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Sandakan is a bustling commercial town of 440,000 people that acts as the gateway to the eastern part of Sabah. It is however famous for being a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp during WWII and being the starting point for the infamous Sandakan death marches. Currently, Sandakan acts as an access point to eastern Sabah, the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and Turtle Islands Park.



Sights and Activities

  • Sandakan Memorial Park - the site of the former Japanese prisoner-of-war camp and the start of the Sandakan death marches.
  • The Sandakan Market - newly renovated market located on the waterfront.

Around Sandakan

SV07 - Sepilok - Orang5

SV07 - Sepilok - Orang5

© All Rights Reserved agc_cwm

The world-renowned Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, 25 kilometres from Sandakan, was set up in 1964 to rescue and rehabilitate orphaned baby orang-utans from logging sites, plantations and illegal hunting. These orang-utans are taken care of, brought up, and trained to survive in the wild. They will be released into the wild once they are ready. Visitors will be able to see these orang-utans up-close in their wildlife habitat as well as going on trekking and river expeditions.

Located within the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve, the centre also educates the public on conservation, and conducts research on other endangered species such as the rhinoceros. The sanctuary is one of the top tourist attractions in Sabah.




Sandakan has a tropical climate with hot and humid conditions year round. Temperatures usually are around 32 °C during the day and around 24 °C at night. The months of November to January stand out in having more rain and the drier months are March and April. In general though, rain is possible anytime and sometimes up to 500 mm of rain a month is not unheard of.



Getting There

By Plane

Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia fly daily between Kuala Lumpur and Sandakan.

MASwings has connecting to flights to and from Kota Kinabalu, Tawau and Kudat.

By Bus

Daily buses leave from Sandakan to Kota Kinabalu (6 hours), Lahad Datu (2.5 hours) and Tawau (5.5 hours). Long distance buses leave from the bus station located about 4 kilometres outside of town. The bus station is accessible by local bus or by taxi.





Bilit Rainforest LodgeKampong Bilit Sukau, Kinabatangan River SandakanHotel-
NAK HotelJalan Pelabuhan LamaHotel-
Nature Lodge KinabatanganKampung Bilit KinabatanganHostel80
Nipah LodgeNipah Lodge, Mile 19, Jalan Sps 3, Kg Sungai Tiram, SANDAKAN, SabahHOSTEL-
Paganakan Dii Tropical RetreatMile 14 Jalan LabukHostel83
Sandakan BackpackersLot 108, Block SH-11 Sandakan Harbour SquareHostel68
Sepilok Jungle ResortKm 22, Labuk Road P.O.Box 2082Hostel84
Winho Lodge Sdn BhdLot 8&9, Block 19, 1st & 2nd Floor, Second Avenue P O Box 178HOSTEL-
Discovery River LodgeUnit D3-3B, 3rdFloor, Tanjung Aru Plaza, Jalan Mat Salleh, 88100, Kota KinabaluCampsite-
Sukau Greenview B&BSukau Near Kinabatangan RiverGUESTHOUSE-
Premier InnLot 9, Block C Hsiang Garden, Jalan LeilaHotel-
Sea View Sandakan Budget & Backpackers HotelLot 126, Phase 1E, Block HS14 Harbor SquareHOSTEL82
Rose Guesthouse3rd Avenue, Block 20 1st Floor conner, Lot 1A & BGUESTHOUSE-
Sepilok Forest Edge ResortJalan Rambutan, Sepilok Mile 14HOSTEL-
Harbourside Backpackers1st Floor, Lot 43, Block HS-4 Harbour SquareHOSTEL86
Bilit Kinabatangan Heritage Bed and BreakfastKg Bilit, Kinabatangan Sandakan, Sabah Borneo MalaysiaHOSTEL-
Borneo Sandakan BackpackersBlock HS-5, Lot 54, 1st Floor Sandakan Harbour SqHOSTEL-
Borneo Cove HostelLot 2, Mile 1.5 Jalan Buli Sim-SimHOSTEL-



Keep Connected


See also International Telephone Calls


Pos Malaysia is the national postal service of Malaysia. Rates for sending a standard letter locally is 30 sen (20 gram) to 40 sen (up to 50 gram). International airmail has minimum rates ranging from RM1.00 to RM2.00, depending on destination. It costs 20 sen to send a postcard or aerogramme locally, or 50 sen to send a postcard or aerogramme to anywhere in the world.

Expedited Mail Service (EMS), branded locally as Poslaju, is available for both domestic and international destinations. Domestic EMS has a next day delivery guarantee. International EMS guarantees mails and parcels to be delivered out of the country by the following day. The time required to arrive at its destination will depend on clearance by authorities and the postal service of the destination country. For most countries, delivery of documents can be done in 3 to 5 days.

Generally, post offices are open from 8:30am to 5:00pm Monday to Saturday, except the first Saturday of the month. They are closed on Sundays and Public Holidays.

Quick Facts


  • Latitude: 5.841166
  • Longitude: 118.1129

Accommodation in Sandakan

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Sandakan searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Sandakan and areas nearby.


as well as agc_cwm (14%), Hien (5%), Peter (3%)

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This is version 20. Last edited at 1:58 on May 24, 13 by sleepBot. 16 articles link to this page.

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