Things to see and do
Just 23 kilometres from Sandakan, this is the most popular place in the world to see Borneo's famous ginger apes in their natural habitat. The orangutans here are all rescue animals (orphaned or injured) and have been reintroduced into the safety of the Sepilok Forest Reserve. They're wild apes ... read more
Just a 20-minute walk from the Sepilok Orangutan Centre, this government-run forest reserve is the perfect place to learn about tropical plants and enjoy a nature walk away from the tourist hordes. You could spend half a day here trekking the market trails, or breeze through the highlights like ... read more
This plot of jungle was destined to become a palm oil plantation, but the owner turned it into a reserve for proboscis monkeys instead. Unique to Borneo, they are memorable looking monkeys with pot bellies and bulbous red noses. The monkeys are fed at 09:30, 11:30, 14:30 and 16:30 and this is when ... read more
About 40 kilometres off the coast of Sandakan, this group of islands is one of the most important sea turtle breeding grounds in Asia. Almost every night green and hawksbill sea turtles emerge from the sea to lay their eggs in the sand of the exact same beach where they were born. To help boost ... read more
For a truly local experience, join the locals shopping at the massive Sandakan Central Market. Near the entrance are a couple of souvenir shops dealing in orangutan T-shirts and pearl necklaces, but otherwise the ground level serves as a wet market with fresh veggies, fruit, poultry and more dried ... read more
Back when Sandakan was still the capital of British North Borneo, American Agnes Keith lived in a house on a hill overlooking the city and wrote her famous novel about life in Borneo titled Land Below the Wind. Though the original house was destroyed during WWII, a replica has been constructed and ... read more
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