Sandakan Sabah Borneo used to be the capital town of British North Borneo until 1946 and now it is a well-known tourist destination. It is the gateway to Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary and is also part of an important Australian and British WWII history with the infamous Death Marches which occurred here in 1945.
So here are 7 places where you can visit if you are looking for a destination to bring your family along for an educational fun-filled vacation in Sandakan, Sabah.
Our first stop will be the Sandakan Memorial Park which is located 11km from city. The memorial park is situated on the original site of the Japanese Prisoner of War camp. The memorial park is dedicated to the men who lost their lives in the Borneo Death Marches during the Second World War. A small museum in the centre of the park provides a sombre look at the atrocities which occurred. Using a taxi will to take you 15 minutes to get there. There is no entrance fee charged for the memorial.
The second place you should visit is the famous Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre. Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre is where orang utans that are rescued from plantations are taught to re-adapt to jungle living. The most popular time to visit this is during the daily feeding times when the orang utans come out of the jungle.
Next to the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre is the Rainforest Discovery Centre. The Rainforest Discovery Centre, a centre for environmental education, is situated within the famous Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve which is home to the orang-utans of the Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre. The Rainforest Discovery Centre has progressed from a small, cosy environmental education centre in 1996 into one of Sabah’s most popular environmental education centres.
The fourth stop we will be visiting is one of the oldest buildings in Sandakan, the St. Michael’s and All Angels Church, a late 19th century building which took almost 30 years to complete. The church was designed by a New Zealander named Mr. B.W. Mountfort. The stunning stained glass windows in the church were contributed by Australians to honour the 60th anniversary after World War II ended.
If you are into animal conservation, a visit to Selingan Island should be your fifth destination. Selingan Island is part of Turtle Islands Park consisting of three islands in the Sulu Sea where you can see turtles laying eggs and turtle conservation at work. You can find accommodation to stay at Selingan Island where you can enjoy the beautiful beaches with your family.
The sixth place to visit is the Gomantong Caves. The massive Gomantong cave is home to swiftlets and their nests are harvested as a Chinese delicacy. The harvesting process involves people climbing to the roof of the caves using bamboo poles and ladders.
The seventh and final place on the list is the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary. It is a hard half an hour journey from the main road to Labuk Bay. But, it is worth it. You will be guaranteed a sighting of these monkeys from a wooden balcony built in the middle of the mangrove forest growing in the sanctuary. If you’re lucky, you might even get to see some silvery lutungs and oriental pied hornbills.
So plan ahead for your next vacation to Sabah and visit Sandakan. For more info please e-mail your inquiries to Cutiborneo@yahoo.com or you can check out the amazing package deals on our web site.