Highlights and main attractions of Kudat & the Northern Tip

Kudat is a port town near the northern tip of Borneo. Beautiful and quiet, this is a wonderful place to get to grips with the authentic, cultural side of this stunning island. The northern tip had been relatively undiscovered until recent years, being a little more prominent now on the tourist map, but still overlooked by many during their Borneo holidays.

The dramatic headlands at the very tip are located at the very end of the Kudat Peninsula. Called Tanjung Simpang Mengayau, meaning ‘lingering junction’ this is where the South China and Sulu seas meet, a beautiful place to be at sunset, especially if you stroll right toward the rocky outcrops, a relaxed and easy walk. You will also see the embossed brass plate laid on the surface, with inscriptions noting that this is as far north as you can go.

With the South China Sea to the west and the Sulu Sea to the right, as you would expect there are some fantastic beaches here in the north, including the reclusive Kelambu Beach.

Where is Kudat and the Northern Tip?

Location and Activities

190 kilometres north of Kota Kinabalu, Kudat Town has notable Filipino influences, yet the surrounding countryside is populated by the Rungus Tribe, cousins of the Kadazan.  Built on stilts, the Rungus Longhouse is constructed of traditional materials, with some added comforts, such as showers. The Longhouse is just over 40 kilometres from Kudat in a valley where you can stay for the night to enchance your experience, and we will need to arrange this in advance for you. Longhouses are becoming increasingly rare through modern living, so this is an exceptional chance to experience the real Borneo.

At the Kudat tamu (market), you can buy local grown vegetables, dried fish and tropical fruits, as well as Rungus handicraft, especially their beaded work and hand-woven Tinohian cloth. The Samangkap Village, 92 kilometres north of Kota Kinabalu, is famous for its gong making and can make a great stop off. The gong is important to the Rungus people as a musical instrument, especially during important occasions, such as festivities or weddings. 43 kilometres south of Kudat Town you will also find the Gombizau Honey Bee Farm, with over 100 bee cages. Here you may be able to try raw honey, and learn the traditional methods of rubber tapping and rolling.

The town is pretty, yet the main attraction is the opportunity to stay in a Rungus Longhouse, experiencing their fascinating, rural lifestyle by eating their food, and joining in with their daily rituals.


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