Kota Belud is located in a town in the state of Sabah, Malaysia. The location is in between the state capital, Kota Kinabalu and also the town of Kudat which is near to the northern tip of Sabah. It is roughly 70 kilometres from Kota Kinabalu which is around an hour drive. Kota Belud is considered as an unofficial capital of Sabah to the Bajau people. It also has around 168 villages. Furthermore, due to its strategic location, it becomes the layover for those who wish to continue their journey to Kota Marudu, Pitas, Matunggong, Banggi dan Kudat.
The name Kota Belud came about from the language ‘Bajau’. In this language ‘kota’ means the fortress while ‘belud’ means hill. Therefore, Kota Belud would give the meaning “Fortress on the Hill.” The people there on the other hand, uses the language Bahasa Bajau as their daily spoken language. It is very similar to Bahasa Melayu only it has certain words that are different. Sabah has many ethnicities therefore the language itself can be further divided according to the specific ethnic. This is also how they differentiate the origin of a person.
There are flights to Kota Kinabalu provided by Malaysia Airlines as well as Air Asia. From the airport, guests may hail up a taxi to Kota Belud.
People driving from Kota Kinabalu may drive through the Sapi-Nangoh Expressway exiting at Kota Belud. The route will be heading to the north of Sabah.
From Kota Kinabalu, there are buses that heads towards Kudat and will stop at Kota Belud. The buses can be found at Padang Merdekan. The buses depart at 7.30 am and 12 pm only. Therefore, it is best to plan your journey beforehand. The fee is RM10 per way.
Tamu means Market. It is held every week for the locals to sell off their fresh produce. Some of them are fresh green vegetables and also delicious local cakes. However, in October, Kota Belud will host Tamu Besar. This is the biggest event where all vendors will come with all their best produce and will try to sell them to the mass. There will also be events such as traditional games besides the main business at the market.
It is a beach far from the busy city. It is a great place where people can relax, enjoy a good book and be at peace with the nature. There is also a snorkeling activity here where people may participate. Kayaking is also one of the activities offered here.
Kampung Kuala Abai is a fishing village in Kota Belud. It is the best place if you would like to get to know the locals better. The visitors can also enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving here or even try out fishing. Instead of the common city life, visitors get to see the village life where the kids will play the traditional games outside their house.
This is a place where those who come may get close to nature. One may hike up along the designated trail and learn more about the different types of vegetables and fruits planted by the local people in the forest. Visitors are welcomed to snap a picture or two for memorabilia. It might help them in the future if they go hiking and they needed a plant for medicine.
This hotel is located nearby many public facilities. Moreover, it is affordable but still offers a great comfort to those who stays here. It is also suitable for those who wish to have a dive or a snorkeling session.