The Tip of BorneoLiving in the city you sometimes forget about the rest of what this beautiful place holds. Rainforests, the highest mountain in Borneo, Mt. Kinabalu, rivers, tropical islands, and white powder beaches with warm crystal clear waters.
I live in the suburbs surrounding the city of Kota Kinabalu, which isn't really that far maybe about a 5mins drive from the city centre. Not far at all but it's still the suburbs anyway. It's a growing city and we often take if for granted when everything becomes so urbanised, modern and new. It hasn't always been that way and if you were to look back maybe 40+ years ago the place where I live was still part of the jungle with swampy soils and full of tropical trees. It's now the busiest urban area with new apartment buildings and houses coming up and main roads getting wider all the time but I'm lucky in a way because just opposite from where I live is a golf course and a small nature park so I still have a bit of "protected" greenery and a reminder of what it might have been not so long ago.
This side of the island where I live is more developed than the rest and it if you were to take a one and half hour drive out of the city radius you would probably find yourself near some paddy fields, near the mountainous region or definitely near a "kampung" or village. It's still amazes me when we take a long drive out .... meaning at least a good two and half to three hour drive out and find ourselves in unfamiliar territory. I have to admit that I'm a creature of comfort and quite settled with my computer, wifi, satellite tv and most importantly air conditioning. I don't think I could last that long trekking through the jungle or taking a climb up Mt. Kinabalu. The leeches just scare me to bits so all such activity is totally out of the question. I'm really quite content with looking at Mt. Kinabalu from a good distance when people ask me when am I going to climb it and I'll let my husband take the honour in climbing it instead, which he has done in the past and is suppose to do again later this year.
Recently we had a chance to do a bit of travelling and get away from our daily routines and we decided to take the boys up to the Tip of Borneo. It is the most northernmost part of Sabah and if you look at the map kind of looks like a dog's head so I guess you could say that's the dog's ear that we went to visit! We had been there many times before and our last visit was about seven years ago when our first son was just one and our daughter was about seven years old. It was a different place then with not too many signs pointing the way and a detour or two trying to find the right dirt road to turn into. An untouched spot at the time with only the locals living close by and the kampung kids playing at the beach.
The area is now starting to show some development now but not too much so that it still retains the natural beauty of the beach and surrounding areas. There's a monument at the tip and a sealed road leading up to the point. A few tourist spots are slowly opening up nearby but the kampung is there and it still has a local feel to the place.
The beauty of the tip only reachable by climbing down the cliffs and walking along weathered rocks that have been shaped by the lapping waters of high tide and the strong sea winds that comes with the seasons. I've walked down the cliff before but this time I had my two year old to handle and so my husband took our eldest son down to rock beds to the furthermost tip and looked at the many rock pools along the way and watched the sun reflect off the sea waters. This place still has it's charm and beauty and I'm happy to still be able to see it eventhough in a few years this place might be very different in years to come.
The Tip of Borneo, northernmost part of Sabah, is located at a place called Tanjung Simpang Mengayau.
View Tip of Borneo in a larger map