Tuaran is a town as well as a district located in West Coast Division, in the northwest of Sabah, East Malaysia on the island of Borneo. Tuaran district has an area of 1,166 square kilometres and an estimated population of 94,100 in 2006. About half the population consists of ethnic Dusun, a third ethnic Bajau, and some Chinese. It has a distinctive nine-story Chinese pagoda as a prominent landmark. Nearby tourist attractions are the Mengkabong Water Village and the Penimbawan Water Village, with stilt houses built by the Bajaus over the shore. There are three big resorts in Tuaran District: The Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort, the Mimpian Jadi Resort, and the Sabandar Resort. In addition, there are several small 'resorts' offering accommodation, food, and water activities.
The town has the great advantage of being a stopover town for travellers from the north towns (Kudat, Kota Marudu, Kota Belud, and Tenghilan) to the state capital, Kota Kinabalu which is 34km to the south of Tuaran. The town has been expanding fast and but is now limited by the Tuaran river which borders the town on three sides, almost circling it. Every Sunday morning, Tuaran town holds a big natives' open market known as Tamu by the Sabahans. Harvests of produce from nearby villages and valleys are brought to the market, such as fruits, vegetables, handicrafts, fish, homemade traditional cakes, traditional homegrown tobacco, and so on. The Tamu supplies many great photo opportunities for tourists. The variety of goods to be seen is very impressive for the visitor. The Tuaran Tamu is second only to the one in Kota Belud in terms of size and exotica. The name Tuaran is believed to have come from the Malay word "tawaran" which means 'bargaining' or 'sale'. This presumably reflects on the town's earlier role as a market where natives from the hillside villages brought their produce for trading with the coastal Chinese and other indigenous peoples.
If you are travelling by air, the nearest airport is the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (IATA: BKI, ICAO: WBKK), an international airport, which located in the city of Kota Kinabalu, the state capital of Sabah. The airport is in Kota Kinabalu, about 45 minutes from Tuaran.
Kinabalu National Park is Malaysia’s first World Heritage Site. Also the Centre of Plant Diversity for South East Asia, the Park boasts more than 5,000 vascular plant species and the park has no shortage of fauna as well, being home to some 90 lowland mammal species and many others. The main attraction at the Park is none other than the majestic Mount Kinabalu, one of the highest mountains in South East Asia standing at 4095.2 metres. Apart from traditional mountain climbing, visitors can also experience the Mountain Torq, the world's highest and Asia’s first Via Ferrata or ‘iron road’ at 3,200m to 3,800m above sea level. To those who are more adventurous, there are other mountain activities such as Alpine Rock Climbing, Paragliding and also mountain expedition.
The resort is home to an eco-friendly championship golf course and the magnificent Spa at Dalit Bay. Unique to the resort is the Nature Interpretation Centre, gateway to the Nature Reserve. Here, you can meet the Borneo's wildlife. Even the kids have their own fun club. And the more adventurous ones get to help the Rangers look after the animals in the resort’s care. You decide to go horse riding today. Don’t forget about deep sea fishing tomorrow. Twilight happens all too soon. But with sunset cocktails and dinner in a beach-side gazebo served by your own private butler, you don’t really mind.