Kudat, Sabah: The Tip Of Borneo

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State: Sabah

2 DAYS 1 NIGHT – from RM830/pax {min. 2 pax}

It’s almost a sin to fail to see the beauty that is the dramatic tip of the third largest island in the world, Borneo. The adventure at Kudat would have been fulfilling enough, but when you’re in Sabah, adventures are seemingly never-ending, and it goes without saying that catching nature’s beauty right on the Tip of Borneo is one that should not be missed.

So, without second thoughts, we lined nest for our trip to the tip! Also known as the land of the Rungus or Tanjung Simpang Mangazau, the headland is located at the northernmost tip of Borneo located in the district of Kudat. The origin of its name comes from the dialect of the Rungus tribe. The name’s direct translation: Tanjung (cape), Simpang (union), Mangazau (battle), has its own legendary story.

Just like the Banggi tribe that can only be found in the Banggi Island, you can only find the Rungus tribe here and nowhere else.

Tip of Borneo was a battle location of the Rungus people where they defended their territory against the attack of the Moro Pirates. In this adventure, we had a chance to explore the culture of the Rungus people and other treasures of the tribe.

But more than the culture, you might be thinking about mental torture when the idea of standing at the tip of Sabah, where two ends meet, strikes you. What picture pops in your mind? Before you feel all jumpy at the picture of great heights in your head, let’s get cycling.

From the 1 Kudat jetty, we kicked off our journey. Aside from Sandakan, Kudat is one of the main ports for seafood. It was also one of the first settlements before Kota Kinabalu. Grab the opportunity to live in the classic Bavanggazo Kudat Longhouse. The scenic view offered was nothing short of spectacular. Once we reached our lodging, we checked in and geared up for our bike ride to the tip of Borneo. The ride consisted of simple to moderate elevations and speedy down hills, putting our biking skills to test. Most importantly, it was such a great view to immerse into. You could see vast land of coconut trees and feel the wind blow on your face. We rode through the calming coastline, and watched children play as we passed by some traditional villages.

After the 31.09 km ride, we finally reached the 2 tip of Borneo. When we reached the top of the hill, there lay a 3 bronze globe embossed with the history of the Rungus. You will be standing accurately at a latitude of 7° and a longitude of 116°. We walked down a flight of stairs and there we bathed in the view of the big blue ocean.

Remember, we asked what is the first thing that pops in your mind when you imagine that you’re at the tip? Here’s our version. Emotions would flood through you as you stand there breathing in the fresh air, feeling awestruck by the view. It is not everyday that you see the 4 South China Sea and the Sulu Sea meeting, crashing onto each other as the different densities of seawater stop them from merging. Here there were plenty of photo opportunities as well. Depending on time and weather, sundown can be observed by the riders at the tip of Borneo.

So you want to spend a night at the tip and explore the vicinity? Not a problem! At the top, there are two lodges that adventurers can choose to stay in. Tommy’s Place and Borneo Tip Lodge overlook the crystal clear sea. Besides being a great place to surf the waves, guests can choose to do other fun water activities. What is more, the Sunset Musical Festival is also held here. Definitely a strategic location to spend your time exploring!

The next day, we geared up to learn more about the culture of the Rungus people. We walked around the 5 Bavanggazo Kudat Longhouse. Beautifully fringed by long leafy trees, the longhouse stands on the rocky pavements of a small hill. Children adorned in traditional costume were running around barefoot, chasing each other, and climbing the wooden walls. While the roofs of these longhouses are made out of palm leaves, the walls and floors are made out of a type of palm wood, also known as Nibong wood.

We learned that there are no specific measurements to build a longhouse and it can house up to 70 families per longhouse. The Bavanggazo longhouse has ten 6 rooms and accommodates 3 to 4 people per room. Guests sleep on the floor under a mosquito net and would have access to public toilet and showers.

An interesting fact on the longhouse is that as a precedent, it has to be blessed by a shaman referred to as Bobolian. Before a longhouse is built, the Bobolian would usually spend a night at the site, and the tribe can proceed to build the house depending on the dreams that transpires from him. If the Bobolian dreams of wild animals, then the site becomes unsuitable to build a house in.

Before moving on to our next activity, we made sure to buy 7 souvenirs made by the locals at the longhouse. Beautifully-beaded arm bracelets and long chains can be found there.

Our next destination was the 8 Sumangkap Village. The villagers here are expert 9 gong makers. There are at least 10 families that make gongs here. It is imperative that the expertise gets handed down, generation to generation; villagers make sure to keep the tradition alive.

It seems easy, but making gongs does require a little bit of patience and a lot of passion. The gong is made out of brass and takes one week to make, depending on the size. Different bronze pieces will go through the process of hitting and heating to be merged into a gong. If you check the hollow part of the gong, you will see tuning marks. During tuning, it gets knocked with a tuner from the inside.

Most gongs are then painted black or left in its original colour. These are usually played during deaths or marriages and each occasion holds different rhythms. Also, these are considered a valuable treasure for the Kadazan Dusun, the Rungus and the Murut tribes. You would be definitely tempted to get your hands on this amazing treasure!

Our last stop was the 10 Gombizau Honey Bee Farm. Over here, the main activity of the villagers is honey bee farming. In this farm, one can see hundreds of bee cages. This bee farm has been around for over a decade now, and the raw honey is produced and sold in bottles. Riders have the opportunity to observe how a bee farm is managed and, what else, but taste the raw honey from the honeycomb itself!

Here is where we ended this epic journey, tiring but it was all worth it, not to mention that Kudat has imparted cultural values in us, on top of giving us great views to cycle by. Trust us, this is one adventure you don’t want to skip in your bucket list.

The journey back took us about 2.5 hours. The entire two-day cycling trip covered a distance of 80.54km. This is definitely a good trip for the family or for anyone who is looking to immerse and indulge in Kudat’s culture.

Note: Price stated in this article is for reference only. Some activities are optional and subject to additional fees. Contact the travel agency for quotation.


This cycling tour package is provided by:

Trek Finder Tours Sdn. Bhd. (KPL/LN6401)
Lot 1.62, 1st Floor, Star City,
North Complex, Jalan Asia City,
88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.
Tel: +60 88 486480
Fax: +60 88 486580
Email: Auther.trekfinder@gmail.com

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