Travel

Tanjung Simpang Mengayau – The Tip of Borneo

Imagine standing on a cliff, watching the waves below you crash against the rocks as the blue-green sea stretches on for miles. A white sandy beach and swaying green coconut palms in the distance add colour to the amazing sight before you.
 

Welcome to the Tip of Borneo, Tanjung Simpang Mengayau. Located at the northern extremity of Borneo, about 170 km from Kota Kinabalu, this is the meeting point of the Sulu and South China Seas. It was recently launched as Sabah’s latest attraction; an event that drew some 3,000 people to the Tip of Borneo. The event was officiated by Sabah’s Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Musa Aman, who unveiled a spectacular spherical landmark. This bronze ‘globe’ marks the location of Tanjung Simpang Mengayau on the globe at latitude 7 degrees north and longitude 116 degrees east. A map featuring the island of Borneo is embossed in bronze and laid on a flat surface at an angle with inscriptions to mark the Tip of Borneo.

It was recently launched as Sabah’s latest attraction; an event that drew some 3,000 people to the Tip of Borneo. The event was officiated by Sabah’s Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Musa Aman, who unveiled a spectacular spherical landmark. This bronze ‘globe’ marks the location of Tanjung Simpang Mengayau on the globe at latitude 7 degrees north and longitude 116 degrees east. A map featuring the island of Borneo is embossed in bronze and laid on a flat surface at an angle with inscriptions to mark the Tip of Borneo.

Tanjung Simpang Mengayau is derived from the original Rungus name ‘Tanjung Sampang Mangazo’. Literally, Tanjung means ‘tip’ and ‘Sampang Mangazo’ means a junction where a battle took place. According to Rungus folklore, this was the site of a fierce battle fought by their forefathers, defending Rungus territory against invaders.

Local folklore claims that pirates often frequented this area, attacking and looting innocent villagers who lived nearby. The villagers decided to join forces and defend themselves. Hence, Tanjung Simpang Mengayau became an ideal spot to observe the arrival of pirates and foreign ships. The brave warriors stood guard here and kept unwanted visitors at bay.

History also claims that the fleet of the famous explorer Ferdinand Magellan, on its voyage to circumnavigate the globe, stopped here for forty-two days to repair their ships. In the distance, you can see a lighthouse. Locals believe that spirits ‘move in’ to this lighthouse when their ‘homes’ in surrounding areas (either on the mainland or nearby islands) are disturbed by human activity. Today, the lighthouse serves as a guiding beacon to passing ships.

Today, Tanjung Simpang Mengayau has retained much of its natural beauty and is equipped with amenities such as parking lots, sheds, restrooms and a canteen to make your visit more convenient and comfortable. This year on May 13, the Tip of Borneo will be the spectacular venue for the annual Kota Kinabalu Symphony Orchestra’s (KKSO) Sunset Symphony. Guests will be serenaded with contemporary and classical favourites amidst a dramatic sunset and a full moon; a musical experience like no other! So as you plan your ‘mustsee’ list while in Sabah, make sure the Tip of Borneo is right at the top.

 

This article has been edited for ExpatGomalaysia.com
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