Located at the north-west of the Marudu Inlet and sheltered from the South China Sea by the Kudat Peninsular, Kudat is a relatively a quiet town that offers peace and tranquillity. Though history records show that this was not so in the past, where pirates’ raids and droughts can be a real menace here.
The North Borneo Company after securing the lease of Sabah from the Sultan of Brunei and Sulu in 1882, has chosen to establish a settlement in Kudat and make it their first Capital. In 1883 through the contact of the Basel Church from southern China, a large number of Hakkas came to Kudat. Clearing forests for coconut plantations and small vegetable farms was the main undertaking of the Hakkas. The reminiscence of these can be seen till today, as many coconut trees can be seen around Kudat town.
In 1884 The North Borneo Company eventually moved its capital to Sandakan on the east coast of Sabah, because of constant pirate raids and a very severe drought at Kudat.
Today of course Kudat town has a different story to tell, it has slowly emerged from the backwater and become an interesting tourist venue.
Resorts and hotels are available for those who prefer to stay one or two days in Kudat. The inexpensive seafood at Kudat is also a talking point for tourists. Kudat also produces a very tasty ground nuts, a treat for the visitors.
Getting here: Air-conditioned buses leaving for Kudat can be found at the Merdekan Padang at Kota Kinabalu. Scheduled buses leave at 7;30am, 9:30am and 12 pm to Kudat for around RM 10 one way. Shared Taxis are also available for RM 25 one way.
Highlight of Kudat’s destination:
Once a wilderness headland and today it has become one of Kudat’s top visitors attraction. Tour groups and locals can be frequently seen heading up to the promontory, where the Tip of Borneo is situated.
Kudat district is also the homeland for the Rungus people reknown for their long house and their carfts making skill. The Rungus tribe is a sub-group from the Kadazandusun group, the largest ethnic community in Sabah. The Rungus’ handicrafts like beadwork, basketware, boxes woven with lids, woven fabrics and many other interesting handicrafts can be seen displayed along the road to Kudat. Tours can be arranged in Kota Kinabalu to visit the Long House together with the Tip of Borneo.
One of the best activities in Kudat, is to hunt down the many beaches outside Kudat town. Although there are no public transports, but with well arranged tour companies or taxis, one can enjoy some of the finest beaches in Sabah. The less visited ones are the best, where white beaches and crystal clear water enlighten one’s heart. Swimming, sunbathing and picnicking are some of the ideal activities.
Scheduled to open in 2009, the Kudat Riviera comprises 30 exclusive villas, which are spread along on a 6 km coast. Each villa comes with a hectare of land, and guests can choose from the beach front, hilltop or a private cove. The Kudat Riviera villas resort brings Sabah alongside Bali and Phuket in providing the best at the high-end tourist markets.
Yet to be opened, the Kudat Riviera Villa Resort has already won awards for the “Best Developer – Waterfront Development (Future)” and the “Best Developer – Corporate Social Responsibility” at a Property Award Show in Singapore, in May 2008.