Sandakan Memorial Park


A beautiful rainforest garden marks the site of a Japanese POW camp and the starting point for the infamous WWII 'death marches' to Ranau. Of the 1793 Australian and 641 British troops originally imprisoned here, the only survivors by July 1945 were six Australian escapees. A concrete water tank and a few rusting machines from the British agricultural station that became a prison comprise the only physical remains. A pavilion recounts the horrors and heroism and includes photographs and survivor accounts.

Download the Sandakan app to learn more about the camp, the privations endured (particularly by Australians, seen as troublemakers by the Japanese), the horrific diet and the locals who saved and hid the six surviving Australians.

To reach the park, take any Batu 8 (or higher-numbered) bus from the local bus station on the waterfront in the city centre (RM1.50). Get off at the 'Taman Rimba' signpost and walk down Jln Rimba. A taxi from the city centre costs about RM80 return with one hour waiting time; two Grab rides work out cheaper.