Kudat is the capital of the Kudat District in the Kudat Division of Sabah, Malaysia.
It is located on Kudat Peninsula and is approximately 190 km north of Kota Kinabalu. When you see it on a map, Sabah resembles a dog’s head whereas Kudat looks like the left ear of the “dog”. Initially, it was home to the Rungus people, a sub-group of the Dusuns.
Later with the incoming of the British colonial officers, it became home to a lot of Chinese migrants who came to work.
Kudat underwent rapid development with the onset of the 21st Century. It also brought about several new hotels, the Sidek Esplanade, a sports center, and a new road that linked it to the Pan-Borneo Highway.
The article takes you on a tour of Kudat and talks about the things that you should do when you are in the city.
Climate of Kudat, Malaysia
Kudat lies 13m above sea level and experiences a tropical climate. Tourists need to know that the temperatures in Kudat stay higher than average throughout the year with July being the warmest. January is the coolest and October is the wettest month.
Expect a lot of rain from May to December. If we look at the figures, the average annual temperature is 26.9 Degrees Celsius, and the rainfall ranges around 2270 mm for the same period.
What do people eat in Kudat, Malaysia?
With a lot of Chinese people inhabiting Kudat, its food has seen an inclination towards them too. Seafood in Kudat is fresh and cheap, and you would find several restaurants offering Malay-style or Chinese-style dishes at a very reasonable price. When in the city, do not forget to try Seafood Tomyam, Nasi Linopot, Kudat Hakka Yong Tau Foo, and several other traditional dishes.
How to get to Kudat?
There are multiple ways to reach Kudat. Here is how you can reach the city easily –
It takes 40 minutes from Kota Kinabalu and 50 minutes from Sanakan to reach Kudat Airport via a flight. There is only a single operator, MASWings, whose flights are operational in the city. Tourists get three flights per week on Twin Otter aircraft which stops on the way to Kudat before heading to its original destination.
You can rent a car or take a taxi to reach Kudat. If you are coming from KK Airport and rent a car, the drive time is 3 hours approximately, and there are multiple ways to reach your destination. You can also take a taxi, or you can get an AC VIP coach daily at 9 AM from the airport.
Things to do in Kudat
1. Take a trip to the tip of Borneo
Borneo’s northern-most tip is the meeting point of two oceans, the Sulu Sea and the South China Sea. The Tip of Borneo is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Sabah. It is also known as Tanjung Simpang Mengayau because it was once a watch-point for pirate invasions centuries ago.
The entry to the scenic marvel is free, and you would also get to see the open sea and the sandy beach. There is a warning signal which suggests the visitors avoid the tip, but people eventually ignore it to take some fantastic photos.
If you are a fan of sunsets, you would be glad to know that Kudat reserves one of the most beautiful sunset views globally and even the Sunset Music Fest occurs annually as a tribute to it. Overall, it’s a treat for all the nature lovers who look for serenity in the arms of Mother Nature.
2. Visit Tindakan Dazang Beach
Tindakan Dazang Beach is a difficult destination to reach, but once you reach there, it would be a treat. On the beach, you would find a Rungus Longhouse Chalet which you can book. If you are keen on swimming, you can take a dip too. On the far corner, you would find a Lion Head, which is made of rock and you would see algae covering it most of the year-round to give it a greenish feel.
3. Check out the Kelambu Beach
Another one in the list of hidden gems in Sabah is the Kelambu Beach. It is one of the most beautiful locations in the entire Kudat, and one thing that will strike you is its water; it is crystal clear. You will also find white sand covering the beach and several leisure-time activities such as speed boating, swimming, snorkelling, and water skiing.
4. Go to Kampung Gong Matunggong
A village that is famous for selling gongs! They are the most important musical instrument during festival and weddings. When in Kampung Gong Matunggong, you get gongs in different shapes and sizes. From tiny souvenirs to unique designs to the large ones up to 2 meters, you will find them all here.
5. Gambizau Honey Bee Farm
Gambizau Honey Bee Farm is located in Mutunggong, 43km south of Kudat. It is a bee farm which produces honey both for the locals as well as to sell off in bottles. Visitors here can experience raw honey with no artificial flavours and agents. Additionally, they can experience the process of its management. Alongside, you can experience rubber tapping and rubber rolling too.
6. Sidek Esplanade
It is located just outside the Kudat town centre. Locals in the city gather at night to celebrate their day to day hiatus. Opened in 2002, you would find a clock tower which marks the entrance into the esplanade area. There are several eating joints which open at night and serve traditional seafood dishes.
The Kudat’s proximity to the sea and its laid back approach is a particularly attractive feature for the booming tourism industry here. Visitors come here to experience the seafood and how a typical Sabahan culture operates on a day to day basis. Do not be in a hurry and spend a night at least in the city to experience what makes it so unique.