Photo: Sandakan from above.


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Squeezed between Sulu Sea and the steep escarpment of Bukit Berenda (Trig Hill), Sandakan dominates the mouth of Sandakan Bay on the north coast of Sabah. For centuries, Sandakan was a centre of commerce, as traders sailed tall ships into her ports in search of exotic and expensive commodities from deep in the jungles of Borneo. Bombed to bits during World War II, the former capital of North Borneo has never quite regained her past glory.

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Reconstructed in a grid pattern of characterless concrete, Sandakan can seem charmless on first impression, and downright desolate at night, but it has a somewhat daggy appeal and more to offer as the gateway to Sabah’s best ecotourism ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 900 words.)

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