Sandakan Things to Do

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Most Recent Things to Do in Sandakan

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    Visiting the water village

    by Daihappydai Written Sep 28, 2012

    A couple of kilometres east of central Sandakan is Sim Sim Water Village. Sim Sim is one of the largest water villages in Asia - home to more than 25,000 people. Access into the village is easy with several solid concrete pathways. The villagers are very proud of their homes - many are brightly painted and have beautiful gardens of potted plants - and are happy for tourists to have a look. Some of the houses were considerably larger than what I expected. They have fresh water and electricity but the plumbing....
    Well worth a look!

    Sim Sim Water Village, Sandakan Gardens in Sim Sim Water Village, Sandakan Sim Sim Water Village, Sandakan Flowers at Sim Sim Water Village, Sandakan Sim Sim Water Village, Sandakan
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    Puu Jih Shih Temple

    by Daihappydai Written Sep 28, 2012

    The Puu Jih Shih Temple is located on a steep hill affording excellent views across to Sandakan Bay. It is located about 4 km out of the town centre (10 - 15 RM by taxi).
    The impressive temple has well kept gardens. Entry is free (there is a donation box). A long line of statues borders the entrance road. Inside are several large buddhas.
    The temple grounds are a cool place for reflection and catching a breeze on a hot afternoon.

    Manicured gardens of Puu Jih Shih Temple Entrance gates to Puu Jih Shih Temple, Sandakan Inside Puu Jih Shih Temple, Sandakan Inside Puu Jih Shih Temple, Sandakan View of Sandakan bay from Puu Jih Shih Temple
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    Pasar Umum Sandakan - Sandakan Central Market

    by Daihappydai Written Sep 28, 2012

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    If you are in Sandakan and have an hour to spare, you can do worse than visit the central market. It houses stalls of all kinds - downstairs is fresh produce: meat, fish, chicken, fruit and vegetables, upstairs is an eclectic range of goods from bags to sarongs, kitchenware to dried foods.
    The market is very clean, although the fish section can get a little smelly towards the end of the day.
    Prices for traditional motif sarongs are good and some bargaining is possible.

    Central Market Sandakan Central Market Sandakan Central Market Sandakan Central Market Sandakan
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    Have a (superfluous) leg wax in Sandarkan!

    by CatherineReichardt Updated May 5, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Of all the weird things I have done in the course of my travels, having a superfluous leg wax in Sandarkan surely ranks right up there among the strangest!

    I should explain the context. I was returning from four happy years in Western Australia to move in with my then-fiance (now husband) in South Africa. I was flying the cheapest route with Malaysian Airlines, and ever ready to exploit the opportunities presented by a stopover, I stashed my baggage in the left luggage facility at KL airport and hopped onto a flight to Kota Kinabalu to embark on my swansong as a backpacker.

    At the end of a wonderful couple of weeks in Sabah, I was somewhat unkempt, and began to worry about how this would affect my fiance's first impression of me after several months apart. I got it into my head that what I needed was a legwax and set off to find a beautician to Do The Deed.

    Of course, Asians tend to be much less hairy, so finding a service provider to help me proved to be a bit of a mission. I trudged the backstreets of Sandarkan in the stifling heat and humidity and was beginning to despair when I spotted a logo that I recognised. Judging by the bewildered expression on the beautician's face, I was the first person to ask for a leg wax in living memory, and they set about trying to find the necessary materials. When they finally managed to locate the wax container, they opened the tin to find that the heat had rendered it entirely molten, and we had to rig up a fan to get the blasted stuff to set hard enough to extract the hair!

    The supreme irony - which I only later discovered - is that the whole exercise was entirely superfluous as my German husband isn't in the slightest concerned by hairy legs, and would have been equally delighted to see me had I pitched up in my original hirsute form!

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    Turtles exploited by tourists

    by hart007 Written Mar 20, 2012

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    The Turtle island Park at Selingan and other islands protects a lot of turtles. It is most definitely not the best place to see turtles because of all the tourists. The island trip is expensive and has crowds of visitors clamouring to see the nesting turtle. Photography is extra and video not allowed. The snorkelling is poor and the island has very little going for it.
    We had been on Pom Pom Island, off Semporna a few days before and there were as many turtles but without the crowds of people. It was also excellent snorkelling with upwards of 10 turtles seen on each snorkel trip. My recommendation is leave Selingan to the package tourists. Go and volunteer with TRACC on Pom Pom and actually enjoy the turtle nesting experience.

    Turtles can't escape the crowds to nest in peace Green Turtle underwater on Pom Pom
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    3PM Orangutan Feeding

    by easterntrekker Written Jul 31, 2011

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    After lunch we headed back to Sepilok. By now its raining harder and we wondered if the the feeding area would be open. No worries!! The feeeding continued , on time and with fweer visitors. We were delighted when we arrived to see a mother and her baby . The tiny baby was about 9 months old. I wondered if they are ever dropped as the mom's swing high above in the trees as they cling on. We also see a small oprpan . At 6 year old she's smaller than normla as she was near death when she was resued . She seemed now however and full of energy.. We also see a couple of large Orangutans , who eat their fill and quicly disappear into the jungle.. We stayed until closing time and then with our camera chips full we say goodby to this magical place..

    I hope the next generation does better at saving these important creatures from extinction and take the steps needed to preserve this amazing planet.

    Mom and Baby
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    • Jungle and Rain Forest
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    • Safari

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    Discovery Center

    by easterntrekker Written Jul 31, 2011

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    Only a 20 minute walk from the from the Sepilok Orangutan Rehab center, but we had our driver drop us here on our return from the Memorial Site.
    This is a huge area with walkways through the rainforest. It would be paradise for botonists and bird watchers. The trees along the way are labeled and there are numerous tablets with full descriptions of many of the plants.
    Overhead is a series of canopied walkways. Its fascinating to look down at the trees from above. It gives a whole different view of plant and animal life here.. There are many rare birds here and a couple of towers are availble to catch a better view.
    At one end of the area is a botanical garden with a huge plant collection. Some favorites for me were the orchids and a huge fig trees. Oh and I loved the huge alocasia , the biggest I've ever seen. You could spend a couple of hours in this section alone!!

    Huge Alocasia
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    Sandakan Death March Memorial

    by easterntrekker Written May 17, 2011

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    We arranged to have a taxi pick us up at the entrance of Sepilok Orang-Utan Center and take us the Memorial Site for a cost of 80RM including the wait.

    The site was empty and so quiet when we visited. Its not a part of travel that I enjoy but I feel the need to come to pay my respect for the lives lost and to learn what I can form a not too distant history.

    There are plaques explaining the horrors that once unfolded here. Where we stood by a green shaded hillside there was once a POW Camp of World War 11 British and Australian soldiers. This is the site of one of the most tragic tales of World War ,the Sandakan Death Marches. We climb the hill to a small museum and look at the pictures and read the account of the POW’s fate who were held here by the Japanese , in inhumane conditions.

    The Sandakan Death Marches were a series of forced marches from Sandakan to Ranau which resulted in the deaths of more than 3,600 Indonesian civilians and 2,400 Allied POW’s held captive by the Japan Empire during World War 11. By the end of the war, of all the prisoners who had been incarcerated at Sandakan and Ranau, only six Australians survived, all of whom had escaped. It is widely considered to be the single worst atrocity suffered by Australian servicemen during the Second World War.

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    • National/State Park
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    The Deadly Waglers Pit Viper

    by easterntrekker Written May 16, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Along the way ,as the rain pored down ,we spotted a Waglers Pit Viper .The snake was well camouflaged and we were lucky to see it at all. It was wrapped around a branch ,eye level to us.
    It is reported to be extremely venomous. Their venom is a strong hemotoxin, and is fatal to humans. It is an anti-social snake most often alone.

    Even though it was close enough to touch we gave it the respect it deserved and kept our distance.

    Related to:
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    • Eco-Tourism
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    Sepilok Orang-Utan Rehabilitation Centre

    by easterntrekker Written May 16, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Sepilok Orang-Utan Rehabilitation centre houses injured or orphaned Orang-Utans, caring for them and nursing them back to health before they can be released into the forest. Many are orphaned babies that cannot survive in the forest alone.

    The center is literally next door to our hotel so after breakfast we walked over and watched the video, even though we had seen it already in the Nature Reserve in Kota Kinabalu.
    Once the reserve opened we took the short hike along a raised wooden walkway to the feeding platform.
    The playful and entertaining Long Tail Macaw Monkeys greeted us at the feeding platform. There were at least 80 of them swinging about and I must say they put on quite an opening act. We were careful to hold on tour belongings however as these little guys are notorious thieves!!

    I had heard Sepilok is often quite crowded but there were only about 20 of us on the large platform. There is an advantage to the rain after all.

    Finally the “stars” showed up, but only two .I was hoping for more but I understand, with wild animals you never know. The Orang-Utan is one of the most endangered of Malaysian wildlife species. Found only in Borneo and Sumatra, the Orang-Utans’ survival is constantly threatened by forest fires, felling of trees, poaching and illegal hunting. The Orangutans are fascinating to watch with their all too human expressions and crazy red hair!! They are skillful acrobats and maneuver around the ropes, trees, and vines effortlessly. We watched until they climbed higher and higher and were eventually swallowed by the jungle.

    The ticket to Sepilok is 70RM including a 10Rm camera fee. The ticket is good for the whole day so we left kn

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    Sabah During the Monsoon

    by easterntrekker Written May 15, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We visited here during the monsoon .
    The rain started in early evening and it added to our atmosphere as we enjoyed a cold beer at the Banana Cafe before dinner .

    That night however the rain came down with a fury. It was the loudest and heaviest I’ve ever experienced. A part way through the night we began to wonder if we would be washed away.

    Thankfully it eased to a normal stream just before morning and we drifted to sleep to its steady beat.
    Morning dawned cloudy but the jungle let us know all was well by a cheery chorus from its many birds.

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    Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkeys

    by easterntrekker Updated May 6, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    As soon as we arrived we arranged to go here to see the 4:30 feeding. This is a private sanctuary owned by a palm oil plantation owner.There are about 300 monkeys in the sanctuary and we were thrilled to see at least 70 of them. Wow what an experience , we really got to see them up close and personal. We spent over an hour here watching the monkeys interacting with each other and taking hundreds of pictures.

    Honestly I think I was as much in awe of these as I was with the orangutans.They are quite a spectical with their huge noses and their pot bellies. The big nose is thought to be used to attract females and is a characteristic of the males, reaching up to 7 inches in length. They are one of the world’s most unusal animals.

    There are two large family groups here, along with a group of bachelors. Each group kept to themselves and dined separately
    .
    The proboscis monkey is unique to Borneo and a protected species. They live mostly in the mangrove forests and are in danger of extinction. Its total population has decreased by more than 50% in the 36–40 years to 2008 due to ongoing deforestation and hunting.

    The proboscus have a very complicated digestive system .Food must ferment ( which is why they have pot bellies) They cannot survive captivity. Deforestation is their biggest threat.

    We were so fortunate to see them..The cost for the taxi ,and the entrance was $100.00 for the two of us .This included the driver waiting. It was so worth it for this once in a life time viewing.

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    • Safari

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    Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

    by tangymp Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Orang Utan is an endangered species of ape. It shared 96.4% of human genes. It was estimated that only about 15000 of them survied in the wild. Most of them live in the treetops of the Malaysian and Indonesian Rainforests. You'll appreciate the effort of the staff there helping this lovely animal learn their survival skills and put them back in the wild

    Orang Utan Climbing Tree
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    • Jungle and Rain Forest

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    Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre

    by Willettsworld Written Sep 2, 2010

    The Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre was established in 1964. Its main purpose was to rehabilitate orphaned orang-utans whose habitat was disrupted by logging, deforestation and poaching. Included are orang-utans that were rescued or confiscated from unlicensed owners. The orang-utans are trained to adapt to the jungle environment so that they could be eventually released to the wild. This is done by providing the animals with monotonous food, to encourage them to forage in the jungle on their own.

    Located about 25 kilometres to the west of Sandakan, the centre is within the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve, which covers an area of 5529 hectares. I had wanted to come here ever since I saw a programme about it, a few years ago on TV and had looked forward to getting here throughout my 6 weeks in Malaysia and it was virtually the last place I visited in the country. We turned up with the crowds for the 10 am feeding frenzy and watched in amazement as the orang-utans lazily made their way right past us with one particular chap doing multiple head-over-heel rolls along the boardwalk to the feeding platform. We then watched in amusement as the ever mischievous macaques stole whatever food they could from underneath the platform, right in front of the orang-utans! As well as seeing these wonderful creatures, you can also visit a Visitors Centre and Shop. For more photos and some video clips, visit my Sepilok page below:

    Open: 9am-12pm & 2-4pm daily. Feeding times are at 10am & 3pm.
    Admission: RM30 for foreigner plus RM10 for cameras/camcorders.

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    Masjid Jamek Sandakan

    by Willettsworld Updated Sep 2, 2010

    Masjid Jamek Sandakan is a mosque in the centre of Sandakan just along the road from the museum. It was originally built in the 1890's as a place of worship for the Indian Muslims in Sandakan. Muslims sought refuge here during the Second World War, and it even acted as a hiding place for a few Europeans.

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    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel

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Sandakan Things to Do

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