Photo: Puu Jih Shih has fab views of Sandakan Bay and across the Sulu Sea .

Puu Jih Shih Temple

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One of Sandakan’s best sunset viewing spots is from hilltop Puu Jih Shih (Syh) Temple, which has commanding views of Sandakan Bay and across the Sulu Sea.

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Photo of Puu Jih Shih Temple

The extravagant Chinese Buddhist temple perches four kilometres west of the centre of Sandakan. Not as ancient and incense soaked as some of the older temples in town, Puu Jih Shih is bright and shiny, relatively newly built in 1987. Rows of white Buddha statues flank the driveway as you enter. Leave your shoes on shelves provided at the entrance overlooking the sea. The interior is a gaudy mix of red, gold and blue and features writhing dragon-entwined pillars, illuminated statues and gilt Buddhas in all his forms. Tiled floors, polished until they gleam, reflect all and the more recently painted ceiling. Towers of small gold Buddhas are labelled with the Chinese names of contributors who have donated to the temple: three characters for an individual, and five for a family name.

Looking down from the temple to the terraced gardens below, a topiary hedge forms a large swastika. Late afternoon, you may be lucky to witness the nuns (or perhaps monks), chanting, twinkling bells and beating the large drum, an atmospheric backdrop as the sun sets. Give yourself at least half an hour to snap some pictures and admire the vista. The temple has clean toilets.

What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Sandakan.
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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Sandakan? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Malaysia.

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