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The unique passage to Sunset Music Fest

Published on: Thursday, June 19, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: Invoking the dramatic headland of Tanjung Simpang Mengayau as a stunning venue to host the annual Tip of Borneo Sunset Music Fest is probably just half the attraction of destination Kudat.

The fact is the three-hour journey to this northern-most apex of Borneo provides probably one of the best vantage points to see Sabah's proudest natural landmark - Mt Kinabalu.

Not many Sabahans know that Kinabalu is ranked one of the 20 Most Prominent Mountains in the world, especially viewed from near sea level of the Kota Belud area, which is a must-passage to Kudat.

The 20th Most Prominent Mountain in the world ranking is a scientific data from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission international research effort that obtained digital elevation model as a near global scale coverage.

We first heard the claim that Mt Kinabalu is the 20th Most Prominent Mountain in the world from Mt Kinabalu enthusiast, Dr Ravi Mandalam, Head of the Radiology Section at the Sabah Medical Centre.

A Google check confirmed that's true, with Mt Everest ranked first, and in 19th place - Nancha Barwa of China.

So, let pride of Sabah sink in as part of the inspiration along the passage to the Tip of Borneo Sunset Music Fest this weekend (June 20-21), as we look at Mt Kinabalu with a new perspective.

The other very unique part on the passage to Kudat is passing what some people label Sabah's 'Corn Country'.

Two-thirds of the way, just as people feel a bit drive-weary or plain hungry, there is a great reason to stop and enjoy eating something very native - from a slew of traditional Rungus roadside stalls roasting freshly harvested indigenous species of glutinous corn.

There is nothing that beats the fragrance and taste of fire-wood roasted glutinous corn and it's considered an exotic experience to eat it, even from the perspective of hot-blooded Sabahans, because no other roadside stalls anywhere else in Sabah offer this corn.

A potential problem could be a perceptive switch to the foreign sweet corn variety which could lead to loss of the opportunity to get a real taste of an indigenous corn species and therefore losing a unique taste of Sabah - a food for thought for the tourism authorities - how to encourage all things local.

In other words, two-thirds of the worthwhile experience to the Tip of Borneo Sunset Music Fest could be picked up along the way, climaxing of course in the stunning environment at the Cape of Tanjung Simpang Mengayau, and count the musical performance itself as a bonus!

So, the bonus is performance from pop and classical musicians like Philpops of the Philippines, the magic voice Malaysian lyrical soprano great - Syafinaz Selamat, and a lineup of local bands and singers, like Rhythm of Borneo, Fingerstyle, Christopher Aban, Joe Balanjiu Jr, Rosario Ninih, Gee Mojina, Gedion Hilarius, Den Bisa, Francis Landong and Rey Kimara.

Tickets for the Sunset Music Fest are priced at RM50 per show or RM80 for booking other shows.

Contact either Jusliah Ghani or Jaudah Yamsir at Tel 088-232121, Sri Pelancongan Sabah Sdn Bhd during office hours or 013-8604003 (Sitti) or 013-8155008 (Fran) or 019-8812236 (Susan) or 013-8559646 (Alleviana).

For those who want day trips only, return transportation is available on both days (June 20-21) at RM10 only.

Bus leaves the Sabah Tourism Board Office, Gaya Street, at 2pm sharp but reservation is required.