The Kudat peninsula, and Kudat town, is located about 190 kilometers northeast of Kota Kinabalu. The name of the area comes from the local word for a kind of scrub grass ("kudad"), which was the answer given when British sailors asked the locals for the name of the place.
There are a few options available for traveling into the area. If you're coming from KK airport, renting a car and self-driving from KK is a good option for travel. Be advised that there are few self-driving options available for rent once reaching Kudat town.
There is currently an air-conditioned VIP coach that leaves KK for Kudat daily at 9 am from the bus depot across from Dreamtel, and returns from Kudat at 2 pm. There is also a non-air conditioned bus that leaves KK at 8 am and from Kudat at 1:30 pm. Each bus takes around 4 hours to reach its destination. Both of these options make it difficult to see Kudat on a day trip from KK, so unless you are self-driving or on a tour, plan on staying the night.
There is only one car rental service for self-drive in Kudat town (Melinsung Car Rental, +60 13-898 0997), but you must book your car at least two days in advance, as they tend to be in high demand. Call for rates and to have a car delivered. Otherwise, you can travel around the area by taxi or with a tour agent. Vans and independent taxis are stationed near the bus depot in Kampung Air. Vans can take between 7-8 passengers at RM20.00 - RM25.00 per pax return, while independent taxis take up to 4 passengers and charge RM150.00 - RM240.00 for a return trip to Simpang Mengayau (Tip of Borneo).
At Simpang Mengayau, cars and motorcycles are available for rent from Howard at Tampat Do Aman guesthouse.
There are many things to see and explore in the area, though they are all quite spread out from each other. This makes it easiest to self-drive in this area, but tours or daily rate taxis can also be arranged. If self-driving, take your time and stop at the many deserted beaches along the way.
Gombizau Honey Bee Farm, Matunggong, Kudat (Take a bus from KK (near Merdeka Field) or taxi from Kudat town), ☎ 013 548 1885. to 5 pm. See traditional bee farming techniques and get a taste of rainforest honey, then take some home for a reasonable price. Rubber tapping is also done on site, as is the harvesting of traditional medicinal herbs, which can also be bought as a medicine.5RM adults, 3RM children. edit
Kampung Sumangkap Gong Factory, Matunggong, Kudat (Take a tour, or a bus from near Merdeka field in KK, or a taxi from Kudat), ☎ 019 5359943. 8:30 -5:30. This single village produces gongs, an important Rungus instrument, for the district and beyond. The Sultan of Brunei buys his gongs from here! Watch gong makers at work, try your hand at making or playing one yourself, and take home a handmade gong as a souvenir.5RM adults, 3 RM children. edit
Kampung Bavanggazo (Rungus Longhouse), Kg. Bavanggazo (located about 2 1/2km off the main road, take a taxi, tour, or self-drive), ☎ +60 88 614088. Traditionally, the Rungus people live in longhouses built on stilts, but the shift to modern living has meant that the sight of such longhouses is getting more rare. The longhouse at Kg. Bavanggazo has been constructed entirely of traditional materials but with added modern comforts like toilets and showers. Here, you can get a taste of real Rungus living through their food, daily rituals and music on a day trip or overnight stay. The later will need prior arrangements.3RM Malaysian, 5RM non-Malaysian. edit
Tanjung Simpang Mengayau (Tip of Borneo), (about 23 km from Kudat town (40 minutes)). Means "lingering junction" in Malay, as it's the meeting point of the Sulu and South China seas. This is the northernmost point of the third largest island in the world. Come for the beautiful sunset, stay for the wide sandy beach of Pantai Kalampunian the next day.edit
Located 43 kilometres from Kudat town and about 90 kilometres or two hours from KK City, you can reach it by bus, chartered vehicle or through a local tour operator.
Kudat Golf Club, Kudat town, ☎ +60 88-212 366, . In existence since the early 1900s, this 18-hole, 6080-meter golf course is situated in the heart of Kudat town. Water hazards and buildings pose an interesting challenge. Has a driving range opposite the Marina Resort.green fees: 100RM weekdays, 150RM weekends & holidays. edit
Snorkeling. Most beaches in Kudat are decent snorkeling spots, with easy water access around rocks that play host to a variety of fish, nudibranches, and other species.edit
Tamu Kudat, Kudat town. Tuesdays & Wednesdays, 6am-2pm. The local tamu is a good opportunity to interact with locals and experience daily life. The tamu in Kudat is known for its locally grown vegetables, dried fish, tropical fruits and edible seaweed. Locally-made Rungus handicrafts are also available.edit