The 10 Best Places To Visit In Sandakan

Nestled on the northeast coast of Borneo, Sandakan is a treasure trove of natural wonders and historical gems. It’s a place where adventure whispers through lush rainforests and the ocean’s depths. I’ve had the pleasure of exploring this vibrant city and its surroundings, and let me tell you, it’s a journey that stays with you.

One of the jewels in Sandakan’s crown is the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. Here, you can witness the heartwarming sight of orphaned orangutans being nurtured back to health. It’s a place where human compassion meets the wild heart of Borneo. The centre is dedicated to the rehabilitation of these magnificent creatures, and seeing them up close is an experience that tugs at your heartstrings.

As you wander through the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve, the chatter of the rainforest envelops you. The air is alive with the calls of tropical birds and the rustling of leaves. It’s a sensory feast that reconnects you with the natural world.

But Sandakan isn’t just about the wildlife. The city’s history is etched into the Sandakan Memorial Park, a site that pays tribute to the prisoners of war who endured the infamous death marches during World War Ii. It’s a somber reminder of the past, set against a backdrop of serene gardens.

For those who crave a glimpse into the underwater world, Lankayan Island is a slice of paradise. The island’s dive sites are teeming with marine life, from swirling schools of barracuda to the gentle glide of sea turtles. It’s an underwater ballet that leaves you in awe of the ocean’s mysteries.

The Gomantong Caves are a marvel of nature’s architecture. Home to thousands of bats and swiftlets, the caves are a testament to the wonders of the natural world. The sight of swiftlets darting through the cavernous spaces is a dance of shadows and light.

The Rainforest Discovery Centre offers a walk among the treetops, where the rainforest canopy stretches out like a green ocean. It’s a place to learn about the rich biodiversity of Borneo and to feel the pulse of the forest.

For a taste of local culture, the Sandakan Heritage Museum showcases the city’s history and the diverse communities that call it home. It’s a mosaic of stories and artifacts that paint a picture of Sandakan’s past and present.

The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre is a haven for the world’s smallest bears. Watching these sun bears play and forage is a reminder of the beauty of wildlife and the importance of conservation efforts.

The Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary offers a rare chance to see these unique primates in their natural habitat. Their distinctive noses and playful antics are a sight to behold.

Lastly, the Turtle Islands Park is a sanctuary for sea turtles. Witnessing these ancient mariners come ashore to lay their eggs under the moonlight is a moment of pure magic.


Q: What’s the best time to visit Sandakan?
A: The best time to visit Sandakan is between March and October when the weather is drier, making it ideal for wildlife spotting and outdoor activities.

Q: Are there any cultural etiquettes I should be aware of when visiting Sandakan?
A: Yes, it’s important to be respectful of local customs. Dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites, and always ask for permission before taking photos of people.

Q: Can I volunteer at any of the conservation centres in Sandakan?
A: Many conservation centres welcome volunteers. It’s best to contact them directly to find out about volunteer opportunities and requirements.

In conclusion, Sandakan is a destination that offers a profound connection with nature and a deep dive into the rich tapestry of history and culture. From the enchanting encounters with wildlife to the poignant historical sites, each place we’ve explored is a thread in the vibrant fabric of Sandakan. Whether you’re gazing into the gentle eyes of an orangutan or diving into the marine splendor of Lankayan Island, Sandakan leaves an indelible mark on your soul. It’s a corner of the world where the stories of land, sea, and the spirit of Borneo come alive. So, pack your bags, bring your sense of wonder, and get ready to discover the ten best places to visit in Sandakan.

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.