They have a beautiful harbour. The town's a bit of a tip, but nice people. No rip-off tourist prices. If you found a place outside town, could be a place to spend winters if you are from, say, Europe or Japan. There are a lot of places to visit in the area. Borneo tea is very nice. February is reasonably cool in morning and evening.
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.
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