Published/Last edited or updated: 13th November, 2016
The Tower of Heaven, or Menara Kayangan, is a romantically named viewing platform atop Mount Silam in the Sapagaya Forest Reserve, the most accessible patch of forest in the Lahad Datu area, just 16 kilometres southwest of town.
Most visitors just come for the panorama, and from the main road entrance, a 10-kilometre sealed road snakes up the mountain to the tower. A cafe sells drinks and snacks, and there are toilets and a campground. Wooden staircases wind up the metal and wooden structure to two wide viewing platforms, canopy height for bird enthusiasts. Posters give information on flora and fauna that can be found around the 296-hectare reserve. For folks who find stairs troublesome, a decent view is possible form a lookout in front of the tower too. It’s pleasantly cool. It can get foggy up here, so the views are not guaranteed.
From near the tower, two trails lead to Mount Silam’s summit 884 metres above sea level, the highest point in Lahad Datu district. Signs mark the estimated time and difficulty, but not the actual distance — one a 45-minute difficult trail, and the other 2.5 hours, and easy. The trails were under renovation when we visited in 2016 and we could only walk part of the way. New wide cement paths are replacing forest dirt tracks and are very steep and slippery in parts.
If you’re lucky, you may see some of the 23 documented species of mammals found here including sambar deer, bearded pigs and the Bornean gibbon. We only saw one pig-tail macaque, but did spot one of two species of pitcher plants, and several pretty butterflies. Mount Silam also has its very own endemic species, a small orange land crab known as the Silam crab (Geosesarma aurantium Ng). Look for it in the leaf litter: it’s a tiny one-centimetre long and ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 400 words.)
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.
Our top 1 other sights and activities in and around Lahad Datu