Monday, May 18, 2015

Lots to do in Tamparuli

Pak pak kang ku doh, Sumunsui doh jambatan, Jambatan doh Tamparuli, Bakasut tinggi oku.

So goes the opening line of the Kadazandusun folk song called Jabatan Tamparuli.

The song dating back to the 1970s tells about how a young Kadazandusun lass garbed in her finest is heading to the weekly tamu at Tamparuli town on a Wednesday.

As she crosses the town’s suspension bridge, her high-heel shoes get stuck in the wooden planks and she can’t pull them out.

Left with her stockings, she can do little but to continue her trip to the tamu barefooted.

Like many Sabahans, veteran tour guide Daniel Doughty immediately thinks of that song whenever he hears the word Tamparuli, the name of a town about 35km from Kota Kinabalu.

The song brought fame to the town at the foothills of the Crocker Range.

Tamparuli is popular stop for travellers heading to the Kinabalu Park, Kundasang, Ranau and the east coast of Sabah as it is located along the Kota Kinabalu-Sandakan trunk road.

The suspension bridge has become an attraction in its own right as tourists love taking photographs of local folk using the swaying structure located about six metres above the Sungai Kiulu.

Just next to it is a low-lying bridge with vehicles crossing the river barely 0.3m above the waterline.

The normally quiet Tamparuli town is a hive of activity every Wednesday when the tamu or farmers’ market is held along the banks of the river.

There farmers from nearby villages bring their produce such as tuhau or wild ginger, local fruits such tarap and vegetables to be sold there.

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