Sandakan Travel Guide

  • Proboscis Monkey or Orang Belanda on the watch
    Proboscis Monkey or Orang Belanda on the...
    by tremendopunto
  • buddhist temple sandakan
    buddhist temple sandakan
    by balhannah
  • Flowers in the Rainforest Discovery Center
    Flowers in the Rainforest Discovery...
    by DSwede

Sandakan Things to Do

  • Hong Son Tze Kong Teck Chun Ong Temple

    The Hong Son Tze Kong Teck Chun Ong temple is a lovely place to visit, quiet, tranquil, clean & very welcoming.The temple is home to Kong Teck Chun Ong (aka Sin Kung), a Hockien deity, and the temple was opened on the 15th August 2010.Lovely to walk around, visit, and get refreshed in the clean air of the hill side.

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  • Sepilok Orang Utan rehab centre

    This Orang Utan rehabilitation centre established in 1964, is world renown for it's work.A visit here is a must when you are in Sandakan, or even Borneo for that matter.It is a priceless experience, one for the entire family.Most accommodation places would be able to arrange a tour for you.

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  • Visit the central market

    This central market, appears to be better laid out, more airy, and nicer to be in than most I have visited.The ground floor (which is the market) is large, high ceiling'd and very airy. You can see why most locals and food type businesses would come here for produce.Worth a visit.

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  • SEPILOK ORANGUTAN REHABILITATION CENTRE

    The Sepilok Orang-Utan Rehabilitation Centre was set up as a means of housing injured or orphaned Orang-Utans, caring for them and nursing them back to health before they can be released into the forest.Many Orang-Utans that end up here have strayed into logging camps or been rescued from captivity. Many are orphaned babies that cannot survive in...

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  • Swastikas

    If you visit the Puu Jih Shih Temple in Sandakan, you will notice that the gates have a Swastika design embedded in them. Also, in the lovely well kept gardens, there are more Swastikas. This is because the Swastika signifies "GOOD FORTUNE' and it is said to contain the whole mind of the Buddha. It has often been used to mark the start of Buddhist...

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  • SANDAKAN CITY TOUR

    We did a city tour arranged by our accommodation "Sepilok Nature Resort" Our guide was a man named "Hardy" a very nice and informative person, a pleasure to be with!We were the only ones on the tour, this was a bonus for us!The tour included a visit to the water village, then onto the big indoor Central markets. Here he explained the different...

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Sandakan Hotels

See all 35 Hotels in Sandakan
  • Sabah Hotel Sandakan

    I stayed in this hotel for 2 nights for work. It is a 4-star hotel with nice swimming pool. When I...

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  • May Fair Hotel

    This was the best value hotel in south east asia for 8 month traveling. The owner is a charachter...

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  • NAK Hotel

    While searching for a proper place to stay in Sandakan, we had a look at the Nak Hotel. The rooms...

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Sandakan Restaurants

  • Wonderful local food

    There are a number of little eatery's that all work in conjunction here.All the wait staff serve for all food providers, and there is one central payment point.A great system, and one that obviously works well judging by the number of locals coming and going to eat here.The food was fantastic, the service great and friendly. Also, a wide variety of...

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  • OK food here

    This is the restaurant that is part of the hotel I was staying at. Hotel Hsiang GardenThe food here was good, very reasonably priced, and not too much waiting time.I had the set menu (promotion) the first night. A seafood meal consisting of fresh water prawns, oysters, fish sambol and rice.Very tasty, the prawns were big.

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  • Big Choice

    After having a look through the Central Market with our guide, he took us to the area where all the eateries are located. There are plenty, and the choice is big. He wanted me to try "fish head soup" something I couldn't bring myself to do. The locals were laughing at me because I wouldn't try it!I had a look at the prices, and the meals were very...

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Sandakan Nightlife

  • Not much

    There's not a great deal to do here at night but we did find a bar along one street called Jalan Sekolah (just to the west of the Padang). Here we had 3 big bottles of beer for RM28. Also along this road are a couple of "nightclubs" run by portly Filipino woman which house bar girls.

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  • Happening places after evening

    This is a newly developed satellite town area, there are pubs, shops, disco, restaurant, chatting places, etc. The long straight road beside this area is always used by youngster's to show-off their streetcar's performance after midnight.

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  • Sandakan Hotels

    35 Hotels in Sandakan

    5 Reviews

Sandakan Transportation

  • SANDAKAN JETTY & BOATS

    The Sandakan Jetty is where you go to board your boat if doing a tour up the Kinabatangan River.This is also a good place to see the Boats that operate around the area.A WORD OF WARNING!We left on our tour on a Boat the same as Photo 1, across the sea on very calm water. Very nice and enjoyable!The return journey was the complete opposite. Once we...

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  • Taxis to and from Sandakan Airport

    Sandakan airport is a drive of about 15 minutes from the centre of town. There are plenty of taxis waiting outside the terminal and there is a fixed price of 25 RM to get to town. Travelling back to the airport, the price is similar but can vary depending on time of day. We paid 30 RM booking through our hotel for a taxi leaving at 5.30 am. (In...

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  • Left side of plane when flying from KK...

    Flights from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan are frequent - both Air Asia and Malaysia Airlines travel there several times a day. If you book early tickets are cheap!The flight is only about 50 minutes long, but what a spectacular flight it is. Travelling across to Sandakan, try to get a seat on the left side of the plane for fantastic views of Mt...

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Sandakan Shopping

  • Budget drug store

    They sell many things western drug to Asian medicine as well. Licensed n proper. Best of all with friendly helpful staffs and very reasonable price. Can negotiate too:) Drugs, beauty products, sunblock... Even some jewelry accessories.. Even a single capsule of panadol they sell!

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  • Buy a wooden monkey for your Christmas...

    When your Christmas tree serves as the travelogue of your life, what do you buy from Borneo?Well, actually I bought this before I realised that my Christmas tree could serve this purpose, and in fact it may well have been the ornament that first gave me the idea, as it clearly needed somewhere to hang out on a regular basis!This monkey was bought...

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  • Right in the heart of the town

    We left Sandakan on a Sunday and, I think, every Sunday there's a street market which just happened to be right outside where we stayed at the Winho Lodge. It congregates around Jalan Dua and Jalan Empat.

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Sandakan Local Customs

  • FISHING

    While at the Water village we notice somebody way out in the water with a fishing net. This is the way he was catching fish. We were shown what he had caught and were very surprised at the size of the Fish. At home in Australia, we would have to throw them back into the Ocean because they were too small to keep!

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  • Nests

    Orangutans live 99% of their lives in the tree tops. They do not call any one tree or group of trees home, but are fairly nomadic, searching the jungle for the ripe and succulent fruit. In mid-afternoon the orangutans thoughts turn to the problem of where to spend the night. Each orangutan will find a likely tree and begin to prepare a nest. The...

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  • The macaques are not ones to miss a...

    Ok, I know that all animals are great and we should enjoy all of them for their own unique talents and so on. But really, macaques are a bit like the rats of the jungle. They are scavengers and not polite scavangers. Every day the macaques would hone in on the orangutans feed. They would get impatient and force the issue before the orangs were done...

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Sandakan Warnings and Dangers

  • Sandakan city purse snatching

    DO NOT ASSUME THAT A SHORT WALK BY YOURSELF IS SAFE AT 320 IN THE AFTERNOON!!!!as i was walking down the 10 minute short but winding road from agnes keith house to the main road to make my way towards st micheals church, this guy that i assumed was a staff at the house cuz he was up there a few minutes before i got attacked, started walking quite a...

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  • Gomantong Cave - Don't Look Up!

    Three reasons not to look directly up when you are walking aroung Gomantong Cave - 1. You may lose your balance and slip on the slippery walkway. If you fall over you will be sitting in slimy poo and probably sit on a poisonous millipede or one of the millions of cockroaches.2. You may notice one of the deadly Cobras hanging above your head, panic...

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  • Wear suitable clothes

    You will feel it as soon as you take your first step inside the jungle of Sepilok: the park is extremely humid. The whole of Malaysia is humid normally but the area of Sepilok beats it all. Even standing still while waiting will get you sweaty. It's wise to wear thin clothes, made of cotton or linnen. But don't think like a lot of tourists think...

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Sandakan Tourist Traps

  • Turtle Eggs for sales

    While walking in the wet market we were approched by the local if we want to buy turtle egg. We were shock as turtle are an endangered species and they are selling these egg in the market. You will not find it but they are some people still selling it. We were told by our guide later that they do sell the egg in the market.

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  • Glorified zoo

    People may well disagree with me for this but I was really disappointed with Sepilok orangutan sanctuary.Having just spent the best part of three weeks in the jungle trying to spot animals in the wild it was a let down to see a feeding platform and rope swings at the end of raised pathways so that tourists could get close to 'wild' primates.I know...

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  • Don't Forget Insurance

    If your current health insurance doesn't cover you while your abroad, you should consider getting international travel insurance just in case something should go wrong.

Sandakan What to Pack

  • Packing List for Visiting Gomantong Cave

    Try not to have too much to carry as the walkway is slippery and you need your balance. Wellington boots or boots that protect your feet from the slimy poo on the floor.A hat to cover your head. Water drops from the roof and it's not pleasant clean water. Gloves to protect your hands - you don't want to touch any cockroaches or poisonous...

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  • Mosquito repellent and light cloths

    Bring a small backpack to put your water, wallet and camera. Sandals and shoe if you are going to the cave. T'shirt , shorts and light cloths as it can get very hot in the tropics Don't leave home without your mosquite repellant, torchlight and a walking shoe.

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  • Don't forget your deodorant

    Bring a small bag so there will be no hassle with the airlines You will only need shorts, and t-shirts or tops preferably in a lightweight cotton.It is steamy here and at times the power goes out so even if you are inside it is still hot. Bring what you can't live without. Don't forget your film or memory sticks and you better check the...

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Sandakan Off The Beaten Path

  • See the Proboscis Monkey

    One of the highlights of our trip was going out to Labuk Bay to see the Proboscis Monkeys.It is for sure off the beaten path. It is 38KM from the Sandakan airport and it takes a good hour to drive there. The roads are mostly gravel and jeep tracks, not to mention the truck traffic with their loads coming from the palm plantations.When we arrived we...

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  • Uncle Tan's Wildlife Adventures Tour

    My friend actually managed to book us on this 3 day/2 night tour whilst we were in Sandakan. The idea of the tour is to provide a way for those wanting to see jungle wildlife on a budget and to raise awareness against the relentless logging. By all accounts Uncle Tan was a local legend in his fight for the conservation of the rainforest until his...

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  • Kampung Buli Sim Sim

    Kampung Buli Sim Sim is a stilt water village on the coast of Sandakan, located a couple of kilometres from the main city centre area. This is the original site of Sandakan when William Burges Pryer, the British Resident of Sandakan, established the township back in 21 June 1879. It's a very poor looking area with rundown wooden houses but has...

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Sandakan Favorites

  • Unloading watermelons

    Not a tip, just a fond memory. We were exploring the second floor of the central market when heard some activty on the dock down below. Looking out the window I noticed a huge load of watermelons delivered by boat! Clearly it must be the most convenient way of getting the produce to the market but watermelons by boat seemed a little odd to me.

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  • Tourist Information Center

    I find out the location was different from to map. Anyway, you can get to latest Sandakan map from the hotel. Just go to Tourist information center and get all the info you want. The center staff is very helpful.The Tourist Cneter is just opposite the Police Station and very near the Sandakan Hotel.

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  • Nice to meet you

    The Orang Utan you find in Sepilok is one of the two sorts of Orang Utans there are in the world. In Sepilok you'll see the Borneo Orang Utan (Pongo pygmaeus), the other sort is the Sumatra Orang Utan.Statistics:An Orang Utan get reach a height of 1.50 metres, in very few cases this can be taller. The width with his arms spread can reach an amazing...

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World class dessert
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Sandakan Death March Memorial
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Sabah During the Monsoon
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Minibus to Sukau
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Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre
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Sandakan Airport
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A huge range of dishes!
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