirts which bear places of interest in Sabah. We also spotted some CD sellers dancing to the music – creative way to attract buyers!
Although most items are affordable, we noticed that this place has become quite touristy. For example, souvenirs we bought at Kampung Ayer night market cost more here, perhaps due more foreign tourists frequenting this place.
Nevertheless, this place is still worth a visit. So, make sure you hit Gaya Street Sunday Market when you are in KK on Sunday!
Business/Opening hours: Every Sunday 6:00am to 12:30pm
Location: Gaya Street, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah