Tamu Kianggeh (Kianggeh Open-air Market)
Tamu Kianggeh is a vibrant market in Brunei and has been around since 1960s. It is located on the banks of Kianggeh River where residents of Kampong Ayer travel to and fro the capital, Bandar Seri Begawan. That is why even till now, you will still see customers and peddlers travelling to the market via sampan and some stopping along the riverbank to make their sales for the day.
There are hundreds of stalls setup at Tamu Kianggeh, consisting of mostly Bruneian Malays and some Chinese. Selling a wide variety such as various local vegetables – edible ferns like pakis, lamiding, pucuk piai and langkubok, bamboo shoots and even medicinal plants and herbs from the forest. Other common herbs, spices and plants are musk-limes and chillies, used in many Bruneian culinary.
Fresh catch of the day from local waters will also be sold at the market, including fish, crabs, prawns, squid and shellfish. Lots of dried goods such as dried anchovies, dried shrimps, salted fish, and belacan (a paste made from fermented ground shrimp) can be seen at many stalls.
If you don’t normally prepare your own meals, there will always be ready-cooked food, great for breakfast available. Or if you’ve enough of savory stuffs, you can also find delicious Brunei Malay kueys (sweet cakes) and snacks for sale. The kueys are all made using ingredients found locally, like santan (coconut cream), palm sugar, tapioca, sago and etc. All made from long-standing classic recipes.
Local traditional handicrafts like tudung dulang (a decorative food cover), parang (a knife similar to a machete), hand-woven baskets and trays, pots and vases can also be found at Tamu.
Apart from being a haven for early marketers, it’s also a popular spot for photographers and travellers. Tamu Kianggeh was chosen as one of the scene in the programme “Antony Worrall Thompson: Adventures in Brunei Darussalam”, screened on Discovery TLC in Mar 2011.
It’s definitely a worthwhile place to visit when you’re here in Brunei, especially if you like to have a feel of how and what some of the locals are busy with daily. Best to catch the crowd at Tamu Kianggeh early morning. Most of the stalls are closed by 2-3pm in the afternoon. It’s really easy to locate the market, as it right next to the bus terminal. See Tamu Kianggeh location on Google map.