Do like the locals do, and get an early start on the day with a centrally located meeting point in Kota Kinabalu by coach, then begin the 3-hour drive to Kota Belud. This scenic region is home to the Bajau horsemen, who continue to use bright, traditional costumes—for both horse and rider. You’ll continue through a region of oil palm plantations, then pass through Gombizou and Sumangkap villages.
At the Tamu Kota Belud, you’ll find traders selling handcrafted foods and produce from area farms, and spot some of the varied costumes from the region. In the village of Kudat, meet members of the Rungus tribe and learn about the traditional rhythms of daily life: women use back-strap looms to weave their cotton clothing, and locals support themselves by farming bees and making gongs.
In Bavanggazo village, visit a old fashioned longhouse to see a personal side of life in the village, which offers a unique blend of shared and private space. At the end of the day, begin the return trip to Kota Kinabalu.