A true Hidden Gem of Sabah Borneo – Batu Luang Beach, Kuala Penyu

An unplanned trip is often the best one! Why would I say this? It happened to me last weekend. I was excited to go to a festival that I’ve never been before, which is Odou Bakanjar that was held in Kuala Penyu, Sabah. Kuala Penyu is in the interior division of Sabah Borneo, a 2-hour drive from Kota Kinabalu City. It is home to one of the indigenous tribe of Sabah Borneo – Dusun Tatana. Odou Bakanjar Festival is always celebrated on the 15th day of Chinese New Year. Everyone can see the culture of Dusun Tatana with its dance, traditional food, and games. 

Batu Luang Beach Kuala Penyu

Poster of Odou Bakanjar Festival 2018

As excited as a dog taken for a walk, I went there with two of my friends last Sunday. Upon arrival, I sensed something was wrong. There was no people! We got to know the festival ended a day before we got there. It was my mistake for not checking on the date of the festival before going to Kuala Penyu. What’s more, Kuala Penyu is a dead town during the weekend, so we didn’t have many things to do while being there.

So, not wanting to spoil our Sunday, we’ve decided to check out the legendary Batu Luang Beach, which was not far from the Tempurung Seaside Lodge and it only took us about 15-20 minutes to reach from the town itself ( Thank you Google Maps!).

I knew about the Batu Luang Beach back when I saw someone posted a photo of it on Instagram. It was so beautiful! I thought the photos are from a foreign destination, but it was actually in Kuala Penyu. Wow! Now, Batu Luang Beach is one of the popular spots for photography. Avid photographers will come here to take photos of the sunsets and Batu Luang rock. The Batu Luang rock surrounding is full of mossy green rocks during low tide. Here are some of the photos of Batu Luang Beach which was captured by some amazing photographers:

Batu Luang Beach Kuala Penyu

Amazing photo taken of the Luang Rock and the mossy green stones. Photo by Sazali

Batu Luang Beach Kuala Penyu

This photo resembles a movie scene in The Chronicles of Narnia:Prince Caspian. Photo by Adam Lai

Batu Luang Beach Kuala Penyu

Capturing sunset in Batu Luang Beach is the best! Photo by Asmar Abdul Hamid

Batu Luang Beach Kuala Penyu

Does this feels like you are in heaven? Photo by Nik Najmuddin Nik Ariff

Apart from that, Batu Luang is also an Instagram worthy destination in Sabah Borneo. There is actually a story about the Batu Luang, and the story goes like this:

A wedding celebration held at the bride’s home. After few days celebration, the couple and their families walked to the house of the groom on one fine morning. Once they arrived at Batu Luang Beach, there was a sudden wind, dark clouds, and even heavy rain. They ran to seek shelter in one of the many caves at the base of the huge rocks along the beach. When the storm was over, the group then moved out from the cave and the couple was the last one to exit. Unfortunately, before the bride could step out from the cave, it collapsed. The groom, who had stepped out moments earlier, grabbed her hand to pull her out. Much as he tried to pull her out, he failed and her hands slipped from his grip. Leaving behind her wedding ring which fell into his palm. Then, the bride was gone, sealed in the cave forever.

As tragic as story the story goes, this destination is a place that anyone should come to see the uniqueness of the area. Apart from that, Batu Luang Beach is like a secret hideaway for a unique photography spot.

Back to my story, we finally reached at the Batu Luang Beach. But, we would need to park the car uphill and walk for a few meters down to the beach area. Once we reach down, we can see there are two hills side by side as if like a giant gate welcoming us.

Batu Luang Beach Kuala Penyu

Two hills welcoming us like a gate arch

We were in awe to see the beautiful scenery in front of us. There were so many pebblestones at the beach and smaller caves at the base of the hill. Apart from that, we can also see many mossy green stones surrounded the Batu Luang rock. Thus, we took the chance to capture as many photos and selfies in the area.

Batu Luang Beach Kuala Penyu

Loving the pebble stones below our feet.

Batu Luang Beach Kuala Penyu
Batu Luang Beach Kuala Penyu
Batu Luang Beach Kuala Penyu
Batu Luang Beach Kuala Penyu
Batu Luang Beach Kuala Penyu

I found out that January until June is the best time to see the mossy green pebbles and rocks at Batu Luang Beach. As the monsoon season changes, the waves will wash away the sand and cover the rocks. There is not much we can do there except be mesmerized by the scenic view and take more photos.

Finally, it’s time to head back home. Though we did not get to see Odou Bakanjar festival, we manage to witness the legendary Batu Luang beach. It is one of the hidden gems in Sabah Borneo that any travelers should come here for Borneo Holidays!

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