places to visit: (click on the names to know)
Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre: It is a not-to-be-missed attractions of Sandakan even for a short space of time. The staff explains to you about the bears and why they are protected. You are even given a binocular to have a clear view of the bears.
Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary: A commercial Palm Oil plantation has been converted into a sanctuary for this endangered species. Go during the feeding time to see proboscis and silver leaf monkeys.
Turtle Island Park: If you really want to visit, plan ahead and go during the turtle nesting time..otherwise you won’t see anything. Take a guide who can show you around the island. You have to stay a night in the island as the turtle comes well in the midnight to lay eggs. The lodging and fooding available at present, in the island is below par..so bring food if you are a fussy eater.
Puu Jih Buddhist Temple: The best time to visit this temple is Chinese New Year when the temple is lit with thousands of beautiful pink and red lanterns. The temple sits on top of a hill, so you can see not only the whole of Sandakan but up to Philippine islands.
Deramakot Forest Reserve: You can spend more than a week to get the feel of being a part with the rainforest that is increasingly getting scarce thanks to the rising tide of palm oil plantations. It’s one of the best locations in the world to observe endangered species like orangutans, leopard, wild cats, civets etc. It is best to book a tour beforehand to experience the thrill this forest has to offer. The Adventure Alternative Borneo comes well recommended to venture into this forest reserve.
Lankayan Island: The island has only one resort with only 20 wooden chalets. So you will get a beautiful clean tropical beach which is never too crowdy. If you are lucky, you can see turtle hatchlings coming out of their sand nest or turtle nesting too. Please contact the below given link for more details:
Sandakan Rainforest Park: If you cannot hike the Dermakot Forest Reserve, but really want to get a slice of Sandakan Rainforest..then this can be a treat for you. This park is managed by Sabah Forestry Department. The park has high hills and walk through its jungle provides a unique nature experience. From the high elevation of the trails, you can see Sandakan city which is picturesque. But be sure to exit the park before dark, otherwise you might get lost.
The Parish of St Michael and All Angels: Founded in 1888, this is the oldest church in Sandakan and Sabah and is part of the heritage trail of Sandakan. The building, the wall and the stone all are completely beautiful. Do not go on a Sunday as this is still a working Church and have mass on that day.