Sandakan in Sabah is the second largest city in the state. The beautiful Borneo city of Sandakan is well known as the gateway to Sabah eco-tourism destinations. Sandakan in Sabah is also well known for its rich historical past that you must not miss exploring when you are on a tour of Sandakan. The Sandakan Heritage Trail in Sabah will most certainly awe you with all of its historical sites that testify to Sandakan’s rich historical past.
The Sandakan Heritage Trail in Borneo is located in the old part of downtown Sandakan. The Sandakan Heritage trail in Borneo was launched in 2003. The one and a half hour walk through the Sandakan Heritage trail in Borneo will lead you to encounter some of the most attractive historical sites in Sandakan. You are rest assured that at the end of your journey through the Sandakan Heritage Trail, you will be very impressed by Sandakan’s rich historical heritage.
One of the most attractive historical sites on this heritage trail is the Masjid Jamek in Sandakan that is located at Lebuh Empat, which is the starting point of the heritage trail. This beautiful mosque is amongst the earliest buildings that were built in Sandakan and is the first mosque in this city. An Indian cloth merchant named Damsah constructed the Masjid Jamek in 1890. During World War 2, the Muslim inhabitants of Sandakan would use this mosque as a hiding place from the Japanese soldiers occupying the city. Some European expatriates even joined them here in using this mosque as a sanctuary from the brutal Japanese soldiers.
Masjid Jamek in Sandakan,Sabah
As you proceed further along this heritage trail, you will come across the William Pryer Monument. This magnificent granite structure was built to honour William Pryer who was the first British Resident of Sandakan. William Pryer was famous for introducing a taxation law in Sandakan that was aimed to curb excessive trading exploitation that happened during the early founding years of Sandakan. This monument serves as a tribute to his service as the British Resident to the city of Sandakan back in the 19th century.
Another attractive historical site you must not miss while on the heritage trail is the Agnes Keith House. This beautiful house with its beautiful green lawn and colonial style walls was home to the famous American author, Agnes Keith. She is famous for her literary works such as Land Below the Wind and The White Man Returns, which was written in this historical house. This house was built in 1946 on the ruins of the British colonial quarters that were destroyed during World War 2. This house was converted into a heritage site that displayed a snapshot of what life was like in British North Borneo during the early days of Sandakan. You can find replicas of beautiful colonial-era antiques and furniture throughout the house that adds to the historical atmosphere of this beautiful dwelling.
St Michael’s and All Angels Church on the heritage trail is the oldest church in Sandakan and is one of the few surviving pre-war stone buildings still standing in this historical city. The church was built in 1893. The construction of this magnificent place of worship took over thirty years to complete. The white stones that decorated the windows and doors were imported from Hong Kong. The church gothic architecture makes it look like as if it was transported from a typical English country village. The church was damaged in a fire during the World War 2 bombings that only left the stone walls untouched. It had been since restored to its former glory.
St Michael’s and All Angels Church,Sandakan,Sabah
These four attractions that you encounter when taking the Sandakan Heritage Trail are just but a few of the numerous historical sites you can see on this trail. When you are on your Sandakan tour, you must put the heritage trail on top of your list. By the time you are finished walking through the amazing heritage trail you will feel as if you have been transported 100 years back in time during the early days of Sandakan. It is a very magical experience indeed. Why don’t you take a trip back in time on the Sandakan Heritage Trail now?