We had a very long trip yesterday. A journey that took us across the western and northern part of Sabah~! Where to? Kota Belud and Kudat!
Our group, – Jazul, Syed, Hamy, Dzul and me – began our expedition at 8am. Our first destination was Pekan Kota Belud (KB), which is a quite small and compact township, and if my mind serves me right, it’s a town of Bajau people. The reason we went there was to visit Tamu Kota Belud, the famous Sabahan outdoor market. Tamu comes from the word ‘pertemuan’ [got it from TV1] because it is where people gather together to sell and buy stuff [cows for example, not now though…]. Tamus nowadays [at least on what I’d seen from Tamu KB] sell lots of things, from toys, clothes, accessories, food and drinks, groceries, handicraft, and many other goods. During our trip there, there was a Tadau Kaamatan [Harvest Festival] celebration for Kota Belud District level. It’s not really Kaamatan yet now, but I think they did it to choose KB’s Unduk Ngadau for the state level celebration of Tadau Kaamatan.
After a few rounds there, we continued our journey towards our next destination, Kudat Division, the smallest [in both area and population] and most northern division in Sabah, the homeland of Rungus people. We used the old road, not the new one, so the condition of the road was not that good. The drive was smooth, except for some rough patches and really bumpy/winding road here and there. The panorama in the early part was really beautiful – a lot of paddy fields, and Mount Kinabalu, but the journey was quite long, around two hours, and there was no petrol station! So, WARNING: FILL YOUR TANK IN KB [OR STOP IN KOTA MARUDU FOR A WHILE] IF YOU’RE PLANNING TO GO TO KUDAT VIA THE OLD ROAD. Our main destination in Kudat was Tanjung Simpang Mengayau [In Rungus language, it’s known as Sampang Mangazou], the northern tip of the Island of Borneo! According the local folklore, this was the site of a tribal war, and Ferdinand Magellan [while navigating the earth with his fleet] was reputed to have stayed here for a while. Simpang Mengayau was a really enchanting place, though by being there in noon made it hot. Anyway, the scenery overlooking the meeting point of South China Sea and Sulu Sea was breathtaking. The beach was really white and unspoilt. I’ll take it as a fact that not so many people go there to swim since the place is about 15KM from the federal road.
From the road-trip, I could see that Sabah’s backcountry is still very much forested and underpopulated. Not so many people live in the countryside. Even the trip was quite long, and that was by using the road. Now, I pretty much respect those teachers that want/have to teach in the interior.
HAPPY TEACHER’S DAY, GUYS!