Sandakan is located on the eastern seaboard of Sabah; it is a city which is steeped in history. Its character is shaped by the hinterland that embodies Sabah’s rich and diverse biodiversity in all its glory. Sandakan has a mixture of people, lifestyles, cultures, and faiths.
Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center in Sandakan is one of the must-visit places when you are here. There are no two ways about this while it is known as the star attraction of Sandakan. See orangutans in the wild as they are being rehabilitated to go back to nature. Excellent for all ages, kids especially.
One of the world renowned caves for birds nest harvesting and located at Gomantong Hill in the lower Kinabatangan area or Gomantong Rainforest Reserve. Consisting of two cave complexes which are Black Cave (Simud Hitam) and White Cave (Simud Putih), these cases have been harvested for the prized birds nest for many years even till today.
More than two million bats, mostly wrinkled-lipped bats, can be seen leaving the caves to start their nocturnal foraging. Bat hawks linger nearby to prey opportunistically on the bats as they leave their roost, and in the surrounding forest macaques, lingers and orangutans are regularly seen.
The Sandakan Memorial Park is located in the outskirts of Sandakan town. The site is just next to the actual POW (Prisoners of War) camp which was set up during the World War Two Japanese Occupation from 1942 to 1945 which witnessed the death of 2400 Australian and British POW held by the Japanese here.
In the centre of the mangrove forests of Semawang is the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary, where you can see Borneo’s indigenous proboscis monkeys. This privately-owned sanctuary located within an oil palm estate gives you the chance to observe these animals up close and personal.
The Turtle Island Park (gazetted 1977) lies 40km north of Sandakan in the Sulu Sea and consists of Selingan, Bakungan Kecil and Gulisan islands. The park is a safe haven for the endangered green and hawksbill turtles and gives you the rare opportunity to watch turtle landings.
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