There are many traditional markets, the largest is the Pasar Tanjung in town. Even the smallest market store quite complete supplies. To know what Tawau people are like, you only have to visit the markets and you’ll get a glimpse into their daily life. Markets big or small, each sell popular foods.
- The Tawau Pasar Tanjung was built in 1999. From outside, it looks like a 3-storey building, but when you look at the floor indicating buttons in its lifts, you’ll notice that there are 6 levels. Located in the building facing the fish market are three lifts, and they only stop on the 2nd, 4th and 6th floors. Household products, plastic bags, fish and prawn crakers as well as other Indonesia snacks are sold on the first floor. Flowers, fruits, vegetables, cakes, pork, chicken, beef, coffee powder, eggs, coconut milk and shredded coconut are sold on the 2nd floor. The 3rd floor is where the dried seafood items are located. Ready-made clothes and toys are available on the 4th floor, and the 5th floor is where the food court is located. Patrons to the food court can savour their meals while enjoying the view of Tawau. Some food and drinks here are quite popular, and some may be sold out if you don’t try to get them by a certain time. The Urban Transformation Center (UTC) is located on the 6th floor, and started operations on 15 August 2016. The UTC is a one-stop location for citizens to get service from government departments. The departments include the Immigration office, the Road Transport Department, the National Registration Department, the Health department and the Water Department. Citizens of Tawau can go to the UTC to pay their bills, make their Identification Card or passport. The Dental Clinic is only on this floor. To service the white collar workers, the usual operating hours are 8am-9pm (except Public Holidays). This is the only traditional market that has a police branch.
- Sin On Market. This is a L-shaped, single-storey building with no walls. The food stalls are on one side while the other side is where the fruits, vegetables, fish, meat and cakes are sold.
- Hot Spring market. This market provides a lot of convenience to those living within its vicinity. The stalls and services it provides are similar to the Sin On Market, except in a smaller scale.
- While the Fuji Economy Mart is even smaller than the Hot Spring Market, it is not lacking in any of the things sold. However, due to the space constraint it does not have food stalls.
- Feng Lin Tamu. This is a weekend bazaar (or tamu locally). each Sunday, sellers selling a variety of fresh local produce start to gather at around 2 a.m. to set up their stalls. At around 5 a.m., shoppers from all walks of life start to arrive to look for the freshest produce of all. All products come directly from the producer and prices are relatively low compared to other selling place due to the absence of middlemen. The large crowd means that food and a variety of household items may also be found here. This is a good place for someone that wants to experience the local market culture of Tawau people. Sellers start to pack up for the day at around 1 p.m.. At the same location, food stalls are set up at night. Stall owners are almost exclusively Malay and therefore food sold there are considered Halal.