Kuala Penyu is probably one of the most underrated places in all of Sabah. This coastal town is mostly known as the gateway to Survivor Island (Pulau Tiga), but has a few gems of it’s own that really deserves some attention.
Located only 125km (2 hours give or take) away from Kota Kinabalu, it really is perfect for a day trip or even just a weekend away.
Like most of my adventures, we went on a day when we were both post call (finished a night shift). After picking up some much needed caffeine, we were on our way to our first stop – Tempurung Beach.
Arriving shortly after 12, we were literally the only ones at the beach (this seems to be a recurring trend, which I do not understand). We’re talking miles of unspoilt beach, and crystal clear waters minus the crowd – What’s not to love?
Though we didn’t stay the night at the Borneo Tempurung Seaside Lodge this time, I’d recommend it, purely for the beach access. It’s basic and not luxurious, but with this beach – you aren’t going to be indoors much anyway.
After a long swim, we decided to go hunt down the famous Batu Luang/Batu Punggul,(Luang Rock). I first came across the rock while on my search for lesser known (I don’t share well evidently!) beaches all around Sabah, when I stumbled upon Sazali Suzin’s gorgeous photo of this rock standing tall before an azure sky, surrounded by mossy green pebbles. This particular rock was also famous amongst locals, for being the rock that ate the bride.
According to local legend, a newly wed couple on their way home, were passing by Batu Luang when a storm hit. They took shelter in the cave (now Batu Luang) waiting for the storm to pass. Once the skies were clear and it was time to leave, the bride was the last person to exit, when the cave suddenly collapsed, leaving her trapped within the cave forever. Locals claim that if you walk the beach at night, you can still here her crying for her beloved.
So, after driving for about 20 minutes, we parked our car by the side of the road, and made our way down another stretch of beach leading to the rock.
Despite being there during the right time of the year, we did not get to see the mossy pebbles as the tide was still a little high. However, we kept busy just walking along the stoney beach, checking out the little caves along the way and enjoyed watching the sunset before making our way back home for some much needed sleep.