Located on Sabah’s eastern seaboard, Sandakan is a thriving port city where towering skyscrapers mix with remnants of a rich colonial history. The city itself boasts a few interesting sights worth exploring, however the main attractions lie just outside, including the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary and Sepilok’s Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, one of the largest of its kind in the world.
Sandakan’s streets offer a pleasant mix of old and new, where towering skyscrapers rub shoulders with colonial mansions, temples and museums that give Sandakan a distinctive provincial feel. Sandakan’s Harbour Square is a particularly lively area to explore, where there are a number of local restaurants to sample. A city rich in WWII history, one of Sandakan’s most well-known sights is the Sandakan War Memorial. Built in memory of those who lost their lives there during the war, it offers a peaceful forested setting to contemplate the tragedies that look place not too long ago.
Undoubtedly, Sandakan’s main attractions lie outside the city itself, such as Sepilok’s Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre where you can watch the daily feed of rescued orangutans from around Borneo. Another highlight within easy reach of the city is the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary, the perfect place to get up close to these unique long nosed animals, whilst the Sun Bear Conservation Centre offers a chance to learn about this little known Borneo native.