Located 70 km northeast of Kota Kinabalu, it takes about an hour drive to get to Kota Belud. Known as the “Land of the Cowboys of the East”, it is one of Sabah's most scenic and culturally rich districts as it is a melting pot of cultures and customs with a blend of the largely Muslim Bajau community and the many tribes of the Kadazandusun and the Irranun.
The “tamu” or Sunday Market of Kota Belud has been famous ever since it first began. Originally known as "Tamu Darat" or Land Market, it was held on neutral ground where the indigenous Dusun could meet the Bajau, Irranun, Obian Muslims, as well as Chinese traders, to barter or purchase goods.
Today, vendors come from all over the West Coast and even the Interior to take part in the tamu, which offers an unrivalled opportunity for discovering some of Sabah’s many different ethnic groups as well as exploring an astonishing variety of produce ranging from herbal medicine to mountain-grown vegetables, wild orchids to chilli-laced dried fish, luscious tropical fruit to edible seaweed.
All the color and variety of the regular tamu comes to a grand climax with the annual Tamu Besar, with cultural displays, dances, handicrafts, and of course the famous Bajau horseman, which is usually held every October.