Journey Begins at the Tip of Borneo -Tanjung Simpang Mengayau, Kudat,Sabah, Malaysia
Kudat Travel Blog› entry 2 of 7 › view all entries
Prior to my arrival at Kota Kinabalu, I had browsed over the web to see the many tourist attractions of Sabah and prepare my itinerary. Tanjung Simpang Mengayau immediately caught my attention so I decided to include it in my must-see places and scheduled it to be visited on my first day in Borneo. I've read through the articles and learned that Simpang Mengayau is the northernmost tip of the island of Borneo located at the Kudat Peninsula of Sabah, Malaysia.
In the olden days, Simpang Mengayau was a well-known berthing area of trade ships during rough sea weather. It was also a spot frequented by sea pirates as the name in Bajau implied: simpang(meeting place) mengayau(attacking/hijacking).
This scenic headland is located more than 200 kilometers away from kota Kinabalu, about 3.5 hours drive. There are various options (depending on one's budget) on how to get to the Tip of Borneo. One can take the bus to the town of Kudat and from there take a taxi(pick-up trucks for hire) and drive for another 30 minutes to Simpang Mengayau.
After cost and convenience analysis, I opted for the self-drive car I rented and shared with 2 students from Singapore that I've met at the backpackers lodge. The three of us shared the payment of 180 ringgit for the car rental and 80 ringgit for gas. And fortunately, the guy and the girl I was with knew how to drive so we all took turns at the steering wheel. The road going to Kudat was in poor condition. It wasn't so bad either but I was dismayed because I expected Malaysia to have much better roads compared to rest of the Southeast Asian nations.
We reached Simpang Mengayau after driving for 2.45 hours. I wasn't disappointed at all to have this place included in my itinerary. As you enter Simpang Mengayau, you will be greeted by the wide beaches of Pantai Kalampunian on the left side of the road . The white sand beaches are pristine, unspoilt, and the crystal blue water is perfect for swimming and snorkeling. We went up towards the pointed headland and before going down to the rocky outcrop that forms the tip, I climbed up to the hillside on the left to get a good view of Pantai Kalampunian. The view of the beach from the hill was beathtaking! From there I walked down towards the flagpole and bronze globe marker. I nearly jumped off my feet when a monitor lizard crossed my path. The dark gray lizard was as huge as a cat.
I had my grand moment standing at the tip of Borneo. The view of the headland that extends to the horizon where the Sulu and China Seas meet is scenic and stunning. The ocean before me was strangely silent and calm. I was expecting high and roaring waves at the meeting point of these two seas. There was serenity and peace all around. It was a perfect moment.... and a perfect day!
We started our trip back to Kota Kinabalu at past noon. We were already hungry but I opted not to buy lunch at the restaurants along the way.
It was almost past three pm when we finished our Gombizau tour. We still had 3 hours on the road and we had to rush back to the city to attack the first McDonalds in sight to devour fries, burger, and soda and be in time at the hostel to join the other guests(mostly Singaporeans) watch the Olympic semifinal match of Malaysia's badminton topseed Chong Wei Lee versus Korea. Of course we cheered for our fellow Southeast Asian nation. Malaysia won to advance to the gold medal quest. Our loud cheering for Malaysia rocked the whole of Gaya Street and our shouts could be heard as far as Mt. Kinabalu. It was a fun-filled moment to end the day!