Sandakan is a city in Sabah that is located in Malaysian Borneo or East Malaysia. It is the second-largest city in Sabah after Kota Kinabalu and is home to myriad wildlife and natural attractions. And it has a population of over 395,000 people. What are the things to do in Sandakan Malaysia?

Sandakan is a good place especially as it is not touristy compared to other places in Malaysian Borneo. You can visit the Orangutan Rehabilitation Center, temples in the area, visit the local market and much more to do that will keep you busy for a few days.

In this post, we will go through things to do in Sandakan Malaysia. Let’s get started!

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Is Sandakan Worth Visiting?

Sandakan is a bit of a hidden gem for visitors as it is a hub for wildlife, nature, and historical tourism. Is a good place to visit if you enjoy hiking, eco-tourism, and visiting museums and memorials. If you are looking for a party then it’s properly not worth visiting.

Things To Do In Sandakan Malaysia

Sandakan is a city in Sabah that is located on Malaysian Borneo and it is the second-largest city in Sabah. There are fun things to do in Sandakan that will keep you busy for a few days.

Here is our list of things to do in Sandakan Malaysia.

Visit The Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center

This rehabilitation center consists of 43 square miles of forestry that is home to protected orangutans. This retreat caters to the needs of protected orangutans by providing them with food, healthcare, and a safe place to live.

Orangutan in the Orangutan Centre

It is also home to other species like bears, rhinos, and elephants. You will be shown around by a tour guide, and visitors have a range of tour options to choose from during their visit.

They can also trek through various trails, swamps, and highland forestry, and see Borneo’s wildlife as they go!

Explore The Rainforest Discovery Centre

The rainforest discovery center is a natural reserve in the forestry of Sandakan. It has many thrilling activities on offer. One of them is a breathtaking boat ride through towering trees and bushy undergrowth.

Canopy Towers at the Forest Discovery Centre

Birdwatchers will love the variety of birdlife that appear during the year. It has many plants and shrubbery exhibits of the plant life typical to Borneo’s wild.

Visit Sandakan Central Market

The best way to experience the local’s way of life is to buy and eat what they will eat. Sandakan’s central market offers both these experiences. It is a popular eatery and shopping mall, busy with people throughout the day.

Its visitors comprise a rich cultural mix of the ethnicities common to Sandakan, from Chinese to Malay to Filipino to Indonesian. A visit to this market offers a great way to try the local cuisine.

Go Golfing

Sandakan is home to many great golf resorts that will test your level of skill. Sandakan’s mountainous terrain offers very challenging golf courses, for the ardent golfer to test their skill.

From curving terrains to deep indents and jungle undergrowth all the way, golfing in Sandakan is a fun-filled activity. From beach-based golf courses to jungle-based courses, they are all on offer in Sandakan.

Visit Agnes Keith House

Although a house might seem like an unusual tourist attraction, this house is no ordinary house. It is a home that dates back to the colonial era. It was owned by the Keith family, who were wildlife enthusiasts. They lived in this house during WW2.

Agnes Keith House Sandakan Malaysia

Going into this house can feel like one is thrown back in time to a different era. Its interior is perfectly preserved, with colonial furniture and even wartime artifacts decorating the floors and walls.

A visit to this house provides an insight into the life and times of bygone days.

Explore Gomantong Cave

Gomantong Cave is famous for its high walls and ceilings and millions of bats. It can be both a chilling and a thrilling experience to explore the dark century-old cave. Huge caverns rear up hundreds of feet into the air. The top of the caves is shared by millions of birds and bats, who flutter about incessantly.

Gomantong Cave Sandakan Malaysia

The bird nests are popular with the locals. The locals sometimes steal the nests to make bird’s nest soup out of them, a popular local delicacy. The cockroaches and termites lining the huge walls at all times are making a beeline for the nests, too.

Visit Turtle Island

This wildlife conservation park is home to thousands of sea turtles. The turtles are an endangered species. The turtles make their first appearance at dawn and vanish by night. One can get to watch many fascinating things from turtles laying eggs to young hatchlings taking their first dive in the open sea.

Turtle Island Sandakan Malaysia

There are boat trips available from the mainland to the island. The island itself is a beautiful place and home to many trees and shrubbery. Once there, one can also trek through this with the help of a tour guide or opt for an overnight stay in one of its island resorts.

Admire Puu Jih Shih Temple

This temple is situated in the highlands it is home to many fascinating ornate idols. A view from the interior gives you a glamorous panorama of the deep blue Sulu Sea and the surrounding city.

It is also a great place to learn about the culture and history of Buddhism in Malaysia.

Puu Jih Shih Temple Sandakan Malaysia

Visit Sandakan Memorial Park

Visiting this memorial ground is a historic site. It takes visitors back to the bad old days of the Second World War when hundreds of prisoners were tortured to death in concentration camps in that location.

Sandakan Memorial Park

This place was notorious for the death marches that prisoners of war were made to undergo. While visiting this site you can get a tour guide to explain much of the history and tragedies associated with this place.

It still preserves memorabilia from the time, including photographs, survivor stories, and even physical artifacts like a boiler and a water tank from that era.

Wrapping Up

Finally, in many ways, Sandakan is a cross-section of the cultural, historical, and natural beauty of Borneo. You can visit wildlife sanctuaries to play Pro golf, to cave exploration, there is no end to things to do in Sandakan Malaysia.

And that’s it for now! I’d love to know if this post on things to do in Sandakan Malaysia was helpful to you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.

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Things to do in Sandakan Malaysia