Urban Tamu: A brazen tamu with modern aspiration

Urban Tamu is a pop-up market featuring small to medium vendors and businesses, primarily handmade items such as art pieces, fashion accessories, jewelry, home decor, stationery, etc.

The event also features food stalls from various local restaurants, pop-up bars, and live music performances. It aims to promote the cultural diversity of Sabah by giving everyone an opportunity to experience their unique way of life through Tamu’s market style.

Tamu is a local word meaning “a place to get together and exchange goods”.

When did it start?

The first Urban Tamu was held in December during the Christmas Festive back in 2021. Since then, it has become one of the many pop-up markets that are spearheading the revival of street markets across Kota Kinabalu.


The concept behind this project is to urbanize the old ways locals used to do business on streets or alleys before they were all paved over into Tamu and later shopping malls.

Small and medium-sized businesses can now have a platform to showcase what they offer instead of just being tucked away inside closed doors with no audience at all.

Urban Tamu is bringing them out into public for people who would appreciate their craftsmanship and uniqueness.

This allows visitors not only to see these products but also to purchase some if they wish. As mentioned earlier, there will be different kinds of entertainment going on throughout the day like cooking demos, dance shows, and other fun activities which makes it more exciting than your usual flea market!

Urban Tamu is open during the weekend, usually from Friday to Sunday. Every session starts around 10:00 a.m and ends up by 6:00 pm so make sure you plan ahead well enough because parking spaces fill up fast, especially afternoon.

What about the price?

There is free entry for anyone who wants to come to visit this little piece of paradise here in Kota Kinabalu. However, we highly encourage everyone to support our local merchants by purchasing something while visiting Urban Tamu.

We want to give back to the community and show how much we appreciate each of them, don’t we all?

What can you expect in Urban Tamu?

The best thing about this market is its wide variety of things available. There is everything from clothing and shoes to bags and jewellery, plus even kitchenware and housewares!

If you’re looking for souvenirs or gifts for friends and family, you’ll definitely find something interesting here.

Some popular items sold include wooden handicrafts made by indigenous groups like the Kadazan Dusun, Batak tribes’ masks, woven baskets, pottery, wood carvings, and paintings done by young artists. You may even spot someone selling homemade jams or candies too!

Another great feature of this pop-up market is the presence of several local eateries serving authentic dishes straight from the heartlands of Borneo.

These establishments serve both traditional foods cooked using fresh ingredients found locally as well as international cuisines. So if you’re hungry, you won’t go wrong ordering anything from any of those restaurants!

Lastly, every time you pay a visit to Urban Tamu, you might catch live performances by talented musicians. They play folk songs, jazz tunes, rock ‘n roll hits, and other types of music depending on the season.

Sometimes, you might hear a group singing traditional folksongs accompanied by a drumbeat. This is a rare treat since most places tend to stick with modernized versions of traditional tunes nowadays.

Where is the Tamu located?

Urban Tamu is located at Riverson, The Walk. Many pop-up markets like to use this location. Urban Tamu could move between different spots within Kota Kinabalu though, so keep an eye out for any update from us leading to the event.

What should I bring along?

Bringing extra cash is always a good idea. Most sellers accept payments via cashless, but there are still a few that prefer cash transactions. Be prepared to carry lots of change if you decide to shop here. And lastly, wear comfortable clothes since it’s hot outside during peak hours.

How long does it run for?

It depends on the date. It usually runs for 2 days, but that could change to as many as 4 days. Check our blog post for updates on other pop-up markets like Urban Tamu!

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