Character-filled homely backpackers
Sandakan Backpackers may not be the fanciest hostel in town, but it gets our vote for one of the friendliest and has excellent sea views from the common areas and some private rooms too. Spacious and clean four or eight-bed air-con dorms provide comfortable and solid wooden bunk beds.
Twin, double and family-sized private rooms are also available. Most have share amenities, but a sea-view double has an attached shower, although you’ll still have to use the share toilet.
Rooms are bright and airy and colourful painted walls add to their cheerfulness. Share toilets and hot-water showers are old and stained, but scrubbed clean. Cosy and unpretentious common areas are great places to chill and get the lowdown on all things Borneo from the friendly and knowledgeable hosts, Zu and Za. Feel at home, sit back in a comfortable couch to watch TV or a DVD, or grab a book from the small library. A bench by the window with bar stools looking out to sea is where we’d be eating the included breakfast of local fruits and toast. If you’d prefer to cook for yourself, there’s a kitchen too.
We especially love the semi-open rooftop terrace overlooking the harbour — grab one of the hammocks, relax and enjoy the views. Zu and Za took over the hostel in March 2016. They are really enthusiastic and we get the impression they want to offer guests a personal service rather than just a cheap bed. They can help with tours and onward travel, too. We think this comfortable hostel is excellent, but if they’re full, try Harbourside Backpackers.
Address: Lot 108, 1st Floor, Block SH-11, Sandakan Harbour Square, Sandakan
T: (0892) 11213; (0138) 787 826;
Coordinates (for GPS): 118º7'6.81" E, 5º50'18.57" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: Under 60 ringgit
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Dorm air-con||30 ringgit||30 ringgit|
|Dbl fan share bathroom||45 ringgit||45 ringgit|
|Dbl air-con share bathroom|
Seaview: 70 ringgit
|60 ringgit||60 ringgit|
Sally spent twelve years leading tourists around Indonesia and Malaysia where she collected a lot of stuff. She once carried a 40kg rug overland across Java. Her house has been described as a cross between a museum and a library. Fuelled by coffee, she can often be found riding her bike or petting stray cats. Sally believes travel is the key to world peace.
Provided by Travelfish partner Agoda.
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