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Sandakan feels like a city on the edge of the world, with the craggy shores of Sandakan Bay on one side and dense green treetops covering the hilly terrain for miles behind. It leaves you wondering how it got here, but that doesn’t matter. You’re deep in eastern Borneo and the Sandakan accommodation you booked has put you within touching distance of some the area’s best attractions. It’s time to explore.
The best adventures that Sandakan has to offer are outside the city, in places where you get up close and personal with nature. Visit the Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre east of Sandakan at feeding times to see rescued orang-utans emerge from the jungle. Book a day trip to the Turtle Islands 30km offshore and you’ll not only get the chance to see how the turtles and their eggs are cared for, but also hold a hatchling in your own hands and then spend the day walking along the golden beaches and snorkelling in some of the clearest waters you’ve ever seen. A Turtle Island excursion is the day trip of a lifetime.
To really immerse yourself in the wilderness without any manmade barriers, you can go on a Kinabatangan River cruise. Most of the thick forest on either side is truly untouched, and the only way to reach the villages deep in the jungle is on the river you are exploring. If you are lucky you’ll see wild animals like elephants roaming the river banks. You’ll have a newfound appreciation for nature after this.
Of course, some of your time is going to have to be spent in Sandakan itself, and the city definitely has its charms. Who can resist Indian curries, stir-fried dishes, roti bread, and seafood caught fresh that day? To top it off, you can find pubs and hotels to enjoy the evening and maybe catch the sun setting over the forested hills. If you’re still not ready to tuck yourself in for the night, head to Bandar Indah for the city’s clubbing area.
Breath-taking beaches, a lively city and the chance to literally touch nature, wot else could you want? Oh, a booking at one of our Sandakan hotels might help, as well as a flight to Malaysia. It’s the essential first step towards your dream holiday!
Hotels in Sandakan start at AU$14 per night. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.