Hostels in Sandakan, Malaysia

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Get to know Sandakan (no more "I wish I knew this before")

This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Sandakan. To help you make friends with Sandakan before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!

Sandakan is a city in Sabah, one of the Eastern States of Malaysia. The city is best known as an excellent place for travelers to base themselves for visiting to Turtle Islands National Park and the Gomantong Caves. It's also the best place to arrange trips to Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center and river trips. In the city itself you should visit the water village for nice views.

If you are heading to Turtle Islands National Park, you can spot numerous turtles and if you arrive here between July and October, you will catch the nesting time. Besides turtle spotting you have nice and calm beaches where you can spend some time. If you want you can overnight in the park in Pulau Selingaan (Selingaan Island), but remember to book in advance as there is a limit of fifty people in the island. If you are aiming to the Gomantong Caves you will find two caves that house the black and white swiftlets whose nests are used in the famous Chinese bird's nest soup -– the mix of saliva and feathers can be worth a lot of money per kilo. The other main option near Sandakanis is the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center, and this is one of the few orangutan sanctuaries in the world. Just twenty-five kilometers outside Sandakan, this center houses orangutans that can easily be spotted during feeding time –- ask in Sandakan hostels about the exact time for feeding so you can be able to plan.

The best way to arrive in Sandakan is by airplane, with plenty of connections to Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu. From Kota Kinabalu, you can take a six-hour bus trip, as well as get connections to and from Semporna and Tawau.

There are a few hostels in Sandakan and a good location should be the waterfront. Sandakan's hostels are usually clean and can include breakfast –- don't forget to confirm it when you book.

Written by local enthusiast for Sandakan hostels

Written by local enthusiast for Sandakan hostels CoffeeMarks

FAQ about Sandakan Hostels

There are plenty of frequently asked questions about hostels in Sandakan. We've collected the most common questions and doubts when it comes to picking your preferred accommodation in Sandakan. The more you know, the better you can plan with confidence and ease, right? shows all 7 Hostels in Sandakan. Simply filter by neighborhood and price to find your perfect budget place to stay. compares prices for 7 hostels in Sandakan, Malaysia. We list for you other cheap places to stay in Sandakan such as
  • 1 hotel
  • 3 guesthouses

This makes this very website the best place to find cheap accommodation in Sandakan.

Nature Lodge Kinabatangan is the best rated hostel for partying in Sandakan.

It offers: Bar.

Your Packing List for Sandakan

Your Packing List for Sandakan

Pack smart, not hard

Hostel? Check! Now let's have at your hostel packing list for Sandakan and Malaysia.

You may wonder what to pack when staying in hostels? There is a few absolute basics you always have to pick. Other items are more optional and depend more on your location. Here is the must-packing items when staying in hostels:

These are the basics, yet there is more. We wrote a big, detailed guide on what to pack, tech gear and things you won't need.

Get your full Packing List here

Sandakan Hostel Cheatsheet

Above we list every single hostel there is in the city. Let us take a broader look at what you can expect - and what not. We created this cheatsheet for you to get a more complete picture of the hostel quality in Sandakan, average prices and types of hostels to choose from.
7 Total number of hostels
1 Party hostels in Sandakan
Nature Lodge Kinabatangan is the best rated
Most Sandakan hostels are located in
Kinabatangan, Sepilok, Sandakan Harbour Square
8.3 Average rating of all hostels

Other Nearby Cities

Sepilok (16 Km / 10 mi.)
Lahad Datu (93 Km / 58 mi.)
Ranau (161 Km / 100 mi.)
Semporna (161 Km / 100 mi.)
Mabul Island (186 Km / 116 mi.)

Travel Tips for Sandakan - from the Community

Hey fam! Here are a few more tips from the community, from them to you, and you to them. This space is dedicated for travellers to share their best tips on backpacking Sandakan. Have a closer look - the Hostelz community share real hidden gems, insider knowledge and overall impressions of Sandakan. Everyone is welcome to add something useful, funny, unexpected and the "absolutely necessary to know before you go" - share, share and then share a little more!

Sandakan comments only. Don't discuss the hostels here, post a review on the hostel's page instead.

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