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“Paradise”

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Tampat Do Aman Jungle Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 12 November 2013

My best friend and I visited Tampat Do Aman in September. After four weeks of living in very basic conditions and trekking we booked to come here as a relaxing and peaceful end to our adventure. We expected a paradise and were definitely not disappointed. From the word go everyone was so welcoming and friendly, especially Howard who goes out of his way 24/7 to make sure you're enjoying yourself. All the local girls who work in the 'Tip Top' were also always smiling and fantastic cooks! We were able to have a little lesson on how to cook their dishes and so have come away with lots of recipes that so far have been delicious.

During the day we would easily spend hours lying on the gorgeous beach looking out over the crystal clear sea. In the evenings we would walk up the beach to the tip of Borneo and watch the sunsets. We had been in Borneo for 4 weeks already and had seen some of the most spectacular sunsets, however these had to be the most breathtaking. There were so many activities to do in the day if you were looking for something a bit more active. For example there are bikes, motorbikes and a very old (but characterful) car that you can rent out to visit the other beaches along the coast. We took out the "malaysian ferrari," as it's called (but don't get your hopes up), for a day and found ourselves on the most beautiful of coves with a beach all to ourselves. This is also a way to visit the other local villages or go into town if in need of some money or internet - Kudat is only a short drive away.

The actual accommodation is basic but wonderful. All rooms are the same price so you can choose between a private hut or a room in the long house. These are small, but then again you don't need much space as every waking moment is spent outside exploring the surroundings. It's a very sociable environment and only a 20-30 minute walk from the beach. Howard ferries people back and forth from the rooms to the beach in his jeep, however at night I recommend walking as you can often spot the odd animal up in the trees and not once did we feel unsafe whilst walking through the villages.

All in all I would definitely not pass up an opportunity to return. The only negative would be the sand flies that are on the beach, but I guess what can you do!? Tampat is such a unique place with the most amazing atmosphere and community; I could easily spend many more weeks in their care!

Room Tip: The rooms in the long hut are a lot more sociable. However if you're looking for a quieter night...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank KPearson67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 29 October 2013

Tampat Do Aman is truly a unique place. Not because of its accommodation per se, but because of its character, thanks mainly to Howard, the British expat who set it up 2 years ago. Howard is a sort of local celebrity, he speaks the local Rungus dialect and seems to be on a one-man mission to develop the villages around the Tip of Borneo and improve the quality of life of their inhabitants. He has stacks of charity projects either already operation or in the works, and you get a sense that business and making money comes a definite second to promoting these other endeavors. Half the people staying in the jungle camp at Tampat Do Aman seem to be volunteers, who are given free accommodation in exchange for their services. TDA runs a turtle hatchery, a wildlife education centre for locals, a Rungus cultural museum, and a cafe employing local chefs and waitresses, as well as promotes local handicrafts and local initiatives such as guided trips in the mangroves and fishing trips with Rungus fishermen. You also get free beer for picking up rubbish on the beach! Howard also works with the village school and is currently renovating it, and also has plans to open luxury villas on the beach as well as a dive shop.

Your stay at Tampat Do Aman means lots of relaxation on unspoilt beaches not yet over developed by tourism, with their jungle largely still in tact (Palm oil has almost reached the tip of borneo, like everywhere else on the island, but you still get a sense that the villagers are holding out, most of the forest around Tampat Do Aman is still largely untamed). The camp itself is located 30 mins walk from the beach, and you have to rely on Howard to drop you off there in the mornings and back again in the evenings. Or you can walk it, which is also pleasant. The accommodation is very basic, and is only suitable for those who dont mind roughing it. The toilets and showers are open to the elements and there are lots of mosquitoes around. At night you are surrounded by the sounds of the jungle. There is no hot water (not that you miss it, as it is very humid and sticky!). If you enjoy camping style holidays then this is the place for you! The camp itself is beautiful, there are lots of flowers and pretty jungle plants as well as birds and butterflies.

Are there any downsides?
Nothing which should really put you off coming. We didnt sleep very well in the jungle camp, as there is a troupe of geese, ducks, chickens and roosters which apparently live there and make a lot of noise early in the morning (the roosters start crowing before the sun comes up- around 430am) and the place where they go for water was right next to our little hut. Also the mosquitoes were ferocious, and every nip to the toilet left you with several new bites. There are mosquito nets in the huts however, so sleeping is not a problem.
Another issue is that many of the activities are quite expensive. You basically have to eat all your meals at Howard's reasonably priced beachside cafe, whose food is excellent, however it does add up and we did not feel we had enough money on a backpacker budget to indulge in the many activities which were available. Even hiring a snorkel is 30RM, and the cost of hiring a bicycle for the day was more than the cost of a nights accommodation (50RM)! All of the half day trips were well out of our budget, but unfortunately we felt that the basic activities were also overpriced.

We still had a wonderful time however wandering along the endless deserted beaches and swimming in the clear green ocean, it really is the most paradise-like spot we visited in Borneo. The locals are very friendly, they smile a lot and say hi and you dont get the sense that they are looking at you and seeing dollar signs like in most other places in Borneo. I really recommend Tampat Do Aman, it is definitely worth the trip out to Kudat for, and was without a doubt one of the highlights of our trip to Malaysia. Go there!!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Kirsten B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 October 2013

We stayed over three nights and we simply loved it up there,
Howard is a one jack of many trades kind of guy with loads of idea's and plans. The way they build everything from scratch is simply inspiring.
Staying over at Tampat do Aman is no ordinary beach resort/B&B/hotel. The accomodation in the jungle camp is comfortable, very original and most likely not very much anything like you experienced before. The beach restaurant has a great vibe, very nice food, a clean beach and is only a few clicks away from the jungle camp. Howard will bring you there, or take a bike, rent one of his scooters or if in service take his green ferrari.. ( no backpackers burning up your clutch now Howard ? )
For any activity you're up for Howard can give a hand realising it. Just make your way up there and you will not regret you did. That's a promise !

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Peter M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2013

Best! Place! Ever! Howard, the owner, is just an amazing person, and he will do anything to make you feel at home and welcome! And the longhouse and restaurant are located in just the most beautiful place. You will definetly miss something if you don't go there! Just do it, you won't be disapointed! You will enjoy such beautiful nature, a wonderful honghouse, the best owner in the whole world and the best place to meet new people! Me and my friends just loved it!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Matilda P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2013

This place is definately worth a trip if you want to relax and enjoy the wonderful beaches of Kudat. With Tampat do Aman Howard and his wife have set up a really unique accomodation and restaurant. The basic facilities are quite clean and give you the wonderful feeling of staying in the middle of nature and jungle. The main beach is very clean, the restaurant serves good food and plays some nice music. This is place to wind down for a couple of days and enjoy the tropical sunsets.
Howard and his wife have a thousands projects going on in order to strengthen the local community and create some jobs for the locals in tourism. A good place to spend your Ringits :-)

The only downside is (and it is only a small one ;-) that Howard due to his many projects (e.g. setting up a turtle hatchery) is very busy - nevertheless he still runs the shuttle service from Longhouse to restaurant himself.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled solo
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Thank 399Tamara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 October 2013

Howard came to pick me up at my house in Kudat. He does a daily shuttle to pick up new guests, and luckily he didn't have anyone else to get so he came straight to me. I hadn’t been in the car 5 minutes before we discovered that we had both gone to Oxford Brookes and immediately trading favourite Oxford pubs. He told me all about the lodge, mostly about the new education centre they are working on for both guests and local residents. There is also a museum on site dedicated to the Rungus people, a tribe local to this part of Sabah. Unfortunately because I only stayed for one night I didn’t get to visit these places, but I definitely plan to next time.

The longhouse itself is absolutely incredible. There are about 10 rooms, each of which sleeps up to two people. They come equipped with mosquito net(s), bedding, a fan, and in my case, a cat at the end of your bed in the morning. To be honest it gave me quite a fright when I woke up and realized there was a creature at the end of my bed. Luckily it was nothing more sinister. There are also 4-5 small huts that run along side the longhouse if you want a little more privacy. The entire area sits in a large garden, so it’s quite beautiful to just stroll around. The showers are indeed open to the sky and on one side, but the wall does go up about 4 ½ feet, so you are not completely exposed. They also use ecofriendly toilets that run on biodegradable sawdust.

The longhouse is about a 5 minute drive from the beach, so Howard does shuttles 4-5 times a day which is a great opportunity to get acquainted with the other guests. It also gives you a chance to watch for wildlife.

I had a really nice dinner of spring rolls and vegetable fried rice while I watched the sun set and chatted with a new volunteer who will (hopefully) be working on a sea turtle project on the beach. The breakfast shuttle leaves at 8:30am to go back to the restaurant on the beach After a lovely plate of fresh fruit and toast with coconut jam (to die for) I walked almost to the Tip, which is a bit further from the restaurant than you might think. However the beach is lovely so it’s no bother.

My total out-of-pocket cost including the shuttle (15 ringgit per trip) was 105MYR, or about 35 CDN. A small price to pay, I think, for such a unique experience. So if you ever find yourself in Sabah, be sure to make the journey to Howard’s place. You won’t be sorry!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank hurricane34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 October 2013 via mobile

Great effort Howard on a fantastic place! So much so that I feel compelled to do my first ever review on tripadvisor.
The place doesn't need any description, it speaks for itself. Go there and enjoy. I certainly did and I look forward to visiting again in the future.
Alex (London)

Stayed: October 2013, travelled solo
Thank Alex1690000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tampat Do Aman Jungle Camp

Address: Marang Parang | Tip of Borneo, Kudat, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > Kudat
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Speciality Lodging in Kudat
Price Range: £8 - £15 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome friends. At the Tip of Borneo lies an Eco resort and jungle camp called Tampat Do Aman. In the local Rungus language this means "a place of friends".We are located by the only road that leads to this phenomenally beautiful coastline that stretches from the Tip of Borneo 10km to the south, incorporating eight of the best beaches Sabah has to offer. The area really is a jewel in the crown of Sabah. In Tampat Do Aman Tip of Borneo you will find : A Jungle camp (Traditional Rungus long House), A beach front restaurant and Bar (“Tip Top”) and an activities center. If you are a nature lover like us then there is lots to do here in Tip of Borneo. Our activities center offers bicycles and snorkeling gear for rent. There are different trekking and night tours happening and you can even take a course in Jungle Survival. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Tampat Do Aman Jungle Camp Kudat, Sabah

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