Tg Simpang Mengayau a.k.a the Tip of Borneo is located 40 kilometres to the northwest of Kudat town. The journey will pass through mostly coconut plantations and remote villages such as Kg Sin San, Kg Tajau, Kg Pinangsoo, Kg Loro and Kg Tiga Papan before finally arriving at Tg Simpang Mengayau. Note that the road from Kudat is partially unpaved, and judging from the way things are, it will take some time before the current road resurfacing project to fully complete. Just get ready for some bumpy and unpleasant rides on the gravel road.
In general, Kudat is located some 3 hours to the north of Kota Kinabalu. It is best to rent a car from Kota Kinabalu for a self-drive tour to Kudat and its vicinity. Otherwise, the only option to get to various tourist attractions in Kudat is by chartered tours which are not exactly economical and does not offer travel flexibility.
Today, Tg Simpang Mengayau needs no further introduction. In the advent of this mass-communication era where travel discoveries can propagate like wild fire through the Internet and the print media, this very tip of Borneo Island has slowly done away its unknown state and is fast becoming a must-visit for visitors to Sabah. Not to mention, various tourist facilities have and will be built in the area to accommodate the anticipated influx of visitors to the unique attraction.
The name is rather mind boggling. Tanjung Simpang Mengayau literally means the 'wandering crossroad promontory' which should signify a few things, depending on which literature you read. First and foremost, this is the very point where the South China Sea meets the Sulu Sea. Somehow or rather, it suggests that the water from these two bodies of ocean wanders between each other at the tip. History also has it that Ferdinand Magellan, a famous seafarer, had stopped at the crossroad of these two oceans to repair his fleets. The local dialect name for this ocean promontory is Tanjung Sampang Magazo, which means 'a junction where a battle took place'. A tale from the Rungus tribe's folklore had it that the promontory was used as a lookout point to ward off the invading pirates, and naturally a few battles had taken place through the years.
The area is generally well-kept with proper maintenance and adequate facilities. Ample parking space is provided right at the entrance, as well as some shops selling snacks, gifts, etc. One will have to walk a little bit up to the first landmark, The Globe, which looks more of a glorification for the tip of Borneo, if nothing else. The actual tip is still a further walk down the pavement. Soon, from the top of the hill, you will be presented with a triangular rocky outcrop that protrudes some distance into the ocean. The very tip is generally out of bound, as pointed out by various warning signs along the way, due to the slippery rock surface. Nonetheless, there are some locals seen swimming at the very tip, perhaps as a way to tell that soaking up in the heavenly waters of South China Sea and Sulu Sea is a sanctified ritual that is not to be missed.
The view from the hill top is spectacular. To the south is the beautiful stretch of Pantai Kalampunian which boasts crystal-clear waters. To the north and northeast, views of Pulau Banggi and Pulau Balambangan, the former actually being the biggest island in Malaysia, can be enjoyed on clear days.
In short, Tg Simpang Mengayau holds a very important significance, historically and geographically to the people of Kudat and Malaysians as a whole. It is truly a beautiful place and should not be missed by those visiting Sabah.
Unique travel experience. Decent tourist facilities and superb natural landscape.