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Kudat

You wouldn't know it from the sunburnt buildings, fishing boats on the bay and slow tropical pace, but Kudat used to be an important trading post and the capital of Borneo back in the late 19th century. Some of the streets have Chinese names, harking back to the British colonial administration's request to the Chinese to come and run its coconut plantations. Many of their descendants are still here today, along with a warm cast of Bajau, Rungus and Filipino.

Kudat town's impressive Chinese temple by the main square is worth a look, as is Tamu Kudat (market) with its tropical fruits, dried fish and edible seaweed. For travelers without their own wheels, Kudat is just the jumping-off point for visiting the Tip of Borneo, but once the ferry service to the Philippines commences, it's likely to become more popular.

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These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Kudat.

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