Sunday, December 8, 2013

Tip of Borneo, the edge of the sea?

Where does the sky end? What is at the edge of the sea? Might be, the edge of the sea is a strange and beautiful place. How about the tip of Borneo?

Where is the Tip of Borneo? The headland in the area of Tanjung Simpang Mengayau is the tip of Borneo.

The Tip of Borneo is also known as Tanjung Simpang Mengayau, which means the junction to the battle at the tip in Rungus language. (The Rungus is the sub-group of the Kadazan- Dusun, an ethnic group of Borneo, residing primarily in northern Sabah, in the area surrounding “Kudat”. 

Known to the colonial British as "The Parting of the Pirate Ways", Simpang Mengayau means lingering or loitering crossroads, as it is here that the South China Sea lingers and meets the Sulu Sea flowing from the east. A small road leads up to the headland, which is dominated by a huge flagpole.

Borneo Island is the 3rd largest island in the world after Greenland and New Guinea.  The northern most tip of the Borneo Island is the meeting point of two big oceans, South China Sea and Sulu Sea.

The Tip of Borneo is located in Kudat district, Sabah. Hundreds of years ago, it was used to be a watch-point for pirate invasion.

For decade the Kudat local Chinese calls the Tip of Borneo “viewing point” as “Den Foh Liew” (灯火楼) which means Light House in Hakka dialect for the sight of the lighthouse on Pulau Kalampunian Island. 

Situated to the east of the Tip which faces the Western Shore of Tanjung Simpang Mengayau, Pulau Kalampunian Island is approximately 15 degree to the east of this viewing point.

It’s always windy at the Tip of Borneo. It is also interesting to note that many Chinese trading ships and cargo were sunk here during the storm or captured by pirates during the Chinese dynasties period of Sung, Ming and Qin, when they were on their way to Sulawesi, the then Spice Island. 

Marine archaeologists estimated that there might be twenty more undiscovered wrecks in the sea. Occasionally some fishermen discover the ancient ship wrecks and sell the antique on the ships.
The fleet of Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer on its famous voyage to circumnavigate the globe, was said to have stopped here for 42 days to repair their ships. The Tip of Borneo was also the staging post of pirates and provisioning point for ships that needed water and fresh food.
A concrete cement mix “Bronze Globe” marks the location of Tanjung Simpang Mengayau 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.

Around the Tip of Borneo, there are some villagers selling seashells at the roadside outside their wooden houses. 

The Tip of Borneo is located in the Kudat Division, (4,623 square kilometers or 6.3% of Sabah's territory, is the smallest of the five divisions of Sabah.) it takes about three and a half hours (or 215 kilometers) drive from Kota Kinabalu.

 Photos : Northern Tip of Borneo, Globe marks the location of the Tip of Borneo, the lighthouse on Pulau Kalampunian Island, the meeting point of two oceans etc.

 Northern Tip of Borneo


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