Kudat Town

a stroll along lo thien chok street on an early morning

Kudat is a small town. All its shop lots and commercial areas can be summed up along two main streets. The shops along Lo Thien Chok street belong to the older section of Kudat town, while the new Tomborungus township, about 5 to 10 minutes walk from the old section, is on Mewar street. The Tomborungus township has banks, budget hotels, restaurants, kopitiams, and sundries shops, while the shops at Lo Thien Chok street consist of mostly mixed traders, kopitiams, and provision shops. Two private clinics are located on the street next to the old section. Three markets: the main market, vegetable market, and the fish market, are all in close proximity of each other, located just between the old section and the new Tomborungus township. Other notable landmarks are the Chinese Temple, located near the old town area, and the Sidek Esplanade.

Sidek Esplanade, completed in 2002, is the latest addition of town project planned for the Kudat town. This 2 kilometres side walk, beside the blue sea, has a great view of the inlet of Marudu Bay. And the view extends as far as the other end of the Bengkoka peninsula, and Mt. Kinbalau is visible on a clear day. The best time to visit the Esplanade is in the late afternoon, when temperature is not that hot and the changing colours of the sky is quiet stunning. One gets to enjoy the sea breeze as well. Huts and seats are provided along the Esplanade. At one end of the Esplanade there are a few seafood restaurants which are built on stilts right into the sea. Kudat town library and the town clock tower are also located near the Sidek Esplanade.

Lifestyle in Kudat town can be described as cosy, calm and quiet. In the morning people can be seen busy at the three main markets getting the necessary daily produces and food for the day. Most of the banks seem to be busy with people and quite a sizeable amount of people can be seen queuing up for the ATM machines (where today money lives). Coffee shops are lively in the morning, other than filling the stomach, this is also the time to pass on some good quality gossips. Afternoon in Kudat town is rather calm, and by night fall or even late evening most of the main shops have already closed down. The place is virtually becomes a ghost town. Even the restaurants seem to cater for only a very few persons. Except on Tuesday Night when the Night Market descends on the town once a week. Wednesday morning is also more crowded then usual as the Tamu is around. For entertainment cyber cafe and the popular billiard shops do well.

There are only three petrol stations in the town area; every day after working hours, it is common to see cars jostling for a queue to get their vehicles topped up.

All over Sabah (North Borneo), seafood is a very popular delicacy since about 2/3 of Sabah’s boundary is surrounded by sea. Supported by the fishing industry in Kudat, there is plenty of good supply. The Sidek Esplanade has a few seafood restaurants built on stilts, which are popular with locals as well as tourists. One can also try out the Sungai Wang Seafood Restaurant at the Tomborungus new township.

Choices for accommodation are limited as well. The best looking hotel in the town centre will have to be Ria Hotel, located just beside the Chinese temple. Many budget hotels can be found on the newer commercial blocks, Tomborungus township, and they are located mainly on the first and second floor. For the budget conscious, Greenland Hotel, just above the Ambank, is worth a stay. If you want some pampering and quality service then you have to go to Kudat Marina & Golf Resort, with a 3-star rating, which is about 3km away from the town. Check out the nice swimming pool while you are there.

There are daily buses from Kudat to KK which will take about there hours. The bus station is located at the old section of the town just beside the clothing market. Everyday when the weather permits, there are two daily trips to Banggi Island and return by ferry, 8am and 3pm both ways.

Near by destinations to visit

Tip of Borneo

The Tip of Borneo is where the South China Sea meets the Sulu sea, and it is about 40 Kilometres north of Kudat town. A well visited tourist destination on the northern part of Sabah. Its geology features, especially the exposed bed rocks, make this place very picturesque. The truncated globe monument is also a hit with the visitors. This is a must-see place if you are in Kudat.

truncated globe monument (front)

Rungus Long House

The Rungus people are a sub-group of the Kadazandusun, and they traditionally live in long houses. A visit to the long house, visitors will learn about the Rungus traditions, way of life, as well as their beliefs and their handicrafts. Visitors can also arrange with a tour operator if they choose to spend a night in the long house.

Banggi Island

Banggi Island is fast becoming another new tourist destination at the north of Kudat. The beaches and beautiful corals are the main attractions. Scaling the highest point of Banggi Island is another main activity on this island. Although there are no hotels here, a few locals have started some simple bed and breakfast facilities. Great seafood too.

The secret is that Kudat district has some of the finest beaches in Sabah. White sandy powder beaches and clear blue sea are great for swimming, picnicking and sun-bathing. Many of these beaches are secluded which offer peace, privacy and tranquillity. Do check with the local tour agents on where to go.

kalampunian beach

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