If you’re planning a trip to Malaysia, make sure to include Sandakan on your itinerary. This charming city is a hidden gem, offering a plethora of activities and attractions for visitors to discover. Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, or simply seeking a relaxing getaway, Sandakan has something for everyone.
Take a stroll through the city center and marvel at the colonial-era architecture, or head to the outskirts and explore the lush rainforests and river systems. Discover a range of wildlife, including the famous orangutans, proboscis monkeys, and sun bears.
Visit the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre to witness these incredible creatures up close and learn about conservation efforts. Explore the Sandakan Heritage Trail and uncover the city’s cultural and colonial heritage. Embark on a Kinabatangan River Cruise for an unforgettable wildlife adventure, and take a walk on the canopy walkway at the Rainforest Discovery Centre for breathtaking views of the surrounding forest.
With so much to offer, Sandakan is a must-visit destination in Malaysia.
- Discover a range of activities and attractions in Sandakan, Malaysia.
- Explore the city’s cultural and natural heritage, including the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and the Sandakan Heritage Trail.
- Embark on a Kinabatangan River Cruise for a unique wildlife adventure.
- Relax in the lush parks and beautiful beaches of Sandakan.
- Plan your journey effectively by researching the transportation options available.
Sandakan Heritage Trail
When it comes to Sandakan sightseeing, the Sandakan Heritage Trail should be at the top of your list. This trail takes you on a journey through the city’s rich history, exploring its past as a British colonial town and its role in World War II.
Start your journey at the Agnes Keith House, the former home of an American author who wrote extensively about her life in Sandakan during the 1930s and 1940s. Explore the beautifully restored house and learn about the city’s colonial past.
Next, visit the St. Michael and All Angels Church, a stunning example of colonial architecture that dates back to 1893. Admire the intricate stained glass windows and marvel at the historic bell tower.
Finally, make your way to the Sandakan Memorial Park, a moving tribute to the thousands of Allied soldiers who lost their lives during the Sandakan Death Marches in World War II. The park features a series of gripping exhibits that tell the story of the marches and the brave soldiers who endured them.
Overall, the Sandakan Heritage Trail is one of the top tourist spots in Sandakan, offering visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the city’s fascinating past.
Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre
If you’re looking for a truly unique experience in Sandakan, a visit to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre is a must. Located just 25 km from the city, this centre was established in 1964 to rehabilitate orphaned and injured orangutans. It is now one of the most popular Sandakan attractions, drawing tourists from all over the world.
At the centre, visitors can witness these incredible creatures up close and personal as they roam freely in their natural habitat. The orangutans here are semi-wild and are free to come and go as they please, but they often return to the centre for scheduled feedings. Watching them interact with each other and their surroundings is truly a sight to behold, and visitors can learn a lot about these fascinating creatures by observing them in their natural environment.
The centre also offers educational programs and tours, where visitors can learn about the conservation efforts being made to protect these endangered species. The centre has been instrumental in the rehabilitation of orangutans and has released many back into the wild, contributing to the conservation of the species. Its efforts have been recognised globally, making it a must-visit place in Sandakan.
Don’t miss the opportunity to witness these amazing creatures up close, learn about their conservation status, and support the efforts to protect them. At Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, you’ll have an unforgettable experience that will leave a lasting impression.
The Conservation Efforts
The Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre plays a crucial role in orangutan conservation efforts. The centre rescues orphaned and injured orangutans, rehabilitates them, and releases them back into the wild. The rehabilitation process is a delicate and lengthy one, but the centre’s dedicated team ensures that each orangutan receives the care it needs.
Through the centre’s research and conservation efforts, we are gaining a better understanding of orangutan behaviour and their ecological importance. The centre’s awareness programs aim to educate visitors and locals alike about the impact of deforestation and other human activities on orangutans and other wildlife. Their efforts have received international recognition and make the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre an important Sandakan attraction and must-visit place.
Kinabatangan River Cruise
Embark on a thrilling wildlife adventure with a Kinabatangan River Cruise, one of the top Sandakan attractions. This river, the second-longest in Malaysia, is home to a diverse range of wildlife, making it a prime destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.
During your cruise, keep your eyes peeled for the long-nosed proboscis monkeys, orangutans, pygmy elephants, and crocodiles that call the river and surrounding jungle home. The lush scenery of the riverine forest provides a breathtaking backdrop for your journey.
The Kinabatangan River Cruise is an excellent opportunity to explore the beauty of Sandakan and immerse yourself in the natural wonders of Malaysia. Don’t miss out on this unforgettable experience when planning things to do in Sandakan.
What to Expect on a Kinabatangan River Cruise
Kinabatangan River Cruise is an adventure that you wouldn’t want to miss while exploring Sandakan. A typical cruise lasts between two to three hours, depending on the package you choose. Most tour operators offer both day and night cruises, allowing visitors to witness both the river’s wildlife and the stunning sunset or the starry night sky.
Along with the incredible wildlife sightings, you can also expect to witness local villages and fishermen, offering a glimpse into the daily lives of the people who live along the river. Your experienced guide will provide informative commentary throughout the cruise, making it a learning opportunity as well.
The Kinabatangan River Cruise is a must-try activity for those who want to explore Sandakan’s natural beauty, making it one of the best things to do in Sandakan.
Sandakan Attractions: The Best Things to Do in Sandakan
If you’re looking for the best things to do in Sandakan, Malaysia, you won’t be disappointed. Sandakan has a plethora of attractions and activities that cater to different interests and preferences. From historical sites to wildlife adventures, Sandakan has it all. Here are our top picks for Sandakan attractions:
Rainforest Discovery Centre
The Rainforest Discovery Centre is a must-visit attraction for nature lovers and bird watchers. The centre offers a range of activities, including guided walks, educational tours, and bird watching sessions. The highlight of the centre is the 347-metre-long canopy walkway that provides spectacular views of the surrounding forest. Don’t forget your camera!
Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre
A visit to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre is one of the best things to do in Sandakan. The centre is home to orphaned and injured orangutans that are being rehabilitated before being released back into the wild. Visitors can witness the feeding sessions and observe these incredible primates in their natural habitat.
Kinabatangan River Cruise
Embark on a Kinabatangan River Cruise for a wildlife adventure like no other. The cruise takes you through the unique ecosystem of the riverine forest, where you can spot a variety of wildlife, including proboscis monkeys, crocodiles, and pygmy elephants. The experience is truly unforgettable.
Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre
The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre is dedicated to the protection and rehabilitation of the world’s smallest bear species, the sun bear. Observe these adorable creatures as they roam in their natural enclosures and learn about their conservation status and efforts to protect them.
Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary
The Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary is home to the unique proboscis monkeys. These monkeys are known for their distinctive long noses and are only found in Borneo. Visitors can witness the feeding sessions and observe the fascinating behavior of these primates.
These are just some of the Sandakan attractions that make it one of the best places to visit in Malaysia. Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, or wildlife enthusiast, Sandakan has something for everyone.
Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre
The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre is one of the most popular Sandakan attractions and a must-visit when exploring the city. Located within the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve, this conservation centre aims to protect and rehabilitate the world’s smallest bear species, the sun bear.
Visitors can observe these adorable creatures as they roam in their natural enclosures and learn about their behavior, diet, and conservation status. The centre also hosts educational talks on the threats faced by sun bears and the efforts being made to protect them.
There are various ways to support the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, including volunteering, adopting a sun bear, or making a donation. Your contribution will help ensure the long-term preservation of this incredible species.
|Monday – Friday||9:00am – 3:30pm|
|Saturday, Sunday, Public Holidays||9:00am – 2:30pm|
Please note that the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre is closed on the first Friday of every month for maintenance work.
Visiting the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre is an enriching and educational experience that supports an important cause. Add it to your list of places to visit in Sandakan and contribute to the conservation of sun bears.
Sandakan Attractions: Visit the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary
One of Sandakan’s most unique attractions is the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary. Here, visitors can observe the fascinating proboscis monkeys as they swing from treetop to treetop.
The proboscis monkey is a unique species found only in Borneo, and the sanctuary serves as a crucial conservation and rehabilitation center for these endangered primates. While here, you can learn about their behavior and conservation status, and even adopt a proboscis monkey if you’re interested in supporting the cause.
Exploring Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary
The sanctuary is situated on the mangrove forest along the coastal region of Sandakan. Visitors can observe the monkeys from strategically placed observation decks, where they can get an up-close view of these incredible creatures. The monkeys are free to roam the sanctuary’s natural enclosures, and you can see them in their natural habitat where they feed, play, and interact with each other.
The sanctuary is open from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm daily, and visitors can choose from different packages, including a morning or afternoon session. The facility is easily accessible by a 30-minute drive from Sandakan city, and transportation arrangements can be made through your hotel or tour operator.
Why Visit Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary?
If you’re looking for an unforgettable wildlife adventure in Sandakan, then a trip to the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary should be on your must-visit list. Here, you can get up close and personal with these unique primates and learn about their conservation status and efforts to protect them. Capture once-in-a-lifetime moments as you watch them swing from tree to tree.
So, add the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary to your itinerary and discover the wonder of these fascinating creatures. It’s one of the many Sandakan attractions that you wouldn’t want to miss.
Best Places to Stay in Sandakan
When exploring Sandakan, it’s important to have a comfortable place to stay and unwind after a long day of sightseeing. Luckily, there are plenty of accommodation options in the city to suit all budgets and preferences.
If you’re looking for a luxurious stay, check out the Four Points by Sheraton Sandakan. Located in the city center, this hotel offers stunning views of the Sulu Sea and Sandakan Bay, and features a rooftop bar and swimming pool.
For a mid-range option, the Hotel Sandakan is a great choice. Centrally located and within walking distance of major attractions, this hotel offers clean and comfortable rooms at an affordable price.
Best Budget-Friendly Places to Stay
If you’re on a tight budget, there are also plenty of guesthouses and hostels to choose from. The Sea View Sandakan Budget & Backpackers Hotel is a popular choice amongst backpackers for its affordable rates and sea views. Alternatively, the My Dream Hotel Sandakan offers comfortable rooms at a budget-friendly price.
No matter where you choose to stay in Sandakan, make sure to book in advance, especially during peak tourist season. This ensures that you get the best possible rate and avoid the risk of not finding any available accommodation.
Whether you’re looking for luxury or budget-friendly options, there are plenty of places to stay in Sandakan that will make your visit comfortable and enjoyable. Book your stay today and explore all that Sandakan has to offer.
Best Places to Eat in Sandakan
When it comes to dining in Sandakan, the options are plentiful. From local cuisine to international favorites, there is something for every taste bud. Here are some of the best places to eat in Sandakan.
1. English Tea House and Restaurant
If you’re craving some western cuisine, head over to the English Tea House and Restaurant. This colonial-style establishment offers a range of dishes, from classic English breakfasts to afternoon tea sets. Enjoy your meal amidst the lush gardens and stunning views of Sandakan Bay.
2. Sim-Sim Seafood Restaurant
For seafood lovers, the Sim-Sim Seafood Restaurant is a must-visit. Located near the waterfront, this restaurant serves up fresh and delicious seafood dishes. Try the famous butter prawns and chili crabs, or opt for the seafood hot pot for a hearty meal.
3. Kueh Teow Soup Stall
For a taste of local cuisine, head over to the Kueh Teow Soup Stall. This humble stall serves up one of Sandakan’s most popular dishes – kueh teow soup. Made with flat rice noodles, fish balls, and other ingredients, this simple yet delicious dish is a must-try.
4. Ocean King Seafood Restaurant
Another great seafood spot is the Ocean King Seafood Restaurant. This restaurant is known for its fresh seafood, which you can pick out yourself from the tanks. The restaurant then prepares it to your liking, whether steamed, grilled, or fried.
5. Kafe Top Ten
Kafe Top Ten is a popular spot for both locals and tourists. The menu features a mix of western and local dishes, including the famous Sabah-style beef noodles. The restaurant also has a lively atmosphere, with live music performances on select nights.
These are just a few of the best places to eat in Sandakan. Whether you’re in the mood for local cuisine or international favorites, you’re sure to find something delicious in this vibrant city.
Beaches and Parks in Sandakan
When exploring Sandakan, don’t miss out on its stunning beaches and parks. From sandy shores to lush greenery, there are plenty of options for outdoor activities and relaxation.
Best Beaches in Sandakan
- Sim Sim Water Village Beach – Enjoy a picturesque view of the sunset while strolling along the wooden boardwalks of this charming fishing village.
- Turtle Islands Park – Take a boat ride to these islands and be mesmerized by the stunning beaches, turquoise waters, and an opportunity to witness sea turtles nesting.
- Lankayan Island Beach – Escape to this private island for a tranquil getaway. Snorkel and explore the breathtaking underwater world, or simply bask in the sun on the sandy beach.
Explore Sandakan’s Parks
For those who prefer the lush greenery, Sandakan has plenty of parks to explore:
- Crocodile Farm Mini Zoo – Get up close and personal with crocodiles and other exotic animals in this mini zoo.
- Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve – Discover the diverse flora and fauna of the Malaysian rainforest and take a walk on the canopy walkway for a bird’s eye view of the forest canopy.
- Sandakan Rainforest Park – Take a leisurely stroll in this eco-tourism park and learn about the importance of conservation and sustainable practices.
Soak up the sun, explore natural wonders, and embrace the beauty of Sandakan’s beaches and parks.
Getting to Sandakan
If you’re planning a trip to Sandakan, Malaysia, it’s important to know the best ways to get there. While flying is a popular option, there is also the convenience of train services to Sandakan.
Train Services to Sandakan
The train network in Malaysia is extensive and offers a convenient option for those traveling to Sandakan. The closest train station to Sandakan is in Kota Kinabalu, which can be reached by train from Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and other major Malaysian cities.
From Kota Kinabalu, you can take the North Borneo Railway to Sandakan. The journey takes about 6 hours and passes through scenic countryside, including rice paddies, jungles, and traditional villages along the way. The train also stops at several points of interest, including the Tamparuli Suspension Bridge and the Puh Toh Tze Buddhist temple.
The North Borneo Railway operates twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and offers different packages for visitors. The basic package includes a three-course meal, while the premium package includes a four-course meal and a guided tour of Sandakan.
It’s important to note that train services to Sandakan may not be as frequent or convenient as other modes of transportation, but they offer a unique and scenic way to explore Malaysia’s countryside.
Whether you choose to fly or take the train, getting to Sandakan is a worthwhile journey that will reward you with incredible experiences and memories to last a lifetime.
Q: What are the best things to do in Sandakan?
A: Some of the best things to do in Sandakan include exploring the Sandakan Heritage Trail, visiting the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, going on a Kinabatangan River Cruise, and exploring the Rainforest Discovery Centre.
Q: What is the Sandakan Heritage Trail?
A: The Sandakan Heritage Trail is a route that takes you through the historical sites of Sandakan, including the Agnes Keith House, the St. Michael and All Angels Church, and the Sandakan Memorial Park. It offers insights into the city’s rich history and cultural heritage.
Q: What can I see at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre?
A: At the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, you can witness orangutans in their natural habitat and learn about the efforts being made to protect and conserve these endangered species. It’s a unique opportunity to observe these incredible creatures up close.
Q: What can I expect on a Kinabatangan River Cruise?
A: A Kinabatangan River Cruise offers a chance to spot a variety of wildlife, including proboscis monkeys, orangutans, and crocodiles. You’ll be immersed in the beauty of the riverine forest and witness the diverse ecosystem of the area.
Q: What is there to do at the Rainforest Discovery Centre?
A: The Rainforest Discovery Centre allows you to explore the lush rainforests of Sandakan. You can walk on the canopy walkway for panoramic views, spot various bird species, and learn about conservation and sustainable practices.
Q: What is the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre?
A: The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre is dedicated to protecting and rehabilitating the world’s smallest bear species, the sun bear. Visitors can observe these adorable creatures in their natural enclosures and learn about their conservation status.
Q: Where can I see proboscis monkeys in Sandakan?
A: The Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary is the place to go to witness proboscis monkeys in their natural habitat. You can observe their behavior and learn about their conservation efforts while capturing unforgettable moments.
Q: What are the best places to stay in Sandakan?
A: Sandakan offers a range of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences. From luxury resorts to budget-friendly guesthouses, there is something for everyone. Explore the best places to stay in Sandakan for a comfortable visit.
Q: Where are the best places to eat in Sandakan?
A: Sandakan boasts a diverse culinary scene, with a variety of dining options. From traditional Malay cuisine to fresh seafood dishes, there is something for every palate. Discover the best places to eat in Sandakan and indulge in the local flavors.
Q: What beaches and parks can I visit in Sandakan?
A: Sandakan is home to beautiful beaches and parks that are perfect for relaxation and outdoor activities. Explore the best beaches for sunbathing and the parks for picnics and nature walks. Immerse yourself in the serene beauty of Sandakan’s natural surroundings.
Q: How can I get to Sandakan?
A: Sandakan is accessible by various modes of transportation, including train services. Plan your journey effectively by discovering the different options available, whether you prefer flying or traveling by train.