Friday, January 20, 2017

A trip to the tip of Borneo

Have a spare weekend with not much to do? Take a drive to the north of Sabah to land’s end or more commonly known as the tip of Borneo. It is also known to the locals as Tanjung Simpang Mengayau and it’s about 198km from Kota Kinabalu.

Leaving Kota Kinabalu, travel north and head towards Tuaran town (34km). There are a number of roads you could use, but the best would be the coastal road that goes past the Rasa Ria resort.

Once past Tuaran, just keep heading for Kota Belud, which is the next town (49km) and look out for signs to Kudat Town. Along the way, you will pass many roadside stalls selling local fruits, barbecued sweet corn, fried tapioca and banana crisp, which can be either sweet or spicy.

There are also various snacks made from locally grown peanuts. Some are just steamed in their shells, while others are roasted, and some have a coating of garlic flavoured flour batter (a must try) and, of course, the ever-popular peanut brittle. Other stalls sell various baskets, winnowing trays and local handicraft made by the local Rungus people who inhabit the Kudat and Kota Marudu area.

The scenery on route varies as you drive through rice fields, fruit orchards and past local villages. Most the journey is on flat ground with a few low hills, but the road is in a pretty good condition, so it’s an easy drive.

From Kota Belud, it is 119km to Kudat town and should take you just about two hours. There are a number of modern longhouses on the main road to Kudat that you are welcome to visit or you could visit one of the traditional longhouses built for the tourists, closer to the Tip of Borneo.

Keep a look out for the signpost to the Tip of Borneo, it will be on your left if you are heading to Kudat from Kota Belud. Turn in and just follow the signs. Soon you will come to a T-junction with a number of signs and you will notice that they give opposing directions to the tip.

No worries, as all roads lead to Rome … or should I say the “Tip of Borneo” , so take either one as they are both scenic and will get you to your destination .

There are some beautiful deserted beaches as you get closer to the tip, and the beaches here are usually lined with casuarina trees that catch the breeze and make a sort of humming sound.

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