Kudat (Malay: Pekan Kudat) is the capital of the Kudat District in the Kudat Division of Sabah, Malaysia. Its population was estimated to be around 29,025 in 2010. It is located on Kudat Peninsula, about 190 kilometres (120 mi) north of Kota Kinabalu, the state capital, and is near the northernmost point of Borneo. It is the largest town in the heartland of the Rungus people which is a sub-ethnic group of the majority Kadazan-Dusun race and is therefore a major centre of Rungus culture. It is also notable for being one of the first parts of Sabah to be settled by Chinese Malaysians, particularly from the Hakka dialect group.
In the past, Kudat was known locally as “Tanjong Berungus” and sometimes also called “Tambarungan”. During the early arrival of Chinese traders at Tanjung Berungus, they were surprised to see a kind of grass growing everywhere. The desperation forced them to ask the locals comprising the Rungus tribes who are the native inhabitants of the place who later explained to them that the grass are called “Kutad” in their language. The place then became the centre of meeting between the local and Chinese traders to carry out trading activities. However, since the Chinese pronunciation was inaccurate, the term “Kudat” eventually emerging and became synonymously used among the people.