Sandakan - Malaysia Bukit Pagar


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Sandakan is a town on the east coast of Sabah, facing the Sulu sea. It is a town rich in historical sites and a gateway to many eco-tourism destinations. To the west of Sandakan (about 20 min drive) lies Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation centre. It is the world oldest and largest Orang Utan Rehabilitation centre.
"Sandakan" is derived from the Suluk word "sanda" meaning, to pawn and "kan" being the suffix. So "Sandakan" means the place that was pawned.

William Clarke Cowie, in the early 1870s, a Scottish adventure and engineer, delivered guns and ammunitions to the Sultan of Sulu.
He did this for protecting territory of the Sultan against the Spanish conquerors.
In return, Cowie was granted permission by the Sultan to set up base on Pulau Timbang, in Sandakan Bay, where a small Suluk village existed. Cowie called his base "Sandakan".
In 1883, the British North Borneo Chartered Company moved its capital from Kudat to Sandakan.

A "building mania" started and Sandakan became a bustling modern town. Allied bombings towards the end of World War II nearly flattened the town.In 1946, the capital was moved to Jesselton. In 1968 they changed the name to Kota Kinabalu.
Sandakan was first and foremost a port for the export of logs and timber. In fact, it was said that Sandakan timber went into the building of Peking's Temple of Heaven. In its heyday, Sandakan used to boast of having the greatest concentration of millionaires in the world! Today, it is known more as the gateway to nature's most prolific treasures in Borneo.

There are daily flights from KLIA (KUL) or Kota Kinabalu (BKI) to Sandakan airport (SDK) by both Malaysia Airlines (MH) and Air Asia (AK). At Sandakan airport, there are two main options to get to Sepilok. The easiest one is by taxi. Otherwise, there are a number of public buses that go into the orang utan sanctuary. Journey will take about 20 minutes.

Sam Sing Kung Temple, or the Three Saints Temple.
Located at the edge of the town padang (town field). Dating from 1887, the Three Saint's Temple is the oldest building in Sandakan.
The three saints are:
- Kwan Woon Cheung, the saint of
- the goddess Tin Hou, worshipped by
- and the Emperor Min Cheong, worshipped by those who seek success in examinations.

Before school exams you will find hopeful students at this temple, which was built by four Chinese communities: the Hakka, Cantonese, Hainanese and Teochew.


Places of interest in Sandakan include the Puu Gih Jih Chinese Temple - a majestic temple erected on top of a hill facing Sandakan Bay. Don't miss the panoramic views across the town and huge bay from the great Puu Jih Shih Buddhist temple. St Michael and All Angels Cathedral, erected in late 19th century and one of the oldest stone buildings in Sabah. There's also an interesting forestry exhibition and orchid house to visit.  Other places of interest that can be visited are the world famous Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary which is located just 26 km from Sandakan. The Sandakan Crocodile Farm located on the Labuk Road near the Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary is also a major attraction.

The hotel sits on top of the hill overlooking the town of Sandakan. Yet it is accessible by a 15 minute walk to the town below. The hotel has 120 spacious guest rooms and suites, with a homely atmosphere. Each is equipped with all the latest comforts including a colour tv with in room movie channel, built in mini bar refrigerator, IDD phones. The hotel has a sports and fitness club, a fully equipped gym, outdoor tennis and squash courts, a jogging track, free form swimming pool fed by a beautiful waterfall, spa steam baths and a sauna. Golfing arrangements can be made at the nearby Sandakan Golf Club. This is the only international class hotel in Sandakan.


Sabah Hotel

Rooms from US 55 per night

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