Taun Gusi Homestay

Homestay Taun Gusi Kota Belud

Taun Gusi Homestay is one of the highly popular places to experience a traditional Bajau lifestyle in the main Kota Belud area of Sabah.

This beautiful and scenic village is located about 90 minutes drive from Kota Kinabalu and offers visitors stunning views of Mount Kinabalu from another angle.

Taun Gusi Homestay

Branded under the Sabah Rural Tourism project, Taun Gusi is actually the village area's name and is headed by Encik Ismail, who runs the homestay program here.

There are currently around 20+ individual village homes participating in this rural tourism program that allows visitors an experiential journey that is truly one-of-a-kind.

Homestay Standard ASEAN Tourism Awards
Receiving the prestigious ASEAN Homestay Award for 2023-2025

And if you did not know, Taun Gusi Homestay is also an award winner under the ASEAN Tourism Awards category of the 4th ASEAN Homestay Standard 2023-2025.

Located about 8 km north of Kota Belud, this village area is well-known as a paddy farming community of Kudat which is under the Bajau Samah people here.

Generally, if you are a city-slicker, this place is unsuitable for you because Taun Gusi is a very local tourism product where visitors get to stay among the local people in the village.

The experience includes learning and understanding the way of life of the Bajau people in Sabah, and this is truly one of the best rural tourism products to try.

Some visitors choose to just come here to escape the hustle and bustle of city life as things here are so much simpler and easier.

Sabah Rural Tourism
Taun Gusi's paddy field plains.

What to do at Taun Gusi Village Homestay? 

This is one of the main questions many people will ask, and I will share some unique experiences visitors can have while staying here. The homestay offers;

  • Visiting Kampung Sngkir Rice Paddy Fields
  • Bajau Parang Making
  • Bajau Horse Riding
  • Azizul River Cruise (Proboscis Monkey & Fireflies)
  • DRB River Cruise (Proboscis Monkey & Fireflies)
  • Kawa Kawa River Cruise (Proboscis Monkey & Fireflies)
  • Visit Saini Kraft at Kampung Pengkalan Abai
  • Visit Nanamum Beach
  • Visit Cabana Retreat Centre
  • Karanaan View Theme Park (Local theme park)
  • Embo Akil Water Park (Local water park)
  • Kampung Melangkap Ecotourism and Campsites
  • Tegudon Tourism Village
  • Lasau Podi Sightseeing Spot
  • Bukit Bongol Hiking
  • Mantanani Island Homestay
  • Taburan Beach Eco Tour
  • Aura Raudah Village Experience
  • Rampayan Laut Beach Visit
  • Runggou Hill Paradise View Point
  • Rang Bulan Beach Visit
  • Amirul Traditional Music Busking
  • Local Malay and Bajau Restaurant Experiences
  • Kota Belud Town Visit
  • Kota Belud Sunday Market Visit (Wed, Fri and Sun)

Taun Gusi Visitors
Visitors at the homestay have a local meal.

Therefore, if you stay there for just a few days, you can pick and choose what things you would like to do. Encik Ismail will happily recommend the best things to do at Taun Gusi.

Kota Belud Taun Gusi
A Bajau replica house in the village.

On a fun note, they actually shared an interesting post on their Facebook page as follows;

8 reasons why NOT to come to Taun Gusi Village Homestay

  1. There are no skyscrapers! Only one majestic Mt. Kinabalu on the horizon.
  2. There is no modern entertainment. Only birds singing and frog noises in the morning.
  3. There are no luxurious rooms. We only provide basic room facilities with no star rating.
  4. There are no malls, big supermarkets and modern shopping complexes. You can only find grocery shops, food stalls and local open-air markets here.
  5. Here, we do not have public parks. You can only see green surroundings and huge areas of beautiful paddy fields.
  6. We do not serve Western food. We only serve local village cooking, vegetables and local fruits.
  7. You can't find any zoo here. We can only take you to a nearby river for river cruises to see if there are any proboscis monkeys, fireflies and birds.
  8. There is no swimming pool. We only have rivers with crystal clear and refreshing water flowing down from Mt. Kinabalu.
Location Map Taun Gusi Homestay
Google Maps shows the location of the homestay and the distance from Kota Kinabalu.

Where is Taun Gusi Homestay?

This stunning homestay village is located about 90 minutes drive from Kota Kinabalu city, and once you reach Kota Belud, just follow Google Maps or Waze.

Please contact Encik Ismail to arrange transportation if you need a car. Alternatively, you can also charter a ride-hailing or taxi service to get there.

There is a bus or mini-van service from Kota Kinabalu to Kota Belud, but once you reach the town, you must take a taxi to Kampung Taun Gusi village.

Taun Gusi Rural Tourism
Signboard showing where the homestay is located.

How to Contact Taun Gusi Homestay?

As there are several Facebook pages, blogs and booking pages online, the best way is to contact Encik Ismails Taun Gusi Homestay's official page on Facebook.

However, it would be best to directly contact Encik Ismail at +6 019 8610 385 via WhatsApp or Phone Call.

Kota Belud Taun Gusi Homestay Village
The room photos at the village homestay.

And if you are looking for a more unique experience similar to this, I have written an article highlighting all of the Community Based Tourism in Sabah, which includes Rural Tourism places.

Again, this is a special genre of tourism that appeals to those wanting something different when they travel. Visiting another city is just as good as the last city you set foot on.

Community Based Tourism or Rural Tourism is gaining momentum as more people are inclined to explore various cultures and experiences when travelling.

Sabah Taun Gusi
The official homestay logo from the Ministry of Tourism.


Taun Gusi Homestay is available on most online booking platforms, and one can just head there to make the booking. Otherwise, those interested can contact Encik Ismail directly, as mentioned above.

And for the curious, you may want to know what Taun Gusi actually means. I asked Encik Ismail, and he explained that it was actually a Bajau term.

Taun is a large earthenware jar for storing water or rice, and Gusi is actually a forest. So, there is a story behind this; the best is for you to hear it from Encik Ismail in person.

Malaysia Asia

Blogging since 2007, but writing online since 1997. I belong to the 1st generation of worldwide bloggers, which is of course old-school. Since 2008, I created Malaysia Asia and this travel, flood, gadget and lifestyle blog has won numerous physical awards from tourism boards around Malaysia. (Not those online awards). After 12 years of blogging, I have semi-retired and now blog about things I like, do product reviews and enjoy life. My work has been featured in Lonely Planet, CNN Travel, Yahoo Travel, Wall Street Journal, and many other international publications. Find out more about me and thank you.

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