Welcome to Sandakan

Looking out across the teal-blue Bay of Sandakan dotted with Chinese trawlers and distant isles, it's hard to believe its population was once composed of such an exotic cast of foreign interests; German traders, Dutch and Chinese planters, Arab and Indian traders, and pearl divers. Sadly it was razed to the ground during WWII by the British in an attempt to shake off the grip of the invading Japanese. After the war,... Read More

Top experiences in Sandakan

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Sandakan activities

$111.99 Day Trips & Excursions

Sandakan Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Center Full-Day Trip from Kota Kinabalu

The Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Center, located near the town of Sandakan, is one of the best places on earth to see the famous wild man of Borneo in its natural habitat. After pickup from your hotel in Kota Kinabalu, be transferred to the airport for your flight to Sandakan (flight surcharge subject to change, please see Additional Info for more details). Upon arrival, be taken to the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Center, the largest and oldest of its kind on earth where a dedicated team of professionals work tirelessly to assist orphaned, abandoned or abused Orangutans to learn the survival skills they need to return to their natural habitat - the teeming jungles of Borneo. Follow your guide on a walk along a raised wooden walkway to the observation deck where Orangutans slowly emerge from the rainforest to be fed by the rangers. The Sepilok centre supplements the rehabilitated Orangutan's diet with a feeding at 10am and 3pm. Please note that wildlife sightings are not guaranteed as the Orangutans roam freely in the jungle. Afterward, head to a local restaurant for a delectable lunch of Malaysian specialties. Then, enjoy an afternoon of touring around Sandakan beginning with a tour of a local market offering a variety of fruits, vegetables and unique local handicrafts. Learn about traditional Chinese architecture on a guided visit to a the Puh Jih Shih Buddhist Temple, situated on a hilltop. Admire the views of the city skyline from the observation point The temple is situated on a hill-top looking and provides great photo opportunities of the breathtaking views over Sandakan Bay. At the end of your tour, transfer to Sandakan airport to catch your flight back to Kota Kinabalu. Upon arrival, be transported back to your hotel in Kota Kinabalu

$112 Kid Friendly

Full-Day Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and City Tour in Sandakan

After pickup from your hotel or the airport in Sandakan, you will be taken to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, a renowned sanctuary for orphaned orangutans. Upon arrival, you're guided to the viewing gallery and feeding platform to watch young apes as they're fed milk and bananas. Daily morning and afternoon feeding times attract long-tailed macaques from the area on occasion. You'll see orangutans as young as two years old being taught survival skills so that they may eventually return to their natural habitat.During your visit, take a walk along a nature trail to see vegetation and animal life in the tropical rainforest surrounding the center. After departing, your guide makes a stop for lunch at a local restaurant in Sandakan.In the afternoon, embark on a city tour of Sandakan, one of Sabah's earliest settlements. Visit the Observation Pavilion, Central Market, Chinese Temple, and a church, followed by a drive to the water village. Here, check out the stilt houses of local tribes perched above the water.Afterward, you will be dropped off at Sandakan Airport or your local hotel.

$130 Outdoor Activities

Full-Day Sepilok Orangutan and Sun Bear and Sandakan City Trail

Board an early morning flight from Kota Kinabalu bound for the historic Sandakan, one of Sabah's earliest settlements. You will be picked up from the airport and taken to the renowned Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary.You will be greeted and picked up your Sandakan Hotel or Airport  and taken on a 30 minute drive to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center situated in the Kabili-Sepilok forest reserve. Visit the Nature Education Center and watch the video documentary show to learn about the rehabilitation of orphaned Orangutan before taking a boardwalk through the lowland rainforest to view the feeding platform. Trek ten minutes through the rainforest on wooden plank walks to witness the feeding of the Orangutans at approximately 10am.After this, you will be transferred to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Center, where you will see the Sun Bear live in tropical regions with year-round available foods. During time of mating, the Sun Bear will show behavior like hugging, mock fighting and head bobbing with its mate. Enjoy a delicious lunch before proceeding to the Sandakan City Tour. You will be shown various landmarks and historical points in the city that was once known as “Little Hong Kong”.Landmarks you will see include Puh Jih Syh Buddhist Temple which offers a panoramic view of Sandakan Bay situated on the hill top Tanah Merah and Sandakan Central Market which has the most amazing variety of fresh seafood and agricultural products. You will also take a visit to the English Tea House – a display of traditional British colonial architecture and uniform. The English tea house has a typically British menu including such favorites as fish and chips, shepherd's pie and cream teas. The concept of a colonial style English restaurant was an idea inspired by the famous Agnes Keith house next door.After the Sandakan city tour you will be dropped at the Sandakan Airport or your Hotel Lobby.Contact the local service provider for recommended flights.

$649.34 Multi-day & Extended Tours

3-Day Tour from Sabah: Sandakan Sightseeing and Wildlife Experience in Sepilok and Selingan

Green sea turtles, forest orangutans and limestone caves are just some of the highlights on this extraordinary 3-day tour from Sabah to Sandakan, including 4-star overnight stays at Selingan Island Resort and Borneo Nature Lodge. All meals and transportation, including boat tours, are included as you're expertly guided to some of the region's best natural and cultural attractions.

$515.99 Multi-day & Extended Tours

2-Day Small-Group Tour: Sandakan City and Wildlife Experience from Sabah

Discover the fascinating heritage of Sandakan and its neighboring island of Selingan on this all-inclusive 2-day small-group tour with your expert guide. Venture to Selingan, commonly referred to as Selingan Turtle Island, to observe the process of protecting baby turtles. Then, visit the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre to learn about the rehabilitation of stray and wounded orangutans.

$2149 Classic

Highlights of Sabah & Mt Kinabalu

The natural splendour of Borneo’s Eastern Sabah region and towering peaks of Mt Kinabalu, all on one adventure? Where do I sign up?” Right here, friend. This incredible 11-day tour delivers ample time in Malaysia’s jungle playground (including a life-changing encounter with orangutans at a rehabilitation facility) before three days in the shadow of mighty Mt Kinabalu – the tallest peak in this part of the world – climaxing with a sunrise hike to the mountain’s peak. Prepare to be amazed.