Tourism Malaysia

Bohey Dulang – A Piece of Heaven

The breathtaking wonders of the waters of Sabah in undeniable. And now, you can add Bohey Dulang to your bucket list!


The island is one of the eight islands within the Tun Sakaran Marine Park, and what stands out here is the 300m peak which offers the most amazing view!


Bohey Dulang is a mountainous island formed by the remnants of an ancient volcano, and is separated from Bodgaya, the biggest island, by a shallow channel. The crater forming Bohey Dulang itself is now flooded with seawater creating a majestic, beautiful 25m-deep lagoon, with a long stretch of coral reef along the southern rim of the crater.

To get there, one will have to make way to Semporna, and from there, take a 20-minute boat ride to the island.

Things to do:

Besides snorkeling and diving, other things to do here include:

The hike WILL be rather challenging but be prepared to be properly rewarded by a host of flora and fauna along the trail to the peak. Breathtaking views of the sparkling blue waters and lush greenery will definitely make it worth your while!

If you are a bird lover, the area is a paradise for birdwatchers where species including black-naped fruit doves, owls, hornbills, partridges and babblers roam the area freely.

Bajau Laut (Sea Gypsies) settlements
The area and its surroundings are also known for its population of Sea Gypsies, and visitors are always welcomed.

Giant Clam and Marine Invertebrate Hatchery

If you like, you could also visit the Tun Sakaran Marine Research Unit’s Giant Clam and Marine Invertebrate Hatchery, where rare giant clams are bred.





Tourism Malaysia

The Red Envelope

Chinese New Year, which will fall on 16 February 2018, is celebrated by the Chinese all over the world. It is also known as the Lunar New Year as it is based on the lunar calendar as opposed to the Gregorian calendar in Western countries. In Malaysia, the first two days of the Chinese New Year celebration are public holidays.

2018 is the year of man’s best friend, or the Year of the Dog, according to Chinese astrology. The celebration starts with the new moon on the first day of the Lunar New Year and ends on the full moon, 15 days later. The 15th day of Chinese New Year (or Chap Goh Mei) is observed with a lantern parade in Chinese communities.

The origin of this celebration dates back to early Chinese civilisation 5,000 years ago. The word Nian, which means “year” in Chinese, was originally the name of a ferocious beast that preyed on people on the eve of New Year. To scare Nian away, the people pasted red paper decorations on windows and doors, and set off firecrackers, as Nian was afraid of the colour red, the light of fire and loud noises. Therefore, at the beginning of every year, they repeat these rituals which have been passed down from generation to generation.

Legend also has it that the ancient Chinese asked a lion for help. The lion wounded Nian, but it returned a year later. This time, the lion couldn’t help as it was guarding the emperor’s gate. So, the people used bamboo and cloth to fashion an image of the lion. Two men crawled inside, pranced and roared, and frightened Nian away. This explains the Lion Dance, one of the most impressive sights during Chinese New Year.

The phrase Guo Nian, which may means, “survive the Nian”, is used to mean “Celebrate the (New) Year”. The word Guo in Chinese means “to pass”.  Today, red paper decorations and firecrackers still signify the cheerful Chinese New Year period.


The New Year season starts early in the twelfth month of the previous year and lasts until the middle of the first month of the New Year.

In Malaysia, Chinese New Year preparations begin a month before the actual celebration, when the Chinese shop for decorations, food, drinks, new clothing, groceries and titbits. Chinese New Year songs are heard in shopping complexes which attract customers with many seasonal sales and promotions. Chinatown at Petaling Street is an ideal place to experience the excitement of the pre-festive celebration.

It is customary to spring clean the house and symbolically sweep away any trace of bad luck to make way for good luck and fortune. Some families even renovate their houses or give them a new coat of paint. After that, the houses are decorated with paper scrolls bearing verse couplets inscribed with blessings and auspicious words like happiness, longevity, and wealth.

Long before the eve of Chinese New Year, people living far away from their families make their journey home. Traffic jams build up on highways while airports, bus terminals, and train stations are normally packed.

No matter how tiring the journey may be, family members are expected to gather around the table for their Chinese New Year eve reunion dinner, the most important meal of the year. After dinner, they spend the night playing cards, watch TV programmes dedicated to the celebration, or just have a good time catching up with each other.

On the first day of Chinese New Year, ritual homage is offered to ancestors and reverence paid to the gods. New clothes are worn and younger family members greet their elders saying Kong Xi Fatt Chai (Mandarin) or Kong Hei Fatt Choi (Cantonese), meaning “congratulations and prosperity”. The ang pow, a red envelope with cash, is given by married couples to children and unmarried adults.

The seventh day of Chinese New Year is known as “everybody’s birthday”. On this day, the Chinese eat yee sang, a combination of raw fish, pickled ginger, shredded vegetables, lime and various sauces. This meal is supposed to bring prosperity and good fortune to those who eat it.

On the eighth day, the Hokkien-speaking community pray to Tee Kong, the God of Heaven at midnight. On the ninth day, numerous offerings are set out in the forecourt or central courtyard of temples to celebrate the birthday of the Jade Emperor. The 15th day is Chap Goh Mei which marks the official end of Chinese New Year.

During the Chinese New Year period, many Chinese families often receive visitors at home. Relatives and friends, regardless of their race and religion call on one another, exchanging good wishes and gifts like tangerines (called Kam in Cantonese, meaning “Gold”) and other traditional New Year delicacies.

The Chinese New Year open house, like other major celebrations in the country, is also held on a national level to enable all Malaysians and tourists to enjoy the cultural event. The Malaysian open house concept bears testimony to the fact that tolerance and mutual respect prevail in this multi-racial country.
Through the customs and traditions of Chinese New Year, the spirit of peace, good health, happiness and prosperity is engendered and spread among people.

Tourism Malaysia

Heaven at the Edge of Borneo

Heaven at the Edge of Borneo

Robert Frost once wrote, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” He could very well have written about Tanjung Simpang Mengayau, a mere dot on the map of Kudat district in Malaysia. Relatively unknown due to its remote location, Tanjung Simpang Mengayau doesn’t get many visitors, and for now, this outpost on Borneo Island remains a paradise.

This promontory in an isolated part of Sabah is reachable after three hours’ drive northeast of Kota Kinabalu, the last part of which is over unpaved dirt roads snaking through a small traditional Borneo village. A proper road to these parts, in fact, was only built as recently as in the 1960s, prior to which access was made possible only by navigating a boat along the coast.

But those who don’t care for a little discomfort — though it must be said, the views along the way are spectacular — will be rewarded, at journey’s end, with a landscape so magnificent that you will believe in the existence of heaven on earth.

The crescent-shaped Kalampunian Beach here is carpeted in pure white sands on which gentle waves lap to the shore. This sweeping coastline, fringed by casuarinas trees and said to be one of the most inspiring vistas in Sabah, leads up to the rocky headland called Tanjung Simpang Mengayau, the northern-most tip of the Borneo Island.

Now, imagine standing on this cliff edge and looking out to where the South China and Sulu seas meet in a great clash of waves. Dark and wet sandstone boulders stretch out into the sea like beached humpback whales in a spray of ocean mist. The winds blow in forceful, frightening gusts, wafting a fine vapor of sand into the air. Visitors stand in awe with tousled up hair and billowing skirts. It feels like you are in a remote frontier, facing wild and unknown possibilities – it’s exhilarating. Perhaps this was what Ferdinand Magellan, fabled to have stopped here during his circumnavigation of the globe, felt those many years ago.

It hadn’t always been such a solitary place, though. The name, Tanjung Simpang Mengayau itself is derived from the Rungus words “sampang mangazo” referring to the great battles once fought here in the 18th and 19th centuries by the locals. According to legend, the coast was a favourite landing point for looting pirates, and Rungus warriors bravely fought them off in bloody battles to protect their land. Tanjung Simpang Mengayau then became the perfect lookout point for incoming pirate attacks.

Though it is uncertain how long the Rungus have been occupying the area, they are considered to be the most traditional tribe in Sabah due to their isolation from the bigger towns for so many years. While many have adapted to modern living rather well, the older generations still clutch to their unique culture and traditions. Many of the female elders continue to wear traditional brass coils on their arms and drape colourful beads around their necks. Their basketry, weaving and beading works are said to be legendary, and while modern ways have overtaken their more traditional lifestyle, it is still possible to visit a Rungus village and experience a night’s stay in their longhouse at Kampung Bavanggazo.

Besides the homestay in the Rungus longhouse, there are only a handful of places that can accommodate tourists in Tanjung Simpang Mengayau and Kudat, reflecting the district’s relatively new exposure to tourism (See “Accommodations” below for more options). However, there are still a number of cultural experiences here that warrants a tourist to put up at least a night in the area, such as seeing gong artisans at work in Kampung Sumangkap and the small apiculture industry at Kampung Gombizau. The people of Gombizau, familiar with the local botanical properties, have also commercialized a type of cure-all called ubat seribu or potion of a thousand uses made of wild plants, roots and herbs. Reputed to alleviate various health problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes, it is a worthy souvenir to bring home.

Each year, Kudat also plays host to several interesting events such as the Gong Fest in Matunggong village in October and the Coconut Fest in July (coconut being an important crop in the district). There is also a special outdoor orchestra performance at Tanjung Simpang Mengayau each year that attracts crowds to the area – one that begins at the hour the sun sets on the horizon, promising a glorious musical event to remember (see “Events” below).

Even without all these touristic events, it’s easy to fall in love with Kudat, and especially Tanjung Simpang Mengayau. No wonder the Rungus people were especially defensive of their beloved land and put up a real good fight those centuries ago!


Sunset Music Fest at the Tip of Borneo, Kudat
Late June/Early July (please check with Sabah Tourism Board, contact below)

Organised by Sabah Tourism board and Sri Pelancongan Sabah, this yearly event serenades audiences with classical favourites and contemporary tunes as the sun sets on the horizon at the northern-most tip of Borneo, in Kudat. Enjoy the beautiful sounds of a full orchestra against a backdrop of one of Borneo’s most breath-taking sceneries.

Coconut Fest
29 June to 1 July

The coconut, an ever-popular fruit of the tropics, is celebrated in a special festival at Tomborungus in the northern district of Kudat. Coconut is grown extensively here covering an area of more than 5,741 hectares or about 14,000 acres planted.

The festival highlights the coconut industry and recognition of its significant contribution to the social and economic welfare of the rural folks in Kudat. Its launching date coincides with World Coconut Day and a host of exciting activities are lined up for visitors including the highly entertaining coconut shoe race, squeezing coconut milk competition, food and drink exhibition, handicraft displays, coconut fashion show and a wildlife exhibition for the entire duration of the festival.
Pesta Gong Matunggong
24 – 25 October

The gong is one of the quintessential musical instruments of Sabah and is produced by craft makers at Sumangkap village in Matunggong. See how they are made and played to produced the unique sounds of ethnic Sabah music.


It takes approximately three to four hours’ travel by land to get to Kudat from Kota Kinabalu.

In Kudat town

The Kudat Golf Marina Resort offers 88 rooms ranging from standard to deluxe suites. Published room rates start at RM220 nett all the way up to RM450 nett inclusive of breakfast. Facilities available at the resort are an 18-hole golf course, semi-olympic size swimming pool, fitness centre, sauna, tennis court and children’s playground.

Tel: +6088 611 211, +6088 212 366
Email: /

At Tanjung Simpang Mengayau

There are a number of budget accommodations at Kalampunian Beach located along the road that takes you to the Tip of Borneo. Though not high-end resorts or hotels, these no-frills accommodations provide comfortable and clean amenities at affordable prices. Best of all, they have great views of the beach and sunset.

Tampat Do Aman is a low-impact “jungle camp” located at the fringe of the Sabah state forest reserve and just 10 to 20 minutes’ walk to the Kalampunian Beach. Tampat Do Aman provides guests with two types of sleeping arrangements, either in traditional Rungus longhouses (complete with mosquito netting) or in semi-permanent tents (tents on raised wooden platforms with thatched roofs). Rates are RM30 per person per night in the longhouse or the tents. Do note that Tampat Do Aman has common toilet and bathroom facilities and no hot showers.

The jungle camp also has a beach-front restaurant, Tip Top Restaurant and Bar, which serves western and Asian dishes; and an activities centre that rents out recreational equipment such as snorkelling gear, bicycles and arranges for jungle trekking trips. Future plans here include building more chalets, a dive centre, a wildlife sanctuary and a Rungus cultural centre.

Tel: 013 880 8395
Facebook: Tampat Do Aman

BorneoTip Beach Lodge is located right across the road from the beach where guests can enjoy nice beach and sunset views. It has 12 beach-facing rooms fitted with comfortable beds, warm showers and air conditioners. Guests can choose from rooms that sleep two, three, four or five, priced at RM150, RM180, RM200 and RM240 respectively. All prices are net and include breakfast. The lodge also has a restaurant and a mini lounge.

Facebook: BorneoTip Beach Lodge Kudat
Tel: 016 8170163

Tip of Borneo Resort is also known simply as Tommy’s Place. Guests just need to cross the road to get to the beach on the other side. It has eight rooms priced at RM130 for a room that fits two and RM160 for a room that fits three. Price is inclusive of taxes and breakfast. Tommy’s has a restaurant that serves a selection of local and western dishes.

Tel: +6088-641 488 / +6088-641 499 / +6088-493468
Facebook: Tip of Borneo Resort


For more information on Tanjung Simpang Mengayau and events in Sabah, contact:

Ms. Susan Shahira
Event Manager, Sabah Tourism
Tel: +6088 232 121
Fax: +6088 265 540
Facebook: SabahMalaysianBorneo

Enjoy this article?

Consider subscribing to our rss feed!

Tourism Malaysia

Chinese New Year Trivia


Gong Xi Fa Cai, as many mistakenly believe is, not Happy New Year. It means I Wish You Prosperity.


Dumplings are synonymous with prosperity. It is believed that the more you consume the delicacy, the wealthier you would become.


Sweet food items are usually served in a tray consisting of 8 portions.  Apart from symbolizing unity and togetherness and unity, the number 8 is traditionally considered a lucky number.


Noodles signify long life. You’re supposed to be consuming them in the length they come. If you cut them to make swallowing manageable, you run the risk of shortening your life.


One should really be quiet and not say anything while making the nian gao, customarily offered to the Kitchen God before his return to Heaven to present his report on each household to the Jade Emperor. A slip of the tongue is not going to put you in the good books of the God.


What are the differences between five-clawed, four-clawed and three-clawed dragons in ancient China? Not all dragons are created equal in ancient China, though the winged creature was an emblem for the Emperor and royals. During  the Zhou Dynasty, the five-clawed dragon signified the Son of Heaven (Emperor), the four-clawed were the nobles and three-clawed were represented the ministers.


We mentioned that Westerners portrayed the dragon as an evil beast.  Not all Westerners think of dragons as malevolent though.The Scandinavians, for instance, thought highly of dragons. They worshipped and revered the creature which inspired the design of their famed war boats. Of  course these vessels bore the names of venerated dragons.