The Tip of Borneo

The Tip of Borneo is at the Northernmost​ part of Borneo mainland. We were lent a truck for a day so decided to have a drive up there and a look around. If you are driving it takes about 3 hours from Kota Kinabalu. If you don’t have a car it is also possible to get there by bus from Kudat, but you’d have to research this at the time (unfortunately I can’t find anywhere official to link to for this).

The Tip of Borneo Globe

At the Tip there is a mini tourist attraction in the shape of a big globe with a “You are here” sign – not terribly useful but a nice photo opp. The main attraction is the view from the Tip…sea as far as the eye can see. Feel free to ignore the sign/barrier which says “Do Not Cross” as all the locals and Chinese do.
Thanks for the info

The very tip!
Looking into the horizon and the tip

That’s about all there is at the actual Tip. However, drive around and you’ll come across a plethora of picturesque beaches.

Kalampunian Beach

The first beach, Kalampunian Beach, is just a few minutes drive from the Tip (you can see it from the car park there). This beach has a few shops and restaurants. The restaurant/bar at the end, called Tip Top is a great place for drinks and good quality food. It’s owned by an English gent from Stratford-upon-Avon called Howard. Howard is a good chap who is always keen to get you another beer (after all you are paying him for the pleasure). He runs volunteering projects in the area so is a good contact if you want to find something worthwhile to do. As well as the restaurant he also has a few longhouses for cheap accommodation.

And again

Drive a further on along the coast and you’ll see a small sign stating “The Secret Place”. Follow this sign along a small off-road section and you get to a clearing in the jungle with a large shack and a number of tents. The Secret Place is owned by Robbie who brought the land and moved his family there from KK. Robbie has set up a little restaurant/bar by the beach and you can hire a tent on the beach for 20RM per person per night and watch the  sunset. We really liked the idea of staying the night but there was a storm brewing the night we headed there so Robbie advised against it. However, the secret place is still a great place for a bite to eat, a drink and a relax in a hammock. Robbie and his family look after the beach so it’s clean and a good place to soak up the sun’s rays.

Easter weekend BBQ with Chef Pa in a “Jesus hat”
Louise enjoying the sunset
Rob or Timmy Mallet?
Great coconuts

A short drive from The Secret Place and you’ll get to Kelambu beach. As there are no tourist stops on this beach there is a lot of plastic litter (even though there is an expensive residential complex on one part) which is a real shame as this beach has a nice cove with fishing boats anchored up and there is a little island you can walk to when the tide is out. There are also a few hammocks and a swing. This would be a great place if you wanted your own beach BBQ.

Pulled up for a nap in the back of the truck
Fishing vessels

There is one final beach further along the coast – Loro Kecil Beach. The road to this beach isn’t tarmacked and the guy who lent us the truck asked us to not go off-road. However, the rebel inside me thought what the hell so we followed the dirt track. The track turned a little rough and a little steep but with some expert driving we forged on. Then the track turned a lot rough and a lot steep and with some lucky driving we forged on. Then the track turned into a full on off road championship course. It was at this point the coward in me kicked in and we did a 25 point turn on the narrow track and slowly headed back to live another day. I obviously regretted this decision 10 minutes later as the road less traveled often leads you to the best adventures. Oh well…something to keep in mind next time I’m being a wimp.

It’s definitely worth checking out the Tip of you are in the area and exploring the local beaches. We would recommend Tip Top as a place to stay/eat/drink (they had the cheapest beer) and do try out the camping at The Secret Place and let us know how it was 😁

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