Interior Division, Malaysia · 2 hotels available
Kuala Penyu is located in one of the districts in the Inlands of Sabah, Malaysia. Kuala Penyu is made up of people from the ethnic Dusun. Dusun people are from the Dusun Tatana subgroup. They currently form the largest single ethnic group in the area.
Kuala Penyu has a river that source from the highlands in the district of Tenom. It is called Sungai Sitompok. The beginning of river Sungai Sitompok is said to originate from the fork of Sungai Padas and continues to the district of Beaufort and finally to Kuala Penyu.
Origin of the name Kuala Penyu is from Sungai Sitompok which is at the estuary of the river. There, there is a stone formation that looks like a turtle. It was then called ‘batu penyu’. Then the villagers decided to name the area as Kuala Penyu. Batu Penyu can be seen when the tide is low. On the other hand, in the early 60’s the area was popularly known as ‘sitompok’ due to many formations of stone in the river.
In 1975, Kuala Penyu was declared as a full district and it was established as a focal point for administrative and also business centre.
The people in Sabah speak Bahasa Melayu as their main form of communication however they would have a dialect of their own which makes the language a little bit different. Moreover for smaller towns like Kuala Penyu with their own ethnicity, they might have a more different dialect to the whole language.
One can take a local flight such as AirAsia or Malaysia Airlines and Firefly and fly to Kota Kinabalu. From there, there will be plenty of taxis waiting outside the airport to get the visitors to Pitas. It might be costly as the journey will take almost 2 hours’ drive.
One may take the Beaufort Highway if they were to drive from Kota Kinabalu towards Kuala Penyu. Instead of taking the exit to Beaufort, visitors just need to drive further until the exit to Kuala Penyu is seen. It is 101.7 kilometers far with the driving time of 1 hour and 50 minutes.
Visitors may take a bus at City Park Terminal bus station in Kota Kinabalu to go to Kuala Penyu. There is a bus as early as 6.45 am. One of the buses that makes a route there is Borneo Express. The bus will make its way to Menumbok however those who wish to disembark at Kuala Penyu may advise the driver to stop there. Then visitors may hire a van/taxi to go to Kuala Penyu Jetty which will cost around RM 3. The bus fare is RM18 per way.
This park covers 158 square kilometres. It however covers mostly ocean hence 3 islands are included in the park. They are Tiga, Kalampunian Besar and Kalampunian Damit. These islands are a national treasure due to it being formed by the eruption of mud volcanos back in 1987. These 3 islands have different demographic where Tiga Island is covered in dense vegetation but there are still active volcano activities there. Kalampunian Besar Island has sugar-white sands and clear waters and is famous as a snorkeling and scuba diving spot. Kalampunian Damit Island is also called as Snake Island. It is the famous mating location for highly poisonous sea snakes.
Normally held in August, this is a festival held by the locals to celebrate the ‘Sago’ tree which are widely planted in the district. It is also aimed to promote the many use of sago. Visitors would come to Kuala Penyu during this festival to try the local delicacies made using sago. The famous dish is ‘ambuyat’. Visitors also would like to try consuming the sago worms while they are still wriggling and alive like the locals would.