Why choose Sandakan

For the eco-tourist and wildlife enthusiast, Sandakan is not just a destination; it's an encounter with Borneo's soulful biodiversity. Once the capital of British North Borneo, this city serves as a crucial gateway to some of the world’s most significant conservation projects, including the renowned Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. With a tropical rainforest climate, Sandakan offers lush landscapes that are as rich in history as they are in flora and fauna. It's a place where nature's resilience can be witnessed firsthand, and the Orangutan, the wise old man of the forest, roams free. An interesting tidbit: Sandakan is the birthplace of Agnes Keith, whose writings vividly captured life in Borneo during the 1930s.

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Sandakan's pivotal role in ecotourism is magnified by its storied past, pivotal in the conservation of endangered species like orangutans and sun bears. While it's a haven for nature lovers, the city's historical significance during World War II, notably the Sandakan Death Marches, adds a layer of profound depth to its character. This history, though poignant, is often overshadowed by its natural beauty, providing a backdrop that encourages deeper exploration beyond the conventional tourist paths.

For those looking to taste the local flavors, nothing is quite as iconic as the Sandakan seafood bowl, a vibrant mix of fresh catch from the Sulu Sea, seasoned with indigenous ingredients like Borneo lime and bird's eye chili. This dish, often served with a side of fragrant rice cooked in ginger and pandan leaves, embodies the coastal city’s culinary ethos: fresh, simple, and explosively flavorful. It’s an accessible dish for anyone wanting to dive into the essence of Sandakan’s local cuisine without the need for an adventurous palate.