Before the British era in North Borneo (now it is known as Sabah), Kudat was most probably a small fishing village. In 1882 the British North Borneo Company made Kudat town, its administrative capital for North Borneo, but that was short lived, by the year 1884 the North Borneo’s capital had moved to Sandakan. In the early 20th century, Kudat exported large amount of copra coconut, for the production of coconut oil, to the world. Many Chinese from mianland China, especially the Hakka clan sailed across the South China Sea to work in the Kudat plantations. All these are in the past now, today Kudat is just a small administrative town for the Kudat division, which include small town like Kota Marudu, Pitas, Baggi (Island), and of course Kudat town itself. The coconut plantation fortune had died down, and it is mostly replaced by palm oil plantations. To remember this great coconut past, every year in September the Kudat people will come and celebrate the coconut festival in town. Kudat town still has a vibrant fishing community, this is evident by the many fishing boats dock near the Kudat jetty. Tourism is also slowly making an in road as the town has included infrastructures like the Sidek Esplanade, golf courses, hotels, and a 3-star resort.
Sun bathing on a quiet powdery white sandy beach, while enjoying the gentle breeze of the tropical island, and looking out at a big blue sea that stretches to the horizon, which yields almost no sign of human civilisation, one has surely arrived at the beautiful Mantanani Island, one of the best keep secrets on the west coast of Sabah. Only recently promote as a tourists destination, Mantanani Island has miles and miles of unspoiled beaches, and the shallow coast line around the island offers a splendid snorkelling experience, with visibility around10 metre, a wide variety of tropical marines life are easily spotted on the extensive coral reef habitats.
Kota Kinabalu (KK) has the good fortune of having five beautiful islands surrounding the city; the five islands consist of Pulau Gaya, Pulau Manukan, Pulau Mamutik, Pulau Sapi, and Pulau Sulug. Tunku Abdul Rahman Park is made up of part of Palau Gaya and the other four islands. With the islands’ proximity to Kota Kinabalu, boat rides to the islands just take about 20 minutes from Jesselton Point, KK main ferry terminal. Day trip to these islands can be easily arranged as there are hourly shuttle boats to and from the islands.