Tamu Kianggeh, down but not out
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
TAMU Kianggeh continues to pull in customers though it is facing a decline in popularity with the introduction of new market places elsewhere.
Vendors told The Brunei Times that despite the opening of new market places, its loyal customers still flock to the tamu.
“Back then, I would have customers who would buy in bulk but now it is not as often,” said Hjh Pasah Amit.
She explained that many of her customers are those buying for restaurants and eateries.
She said that Pasar Tani Selayun in Jerudong is now the place of choice for many to get bulk supplies of fresh vegetables as they can offer customers lower prices.
“Those buying from me are those from around here like Kampong Ayer, Gadong and Kiulap. Others prefer going to Pasar Tani Selayun regardless of distance,” she said, adding that individuals do show up to buy small quantitites of produce.
“These (vegetable) bundles are normally priced at a dollar each and sales (per day) on average is over $20… enough to cover my capital,” said the 62-year-old.
The Junjongan resident said that she has been a vendor at Tamu Kianggeh for over 20 years now and is reluctant to move out.
“I am comfortable and I enjoy it here. This tamu has attracted many people. There are fewer visitors now but it is still manageable,” she said.
Fellow vegetables and fruits vendor Hjh Aminah Besar said the tamu is not as crowded as it was a few years ago.
“People come and go and they have their own preference but I still stay here because I have my own customers,” she said, adding that Pasar Gadong is another popular place among locals for groceries.
The 60-year-old added that the tamu becomes busier on weekends.
“The crowd is more because people are not working on those days and I only open my stall during those times. During normal days I will tend my garden. I grow most of the vegetables myself and some I buy from other suppliers,” said Hjh Aminah.
Hjh Jamilah Jumat who sells traditional kuih and keropok (crackers) said she used to sell leafy vegetables but it was not profitable.
“There is a lot of competition here. Everyone is selling more or less the same thing. I chose to sell these (crackers) instead because the shelf life is longer compared to vegetables,” she said.
Tourists are a permanent fixture at Tamu Kianggeh but they seldom contribute to the sales of the vendors.
“Tourists who come here either buy a lot or nothing at all,” said Baun, a handicraft vendor selling baskets, necklaces and trinkets.
The Brunei Times