Sandakan city tour 山打根市区游
Sandakan city tour 山打根市区游
Explore the Wonders of Sabah Malaysia
Sandakan is the second-largest city in Sabah, East Malaysia, on the north-eastern coast of Borneo. It is located on the east coast of the island and it is the administrative centre of Sandakan Division and was the former capital of British North Borneo. Sandakan is known as the gateway for ecotourism. The first European settlement in the area was founded by William Clarke Cowie, a Scottish gun smuggler from Glasgow, who received permission from the Sultan of Sulu to establish a small trading base. Cowie called his settlement Sandakan, which in (Sulu) language means “the place that was pawned”. For an unrivalled panoramic view of Sandakan bay and a look at its newest temple, a visit should be made to the extravagantly ornate Puu Jih Shih Buddhist Temple, on the hill-top above Tanah Merah south of Sandakan town centre. Built and decorated in 1987 at a cost of around us$2 million, the temple is a blaze of red and gold, with writhing dragons, gilded buddhas, hundreds of gleaming lamps and the fragrance of burning incense. The Australian Memorial, on the site of what was a prisoner-of-war camp now in taman rimba, off labuk road, commemorates allied soldiers who lost their lives during the Japanese occupation. Some 2,400 men, most of them Australians, left this camp on the so-called “death march” towards the end of the war, only six of them surviving to reach Ranau, near Mount Kinabalu, a year later. The much-talked about Agnes Keith House is hard to miss. With its sprawling green lawns and colonial-style wooden walls, the residence has since been restored by the Sabah Museum, in collaboration with the Federal Department of Museums and Antiquities. This British colonial government quarters, called Newlands, was once occupied by famous American writer, Agnes Newton Keith, who penned Land Below The Wind in 1939. Two books followed her first success, namely Three Came Home (1946) and White Man Returns (1951). With the exception of the second book, Land Below the Wind and White Man Returns were written in the house on the hill where she had the best views of Sandakan Bay at the front and the Sulu Sea at the back. Today the house has been restored and turned into a heritage house, providing interesting insights to life during British North Borneo. It is furnished with a reproduction of colonial furniture and antiques. A gallery on the first floor tells the story of this remarkable woman, her books and her family. The site of the original town of Sandakan, which began in 1879, is located a short walking distance from the centre of town at Kampung Buli Sim Sim, which is a large water village where the neat wooden houses are perched on stilts above the sea and reached by plank walkways, till today, the practise as a fishing village are still been forward by their generation. With an estimated population of 222,817 people, Sandakan’s economy today has diversified into the agricultural base especially in the oil palm industry. It has also ventured into the tourism industry, concentrating on eco-tourism and wild-life conservation. As such, Sandakan is now usually referred to as “The gateway to Borneo’s Wildlife”.