We had looked forward to this drive, finally being able to some nice view along the coast. This will also the most challenging one when it comes to petrol management, as the next petrol station is in Pita, 4,5 hours away with a humpy road quality. And in Sabah you must pay before you fill up with petrol, so it can be a bit challenging to ensure your gas tank is full.
The first hour run very smooth, but a bit boring as we have driven here quite many times already. After the right turned into the Pita road, we are the only car for hours. Road condition is extremely good (remember we had very low expectations), could be due to all Palm oil plantation, because when we are closer to Pitas there is no more Palm oil plantation, only Jungle and huge pot holes in the road. When there is a warning about bad road condition you should take it seriously. 600 meter takes more than 10 minutes to pass. We are never worried that the car will not make it, we are still more or less the only car, so we can use all the road space for navigating around the pot holes, more worrying is if the petrol will last. The last two hours we have had no internet coverage on the phone (no updated gps map), our printed map is too old and the road we are on hardly exist so when we ends up in a junction we had to go by our guts feeling for the correct choice. No problem, we made it to the petrol station with at least a few decilitre petrol left.
After a short brake at a very breezy seafood restaurant we could start driving on the costal road. The rest of the way to Kudat was easy, and we had no problem finding Ria hotel in the middle of this small coastal town. After a nice breakfast at the coffee shop next to our hotel, we went exploring all the beaches in the area. Starting with the one close to town, Bak Bak Beach, quite nice, but empty, and I have no idea how to actually get into the water to swim.
Continue up to the tip of Borneo for more pristine and empty beaches, and at the tip itself look into the Sulu Sea at the right and the South Chinese Sea to the left. Combine this with a nice breeze and it couldn’t be better. Well maybe some more clear sea so we could go snorkelling, but you can’t get it all. At least we could swim here, and for the following days we tried several of the beaches around the tip, always being alone. Our favourite was the Kelambu Beach wit its two bays.
Kudat is a very small town, but it has an esplanade that is nice to visit for some sea food. Even if we have visited better restaurants, no doubt that the food were fresh, as the were fishing outside, while the owner controlled it all from his hammock. Also the small coffee shops are nice to visit for some snack.