Saturday, January 15, 2011

Unwinding at the Tip of Borneo

A giant bronze globe marks the location of the Tip of Borneo

Visitors at Simpang Mengayau, the northern most tip of Borneo all smiles for the camera

Holiday-makers enjoying their day out in the sun

Simpang Mengayau chalet for visitors

Unique formation on sandstone rocks carved by the wind and waves

Rocky foreshores reveal their treasure at low tide

Coastline with crystal clear waters

Photos courtesy of and Copyright to NYL and Brunei Press Sdn Bhd.


Simpang Mengayau or the Tip of Borneo, a magnificent projection of sandstone that stretches its craggy fingers and parts the South China and the Sulu Seas is more than a spectacular geographical site. In this place where the locals find "the wind that makes you sleep", a historical battle was fought centuries ago.

Although infrequently used, Simpang Mengayau derives its name from the original title: Tanjung Sampang Managazou, referring to a great battle between the resident Rungus tribe and the invading tribe of Sulug descending from the Phillipines.

With the crashing waves breaking on the rocks, the Rungus who defended their land to the end finally prevailed and this sacred cape is preserved till today as one of Sabah's most beautiful sights.

A landscape of jagged cliffs dropping into blue roaring seas and a powdery coastline stretching five kilometres, the Tip of Borneo is irresistibly breathtaking. To think, it must have been even more so centuries ago, when the fleet of world renowned explorer and navigator Ferdinand Magellan docked here for 42 days on the first-ever expedition circumnavigating the globe.

Its highest viewing point is named after Tomanggong Kurantud, a renowned warrior and chief of the Rungus tribe, who signed an agreement of cooperation with the British North Borneo Company in 1881 in return for peace, prosperity and development in the region.

Today, whilst no epic battles are slugged out on these shores, one can expect an experience well worth the drive.

Located in Kudat, just a three-hour drive from Sabah's capital city, Kota Kinabalu, the Tip of Borneo offers stunning vistas and an unrivalled breeze, a perfect place for quiet contemplation.

Locals from the Iranun tribe hawk seashells along the seashore in rustic shelters and coconuts are found in abundance. As gusty winds blow salty sea air across the coast, picnickers and holiday-makers can be seen taking a cool dip in the rolling waves.

Ample parking space is provided at the entrance, as well as some shops selling snacks and gifts. In addition, visitors who prefer a quiet, laidback atmosphere near unspoilt beaches can stay at the Simpang Mengayau chalets situated near the souvenir shop.

The most recognisable landmark is a giant bronze globe marking the location of the Tip of Borneo at latitude 7° North and longitude 116° East, with the Jalur Gemilang (Malaysian National Flag) flying next to it.

At the top of the hill, visitors will be presented with its dramatic beauty. Closer inspection reveals sandstone rocks carved by the wind and waves.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin Weekend

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