With modernization slowly engulfing the world, one tends to forget to slow down and be in the moment. If you’re hoping to regain that, Kudat is just the place to bring you back to basics. Kudat was only accessible by sea until less than 50 years ago, and this isolation has forced Kudat to maintain its slow-paced environment. Take a breather in Kudat while admiring these attractions!
As Kudat is largely populated with Rungus people, you will get to witness the traditional lifestyle of the Rungus people. Kampung Gomizau, or “Honey Bee Village”, was founded over a decade ago and is focused on the production of honey by the Rungus community. With over a hundred bee cages, there is sufficient honey produced for locals to consume and buy. It is only about 43 km from Kudat town. We bee-lieve that stopping by here would definitely be a sweet experience!
Located within 1 km away from Kampung Gombizau, come explore the traditional art of gong-making in Kampung Sumangkap! Gongs are a crucial musical instrument for the indigenous people of Sabah and are typically used for festive occasions. As a symbol of the wealth of a family, it is safe to say that the people here prioritize the quality of creating a gong, and artisans here would happily oblige in a demonstration of their talent. You can even bring one back as a souvenir, as they come in a variety of sizes.
While longhouses aren’t as prominent as they used to be in Sabah, you may still find them in Kudat; making it one of the must visit spots here. Longhouses are still used by the Rungus community here and are completely different from your modern-day house as they are made from bamboo, wood, and beaten bark. It is very comfortable and cooling, especially at night, with twin-bedded bedrooms off a communal verandah. Don’t miss a chance to experience this while getting a chance to taste local cuisine and be entertained by cultural performances here!
The Tip of Borneo is also referred to as “Tanjung Simpang Mengayau”, as this translates to the battle of the tip in the Rungus language. This is because Kudat is at the northernmost tip of Sabah, and when you visit this spot, you are literally standing between the South China Sea and the Sulu Sea. The breezy air, open sea, and sandy beach have been said to take one’s breath away and would make a great place to take pictures as a memento. However, do note that it is not advisable to climb down the slope, as the waves may become rough in bad weather. While an Instagram picture is important, remember to keep yourself safe.
If you’re looking for some privacy, Tindakon Dazang Beach is a place you can add to your list! The price of seclusion, however, is the challenge of finding this beach as it is about an hour away from town, going through winding zig-zag roads. You won’t be disappointed though, as it is beautiful and clean, with special rock formations lining the greenish-blue waters. While you breathe in the beauty, leave footprints and capture your memories here.
If you’re staying in Kudat long-term, love cruising along clear waters, and are passionate about aquatic life, the Tropical Research and Convention Centre (TRACC) offers visitors like you an unforgettable underwater experience. TRACC is a marine conservation center that not only teaches guests diving but allows them the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of helping to rebuild reefs and protect turtles, and sharks. Located near the Tip of Borneo, it is the main training site as there is low and shallow water, making it somewhat safe for an amateur diver. As long as you don’t mind staying in a tent, why not add this as a fond memory in your life?
“Kelambu,” directly translated, means mosquito neck in their language, most likely to the shape of the island, which is similar to a mosquito neck. The crystal clear waters and the sandy powdered beach isn’t the only beautiful thing there, though. It is said that Kelambu Beach is illuminated at night because of bioluminescence, or the Blue Tears phenomenon and its occurrence is dependent on factors like water condition, weather, and brightness.
This island is resided by the Banggi tribe and is one of the biggest islands in Sabah. This tribe has fascinated travelers with their odd and unconventional treehouses, and most of the people here still live in wooden houses and water villages. The main socio-economic activity is undoubtedly fishing, though the people do indulge in other forms of work like planting palm oil, rubber, and coconut. You can typically get to this island via boat or ferry from Kudat town, but be prepared to go there earlier than expected as the time of departure to the island can be unpredictable.
Remember those movie scenes where the protagonist camps under the stars? You can live out this scene in Secret Place Cafe & Camping. A hospitable local family hosts this place and manages a small local cafe that serves tantalizing delicacies like nasi goreng, fresh fish, chicken wings, and barbecued food! Furthermore, one could do other things like stargazing, camping, and sunbathing during the day too. This is truly the best kind of retreat you should experience at least once in your life.
The waterfront of Kudat, Sidek Esplanade, is just outside of Kudat town center, right beside the sea. This is where locals usually gather to celebrate the day-to-day hiatus. The most noticeable thing is the clock tower that marks the entrance. Taking a stroll here can be therapeutic, with the long stretch of clear water, some shad huts to rest in, and stalls and restaurants to fill your tummies at. This is the place to relax.
Kudat may not be as popular as other places, but sometimes it is the littlest things that bring the biggest form of joy. Exploring Kudat could rekindle the child-like fascination we once had in the simplest of things.