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Places of interest in Kudat

Fuk Tek Kung Chinese Temple Kudat

Fuk Tek Kung Chinese Temple

A Chinese temple in Kudat town.

Kudat's population was 70,000 in 2000. The ethnic composition is mainly Rungus, ( sub-group of Kadazan).

About 10% are ethnic Chinese, and there are minorities of Bajau, Dusun, Murut, Bugis, and Malay. There is also a considerable number of unregistered illegal immigrants from the nearby Philippines Sulu regions and Mindanao.

Kudat town was founded by A H Everett of the British North Borneo Company on December 7, 1881 as the first capital of British North Borneo, due to its strategic geographic location.

After being repeatedly raided by Bajau, Sulu and Illanun pirates, the capital was shifted in 1883 to Sandakan, on the east coast.

Attraction around Kudat:
Gombizau Honey Bee Farm
Kampung Bavanggazo (Rungus Longhouse)
Kampung Sumangkap Gong Factory
Kelambu Beach
Kudat Golf Club
Maranjak Longhouse Homestay
Tamu Kudat
The Tip of Borneo - Tanjung Simpang Mengayau


The first group of Chinese pioneers arrived in 1883, followed by a steady flow of Hakkas who cleared the jungles to establish coconut plantations and small farms.

These Hakka Chinese built their own homes, churches and schools.

Early 20th century, they began planting rubber.

Other Chinese dialect groups eventually made Kudat their home, but the district remains dominated by the Christian Hakka of the Basel Church.



Ferry to Pulau Banggi

An air-conditioned daily ferry leaves Kudat at 9 am for Kerakit. Pulau Banggi. Alternatively, a local boat can be hired in Kudat for voyages of exploration or fishing trips around Banggi and Balambangan.

Kudat district has some of the finest beaches in Sabah. offering safe swimming, picnicking and fishing as well as peace and tranquility. Most beaches are also suitable for camping (but bring fresh water). Many visitors are astonished the sight of pristine beaches and bays, where only on Sundays (and only on the most popular beaches) is there likely to be a mere handful of holiday makers.
The best beaches are found along the west coast, starting south at Indarasan Laut, which is reached via Tinangol. The deeply indented bay of Teluk Agal (also known as Tambularan Bay). beyond Kg Bingolan, has two sizeable rivers at either end of a sweeping beach, and a small village which offers a haven for local fishing boats.
Reached via Kampung Minyak. the long beach of Terongkongan is known for a narrow cave. Gua Tindakop, carved into the rocky headland to the north. Pantai Kimihang, accessible by Jalan Bangau, is shallow but a good spot for picnicking and camping, with shady trees. A deep river provides a pleasant place for swimming, especially if it happens to be low tide. Local fishermen frequently try their luck with nets as the tide comes in.

Perhaps the most popular beach in the region is Pantai Kelambu, where a sand spit leading to a small rocky island creates large bays on either side; whatever the direction of the wind, there's always a calm area for swimming. The picnic area is usually busy on Sundays, but a short walk along the beach of either bay promises privacy.
Nestling in the hills on Jalan Marang Parang, shortly before Pantai Kolambu, the attractive Sunjamal Resort offers a peaceful retreat in spacious, Rungus-inspired chalets. A range of activities,

Kudat Town

Kudat is a small town that has kept some of its rural charm, and one sees still elderly Rungus folks in traditional attire.

The restaurants and coffee shops offer good foods, and seafood is inexpensive.

One will have seen the whole town in a few minutes. Walk from the Chinese temple to the newly built waterfront in fifteen minutes, passing by the market.

There are a few budget hotels that are clean and reasonably priced, and of course there is the newly opened Kudat Golf and Marina Resort, the flagship of Kudat’s developing tourism industry.

Kudat is quiet and devoid of  the hectic town life. This town remains a destination few will visit, despite its upgraded infrastructure that brought better accessibility and accommodation.

Some day tours that are a must if you stay longer:

1) the Bak-Bak Beach, where you can mingle with the locals;

2) Tanjung Sempang Mengayau, the very Tip of Borneo with its dramatic landscape and white beaches Northern Tip of Borneo - 7 degrees north of equator

3) the islands Balambangan and Banggi. There are daily ferries to the islands.

The surroundings of Kudat are made for walks, and cycling. You can discover secluded beaches, and remote villages where people live an age-old traditional, and quiet life.

Tip of Borneo - Simpang Mengayau

Northernmost tip of Borneo, the  Simpang Mengayau, is only 40 kilometers from Kudat is a truly fascinating area to visit and

Simpang Mengayau has remained relatively undisturbed and was only recently "discovered" as a tourism destination. Pristine beaches, indigenous longhouses, secluded diving, intricate handicraft by the Rungus people - the ethnic entity that populates the Kudat Peninsula.

Over the last few years the peninsula has seen tremendous upgrading of infrastructure, and this very tip of Borneo Island  is now accessible by car in little under three hours from Kota Kinabalu City.

A visit to Sabah should not be complete without having seen the very Tip of Borneo at least...!

Shortly after the British North Borneo Chartered Company leased the territory of Sabah from the sultans of Brunei and Sulu, they establish shed a settlement at Kudat and declared it their first capital in ISS2. Just two years later, however, water shortages forced the administration to move their capital east to Sandakan.  

The Rungus the indigeous tribe on the Kudat peninsula and on the east side of Marudu Bay made their homes inland, while the coastline attracted Muslim Bajau, Irranun and Suluk. The Rungus called the Kudat area after the Tomborungus River that ran into an inlet nearby. When the British arrived and asked for the name of the place, the Rungus thought  they wanted to identify the coarse grass growing there, so said Kutad. Eventually, the name was corrupted to Kudat, and was used in preference to the old name of Tomborungus. Because of a labor shortage, the British North Borneo Chartered Company engaged the Basel Missionary Society to bring in families of Christian Hakkas from southern China to help develop Kudat.  

Accessible primarily by sea until less than 50 years ago, when a road eventually linked Kudat with Kota Kinabalu, Kudat's past isolation has ensured that much of the original charm and tradition of the region remain relatively unchanged.

Pulau Banggi and
Pulau Balalmbangan :


Pulau Banggi, with its dramatic high mountain peak, and the sprawling flat island of Pulau Balalmbangan both lie to the north of Kudat. Kerakit, the major settlement in the south of Pulau Banggi, offers very simple facilities but no tourism infrastructure at this stage. Just south of Kerakit, the island of Malleangan- where a fine white sandy beach is backed with coconut palms with a few houses dotted about-is the sort of place which tempts the adventurous to camp and live the simple life for a few days.

Pulau Balambangan, the site of an abortive British settlement in the 18th century, has a small settlement at Kampung Batu Sireh, in the southeast. This is not far from a cave set in a limestone outcrop at one side of an exquisite tiny bay, an important archaeological site where evidence of human habitation some 16,000 years ago was uncovered.

Pulau Balambangan (Balambangan Island) is north of Kudat, and closest to Philippines. This island has 20 over limestone caves mostly unexplored and undocumented.

North of Kampung Batu Sirih, at one side of a large and beautiful bay, Teluk Lung, lie the remnants of the abortive Balambangan settlement, shards of Chinese porcelain, tiles and bottles fused by the fires after an attack by pirates. The clear waters of this bay are appealing not only for swimming but are home to a seaweed research project

Blessed by its location by the sea, is a spacious, clean and attractive town with plenty of trees and open spaces. "Old" Kudat is focused around the main street, Jalan Lo Thien Chok, where traditional fan-cooled coffee shops, mixed traders and provision shops arc joined by more modem shops and hotels. Reflecting Kudat's multi-ethnic population, Chinese temples, mosques and churches all sit in happy proximity.
In the 1970s, a massive project reclaimed 500 acres from the sea to the northwest of the fishing harbor. Part of this is occupied by 3-storcy shop houses with spacious walkways, and a large open market or tamu ground, with the general market nearby. This newer area of Kudat, Pekan Tomborungus, is the site of the Tuesday evening open market or tamu, as well as the annual Pesta Kelapa, which celebrates the once all-important coconut, held here each September.
One of the most striking features of Kudat is the 2-kilomelrc Sidek Esplanade, running along the bay. This spacious, attractive esplanade has plenty of seating (making it a popular place to relax at sunset), play areas for children, plenty of room for jogging or strolling, and several food stalls.
Kudat boasts a modern sports complex, opened in 2002, as well the Kudat Golf Club, which has an attractive 18-hole golf course. A new three-star resort, the Kudat Golf and Country Club, sits adjacent to the golf course overlooking a small marina.
Kudat is renowned for its seafood, and popular places for enjoying this arc the food stalls next to the Pasar Ikan or fish market, and a group of Muslim footstalls set up every early evening near the town green or padang. :

Kudat - a small town in the north of Sabah. About 3 hours from Kota Kinabalu by car.

Population is only 26,750 (year 2000 census), comprising mainly of Rungus (rural areas); Bruneis and Chinese (town area) and ethnic entities Obian/Ubian, Suluk, Bajau, Irranun/Illanun.

Getting  to Kudat

By car, van, bus or taxi; tour operator; 180 km / 3 to 4 hours;

On you journey, stop by at the many markets, visit the 'one village one trade' kampungs of Gombizau (honey), Sumangkap (gongs), Tinanggol (beads) and Bavanggazo (longhouse living culture). Meet the locals and chat with them; stroll through the fish markets of Kudat where some of Sabah's best seafood comes from. And enjoy a sumptuous meal, be it for lunch or dinner, of the best the seas can offer at unbeatable prices. Relax on some of the most beautiful beaches you'll ever see, and if you are a diver you will find the area not only intriguing for its marine life, but also for the treasure trove of ancient wrecks that can be found in the north of Sabah. Who knows, you might even make an important discovery...!

For the traveler there is now a wide choice of accommodation, ranging from homestay programmes in villages where you can taste longhouse living over simple town hotels to the newly completed Kudat Marina & Golf Resort.



Hotel Kinabalu (Kudat)
No 1243, JIn. Melor, Lot No 182, Blok C, Pekan Tamborungus, Kudat, Sabah TEL: 088-612022 FAX: 088-615388

Marudu Inn
Lot 61, JIn Tanduk, Pekan Goshen, Kota Marudu, Sabah TEL: 088-661200 FAX: 088-661167


Accommodation in Kudat

1) There are several simple and clean hotels in town.


Wholly Owned by Tangamahir Sdn. Bhd.

Off Jalan Urus Setia, 89057 Kudat, Sabah, Malaysia

Tel : 088-611211
Fax : 088-611311
Email: kgmr@po.jaring.my
Bil. Rooms : 88 Rooms
Rate : RM135 - RM280

Peti Surat No. 500
Tel : 088-622708
Bil. Rooms : 20 rooms
Rate : RM80 - RM200

Peti Surat No. 82
Tel : 088-613888
Fax : 088-615388
Bil. Rooms : 18 Rooms
Rate : RM42- RM77

Peti Surat No. 59
Tel : 088-613133
Fax : -
Bil.Rooms : 10 Rooms
Rate : RM45 – RM60

Pekan Lama Kudat
Peti Surat No. 253
Tel : 088 - 611517
Rooms : 17 Rooms
Rate : RM20- RM48

Jalan Marudu, Ground Floor, Lot No.3, Peti Surat No. 82, 89057 KUDAT SABAH
Tel : 088-622226, 622794, 622218, Fax : 623226
24 Rooms  Rate : RM88 - RM266

Peti Surat No. 222
Tel : 088-622633
Fax : 088-612496
Rate : RM48 - RM130

Peti Surat No. 253
Tel : 088-613211
Fax : 088-611854
Bil. Rooms : 16 Rooms
Rate : RM35 - RM154

Peti Surat No. 222
Tel : 088-612496
Fax : 088-612496
Bil. Rooms : 13 Rooms
Rate : RM48 – RM96

Jalan Lintas
Peti Surat No. 448
Tel : 088-622272, 622282
Fax : 088-622300
Rooms : 28 Rooms
Rate : RM80 - RM160



2) There is the Kudat Marina & Golf Club Resort

 3) Bavanggazo, a traditional longhouse for tourist

4) Sunjamal Resort, a uniquely designed, small retreat run by a Swiss lady that will appeal to the most discerning traveler.




Tel: 088-663388

Fax: 088-663388

Rate : Suite : Rm 78.00

Twin Rm 65.00

Single Rm 63.00

Family Rm 118.00

Kudat in  Sabah’s early colonial history played an important role but is nearly forgotten today. The northern tip of Borneo played an important role as an outpost for various traders, such as the Bajau from the southern Philippines, and the Bugis from the Celebes who continued to sail until the middle of the 20th century around Borneo to Singapore and back each year.

Magellan’s chronicler, Pigafetta, who has left a wonderful account of Brunei’s capital in 1521 sailed to Balambangan and Banggi to repair their vessels after their stay in Brunei. Magellan’s fleet by then consisted of only two ships of the original five, and both were loaded with valuable spices. Only one ship, the Victoria, made it back to Spain.

For times immemorial Kudat has been the home of the Rungus people, many of whom still live in traditional longhouses and maintain even in a time of rapid change a very traditional life style. Kudat is where much of the traditional and uniquely Sabah handicraft and souvenirs are manufactured, where gongs are wrought, and honey is produced, next to coconuts and copra, some rubber and – the longer the more – palm oil.

Around Kudat you find the most beautiful and unspoilt beaches, wonderful sunsets and glorious mornings for long walks and bird spotting.

Places of Interest in Kudat

Kudat has escaped the majority of visitors to Sabah so far. Much of its charm is due to its friendly and unpretentious people, and its little developed environment.

Thanks to the upgraded road and formal Chief Minister, Datuk Chong Kah Kiat, that Kudat has received a little more attention, and the development of a tourism infrastructure that also satisfies the demands of international tourists.

Driving to Kudat takes more then 3 hours, with many stops on the route you might as well take an entire day.

From KK to Kudat one will pass through  Tuaran, Kota Belud, and Kota Marudu, all have a Sunday tamu!

The Kota Belud Tamu is of course the most famous and invites for a longer stop-over to watch the colorful displays and the traditional trading. Have lunch in Kota Belud, too, before you head for the longer stretch up north.

You will encounter several road-stalls on your way, some of them selling deliciously charcoal-fire roasted maize, others handicraft, and others again local medicinal herbs and roots.

A stop-over is a must if you are interested in native medical lore, you will find anything, from concoctions to ‘buang panas’ (remove heat from the body), to herbs for gastric problems, high blood pressure, diabetes and fevers.

The area is home to the famous ‘tongkat ali’, Sabah’s own, natural ‘Viagra’. Here you can buy entire roots at reasonable prices.

And if you want some traditional Sabah handicraft you also have to stop at some of the stalls:

1) bubuh (traditional fish traps) of all sizes,

2) woven rattan baskets and carriers,

3) winnowing trays and

4) blow-pipes.

You can’t lost on your way to Kudat. For one, the signboards are very clear, and secondly, there is only one road with one junction after Kota Belud!

No traffic lights! And generally very light traffic, so the driving on the good road is a real pleasure. But be careful and watch out for pedestrians, domesticated animals, and the odd monitor lizard, as well as civet cats!

About 45 kilometers before Kudat you come to one of the first tourism attractions developed in the area: Kg Gombizau, the ‘Honey Village’. Kg Gombizau is a ‘one village, one trade’ example, and most of its inhabitants are rearing honey bees. You can drive up to the village, where you have to pay a small entrance fee to go and see how the honey is collected. It is a good idea to buy some local honey here, which has many benefits for your health. A bit further north from Kg Gombizau is Kg Sumangkap, another ‘one village one trade’ example, and an extraordinary one: Kg Sumangkap is the gong-village of Sabah. A visit to the village will show you how gongs are made, and the locals will be happy to tell you more about the importance of this instrument, so typical throughout Borneo.

The next stop-over is just after Kg Sumangkap: Kg Bavanggazo. The Rungus traditionally live in longhouses of a uniquely practical architecture. There are over 200 longhouses on the Kudat Peninsula, but you hardly will see them as they tend to be a bit off the beaten track. Not many are built in an entirely traditional style any more with bamboo flooring and palm thatch. The longhouse of Bavanggazo was built as an example of the traditional style, and it is open to tourists with comfortable and quiet, traditional rooms to stay overnight. If you want to experience the Rungus life style the Bavanggazo longhouse provides you with a safe and clean alternative to roughing it out in a ‘real’ Rungus village where dogs and pigs roam under the houses and kids jump up and down the longhouse gallery, making sleep sometimes rather difficult. The hosts of Bavanggazo are as friendly as Sabah people can be, and will go out of their way to prepare you some local specialties for dinner, and later don traditional outfits to entertain you with their age old dances and gong music. Don’t worry of making a fool out of yourself when you are asked to take part in the dances – this just belongs to the traditions, and it would not be polite to refuse!

Kudat has still a lot to offer. Visit our site for more information, or contact us through our help line to arrange a custom tour to a unique and little frequented destination for a truly unique holiday!

Kota Belud

Kota Belud district spreads across the lushly beautiful Tempasuk plain, watered by rivers rushing down from the granite flanks of Mt Kinabalu. Viewed from the west, the mountain is at its most dramatic, rising up almost directly from the plain, with paddy fields and water buffaloes dotting the tranquil landscape. Along the coast, sheltered bays and attractive beaches can be found, while to the northwest of Usukan Bay, the island group, Mantanani. is home to a small dive resort.

In 1906, after the British established an administrative post for the Tempasuk district, the township of Kota Belud or "Fort on the Hill" grew up near the site of the market or tamu which was held every 20 days. Once considered a wild and remote outpost, Kota Belud soon attracted many Bajau, as well Irranun, Obian and a number of Chinese traders. They joined the indigenous Dusun people to make up the fascinating mixture of peoples that is a striking characteristic of Kota Belud even today.

Usukan Bay Wreck Diving

available at Usukan Bay


1 Day Trip Usukan Bay Wreck Diving RM380.00 per person
(Minimum 3 persons)
Remarks: -

* All the above packages are inclusive return hotel (ex: city hotel) & boat transfers, jetty fee, packed lunch, use of snorkeling / diving equipment and accompanied by a professional Dive Instructor / Dive Master

* This package is suitable for advanced divers or those who have logged more than 100 dives in their logbook. This is due to the depth and diving conditions involved.

* Exclude dive computer


Mini-buses for Kota Belud leave from the bus station in front of Centrepoint Complex, in Kota Kinabalu, throughout the day; the fare is RM10. Air-conditioned buses for Kudat and Kota Marudu, leaving from near the Padang at 7.30 am, 6.30 am, 12 noon and 1 pm, can be taken as far as Kota Belud (RM10), or on as far as Kudat for the same fare. In Kudat, buses for Kota Kinabalu leave from next to the Telekoms office, opposite the clothing market near Hotel Sunrise.
It is possible to share a long-distance taxi (RM 25 per person) or to charter it for RM100, between Kota Kinabalu and Kudat; long-distance taxis leave from near KK Padang.
Car hire companies offer self-drive sedans or 4-wheel drive vehicles for journeys to Kudat; sedans cost around RM1S0 per day, while a 4-wheel drive costs from RM250-300.

The indigenous Dusun of Kota Belud have worked as farmers for countless generations. Although sharing similar beliefs and legends, in the days before modern transport, they were divided into separate groups by geography. Those living in the north of the Tempasuk plain, towards the Kudat district, arc known as the Dusun Tabilung, while those around the Tempasuk river basin are the Dusun Tempasuk. The group living to the south, bordering Tuaran district, call themselves Dunun Tidal.
Like the majority of the Kadazandusun, as Sabah's largest indigenous ethnic group is known today, most Kota Belud Dusun are Christian, yet their ancient myths are still remembered and their dramatic traditional dress, with magnificent silver ornaments, is still worn with pride on ceremonial occasions.

Most Vibrant Market
The tamu or Sunday market of Kota Belud has been famous ever since it first began. Originally known as the Tamu Darat (Land Market), it was held on neutral ground where the indigenous Dusun could meet the Bajau, Irranun and Obian Muslims, as well as Chinese traders, to barter or purchase goods.
Today, vendors come from all over the West Coast and even die Interior to take part in the tamu, which offers an unrivalled opportunity for discovering some of Sabah's many different ethnic groups, as well as exploring an astonishing variety of produce. Everything from herbal medicine to mountain-grown vegetables, wild orchids to chilli-laced dried fish, luscious tropical fruit to edible seaweed is on sale.
Medicine men hawk their wares; Irranun women enjoy an impromptu concert as they await buyers for their musical instruments; Rungus down from their longhouse preside over handmade brooms and woven baskets while Bajau women turn out a constant stream of deep-fried cakes.
All the color and variety of the regular tamu comes to a grand climax with the annual Tamu Besar, with cultural displays, dances, handicrafts and, of course, the famous Bajau horsemen.


INDEX : Kota Kinabalu  January 15, 2017 07:43:17 PM

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