Tip of Borneo

Dive Map Tip of Borneo Kudat Sabah

Tip of Borneo Kudat Sabah

Description :
Dive the Northern most tip of Malaysia, the Tip of Borneo, – Known locally at Simpang Mangayau (meaning “Lingering junction”) as it is here that the South China Sea meets the Sulu Seas flowing from the east. It used to be a local’s secret, until small scale developments started, making it accessible to the public.

Diving here is very new which only started in 2015, but could well be Sabah’s next top diving destination. Pristine reefs teeming with marine life, coupled with superb visibility, it is only a matter of time this gem gets crowded. According to historians, there are many Chinese trading vessels that were sunk during the era of China’s Sung, Ming, and Ching dynasties when they were on their way to Sulawesi. Probably it’s only about time when divers would start discovering some cool wrecks with historical artifacts.

Above the surface, you will get long stretches of white powder sandy beaches, and quite possibly one of the best sunsets in Malaysia. Lodging is peppered along the coastline, which ranges from no-frills mattress and fan accommodation all the way to a luxurious private bungalow with a personal chef and private beach.

Although diving at the Tip of Borneo is still in its nascent stage, we are pretty confident that it’s a place not to be missed. Pristine corals, a plethora of marine life, quiet coastline, friendly locals… what more could you ask for? 🙂

Where is it :
Kudat, Sabah
Number of dive sites :
Over 10 sites (diving in the Tip of Borneo is relatively new, therefore the undiscovered potential for more dive sites is there!)
Type of Diving :
Guided – boat, deep, drift, night
Skill Level :
Beginner to advanced
Main Diving Attraction :
Rich schooling tropical fishes and macro life (nudibranchs, stonefish, lionfish, flower-crabs, mantis shrimps) with a variety of stunning hard and soft corals marinescapes (including the rare black corals!)

* Insider-info: Some local divers have marked several notes cleaning stations where manta rays have been spotted. Whale sharks are also known to pass by however the precise season is still unknown.

Average Water Temperature :
29°C (84.2°F) to 31°C (87.8°F) **Note that water temperatures could go as low as 25°C (77°F) during earlier parts of March
Seasonality :
March till October (ideal times to go between April to July which is typically the driest months).
Strictly no diving from November to February due to windy conditions, it will be surfing season then.
Typical Visibility :
5m (16ft) to 25m (82ft)
General Current Conditions :
Mild to moderate
Family / Non-Diver Friendly :
Availability of Other Leisure Activities :
Snorkelling, jungle trekking, fishing, stand up paddleboarding, surfing (during November to February)
Availability of ATM / Foreign Exchange Bureau :
Yes, located in Kudat town (~40 mins drive)
Availability of Medical Facility :
Yes, located in Kudat town (~40 mins drive)
Here are some of our favorite dive sites 🙂
Turtle Point :
Considered by most as Layang Layang’s signature dive, you first drop onto a gentle slope teeming with marine life making your way down to 12m where you’ll join the main wall that is packed with dense-like formation of gorgonian sea fans that lines the wall. Schooling fishes both large and small are abundant here, and it’s just too many to name here. When the current is running, vast quantities of marine life pull in here and the visibility here can go up to 50m! Don’t get too focused on the seascape or you may miss the presence of the scalloped hammerhead sharks which congregates in the hundreds during its mating season, which is truly a breathtaking sight which may well be a once in a lifetime experience!
Snapper Wall :
• Maximum depth: 50m
• Currents: Mild to moderate
Dive along a gentle slope around with large formations of hard corals where it plays home to turtles, groupers, sweetlips, surgeonfish, fusiliers and triggerfish. Within the many overhangs and crevices, you may find nudibranchs, flatworms and a variety of crustaceans.  Don’t overlook the sandy patches for you may find garden eel and ribbon eels. As with the beauty of Layang Layang, look into the blue to potentially catch sight of pelagics such as manta rays, and hundreds of hammerheads when the season is right.
House Reef :
Start your dive on the edge of a drop off at around 3m, and drift down a sand ledge where leopard sharks rest. At 25m down, you make your way to a small cave where you can observe the many species of sharks here. Move slowly and gently, and be mindful not to entrap the sharks, they will stay there posing for photographs. Once out of the cave, you are likely to be greeted by the usual pelagics cruising by in the blue like the wonderful giant trevally, gliding manta ray, shimmering sliver of schooling jacks, and the hammerheads! This site is surely one that you will be pushing your “no deco” limit, so plan properly, and keep an eye on your dive computer.
Nearest Jetty :
Address :
Jalan Tanjung Simpang Mengayau, 89050, Kudat, Sabah, Malaysia
* Dive centres are located on/within walking distance from the beach
Nearest Airport :
Kudat Airport (IATA: KUD)
Estimated Travel Time from Kudat Airport :
35 mins (by car)
Estimated Travel Time from Kota Kinabalu :
3 hours (by car)

Price reference based on 4D3N diving packages

  • The Tip of Borneo, Kudat, Sabah

    Blue Fin Surf & Dive

    Packages from RM1,320

    Located right at the heart of the Tip of Borneo, Kudat, Blue Fin is a no-frills establishment to cater to your diving and surfing needs. Daily trips and overnight packages are available.

  • If you are looking to travel to the Tip of Borneo, you are inevitably looking for a weather forecast. So here’s a forecast for the next 7 days. Although weather forecasts are not always accurate with ever-changing weather patterns, it does provide a good guess on what’s to come. Every little bit helps! 😀

    KUDAT Tip of Borneo


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