Sabah allocates RM1 million to turn Gua Balambangan into tourist attraction

Sabah allocates RM1 million to turn Gua Balambangan into tourist attraction

KUDAT: Gua Balambangan, on Balambangan Island here, will be upgraded and turned into a tourist attraction in Sabah, especially for the Kudat district.

Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Jafry Ariffin (pix) said the ministry had allocated RM1 million to build basic infrastructure in the area, such as a bridge, to make it easier for visitors to reach the island and enter the limestone cave, which is about 200 metres from the beach.

“The cave is under the jurisdiction of the Kudat District Office, while the sea area is under the Sabah Parks, so we will work together to develop the area as a tourism product,” he told reporters in conjunction with his visit to the Tun Mustapha Park here today.

The distance between Kudat Marina Jetty to Gua Balambangan is about an hour by speed boat.

Meanwhile, a resident of Kampung Batu Sirih, which is on Pulau Balambangan, Shuib Salleh, 51, said Gua Balambangan is known as Gua Kok Simpul among the locals.

It is believed to be over 60 million years old, he said, adding that there are about 27 others caves in the area.

“The special thing about the caves is that the rocks inside are shiny when exposed to light, and they are home to bats,” he said, adding that of all the caves, Gua Kok Simpul is the most accessible. — Bernama