Bring your family to Sandakan, Sabah for Borneo Holidays!
When you are traveling with your family to Sabah Borneo, one of the destinations that you and your family should not miss out is Sandakan! It is located on the east coast part of Sabah Borneo, known to be the Nature City and a getaway to any wildlife destinations in Sabah Borneo. Sandakan is primarily famous for its Orangutan Rehabilitation Center which is located in Sepilok, about half an hour drive from Sandakan City area. In addition, Sandakan is also an important site for world’s history especially on the Sandakan Death Marches during the World War II. Moreover, Sandakan is also a foodie heaven, with its delectable food that you’ve never tasted before, making Sandakan a unique travel destination for your Borneo Holidays.
There is few mode of transportation that you can use to go Sandakan, such as by air or by overland trip. You can go for a short domestic flight from Kuala Lumpur/ Kota Kinabalu to reach Sandakan. The flight from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan will take you about 45 minutes, while from Kuala Lumpur to Sandakan is 2 hours and 45 minutes. If you choose not to fly, you can always go for an overland transfer for about 6-7 hours from Kota Kinabalu city to Sandakan. An overland transfer to Sandakan will grant you and your family a memorable experience, as it gives you an opportunity to check out some of Sabah Borneo’s great scenery from your window view.
Beautiful Sandakan city at night from Four Point Sheraton Hotel. Photo by Andy Pang
Balin Rooftop from Nak Hotel. Photo by SabahEats
Upon arrival in Sandakan city, there are plenty of accommodations that are comfortable and budget that varies from high to low. You can bring your family to enjoy swimming at the pool which is overlooking the azure Sandakan Bay at the Four Points By Sheraton Sandakan, or to Sabah Hotel which is known to be one of the oldest hotel in Sandakan surrounded by natural tropical rainforests, or to Nak Hotel where you and your family can enjoy the scenic view at the rooftop restaurant, or at the Sandakan Styles Hotel for some easy access to Sandakan Harbour Mall and town area. If you are looking for more budget-wise accommodation, you can bring your family to stay at the Borneo Sandakan Backpackers which offers comfortable and convenient to travelers coming to Sandakan as well as an easy access to Sandakan town area.
Four Point Sheraton Hotel. Photo by Adrian Royle
St.Michael And All Angels Cathedral.
Agnes Keith House
Discover the Sandakan City with your family, where you and your family can get to know some interesting stories behind the historical sites, such as the Agnes Keith House, St Michael and All Angels Cathedral, Puu Jih Shih Buddhist Temple, and Sandakan War Memorial Park.
Your Borneo family holidays would not stop there, as Sandakan have much more to offer to travelers who are traveling with families. Bring your family to Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, which shelters about 70 Orangutans that are being rehabilitated before releasing back to the wild. Be sure to go during the feeding time session (10:00 am or 3:00 pm), your kids will love to see the Orangutans up close from the viewing platform.
Bornean Sun Bear relaxing on a tree branch
After that, check out the cute Sun Bears at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, which is just next to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. The viewing platform is on stilts above the forest floor, get ready with your binoculars and spot the Sun Bears down below.
Walking platform at the Rainforest Discovery Centre. Photo: Murphy Ng
Just nearby Sepilok is the Rainforest Discovery Centre, a good place for you and your family to get close to nature through jungle trails and canopy walk. Apart from that, birding activity can also be done at the Rainforest Discovery Centre, which, up to date, has recorded about 300 Borneo Birds in the area, such as Bornean Bristlehead, Hornbills, Pittas, Leafbirds, Woodpeckers, and more. It is not a surprise that Rainforest Discovery Centre is chosen to be the most preferred venue for Borneo Bird Festival that is held annually in the month of September or October.
A group of Proboscis Monkey were eating at the platform
Drop by at the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary before your journey to Kinabatangan River. The Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary offers everyone a chance to have a closer look at the Proboscis Monkeys. However, tell your children not to get too close with these primates for safety precaution, but you are welcome to take a selfie with the primates. At the same time, you can also see other animals such as Silver-Leaf Monkeys and Hornbills scattered around the area.
Kinabatangan River Cruise. Photo: Kevin Smith
Next, bring your kids to Kinabatangan River for more wildlife adventures and let your family get the experience of staying at a rustic riverside lodge. Proceed on a boat ride for safari cruise along the Kinabatangan River, where you and your family will get to spot some Proboscis Monkeys dangling from the trees, Orangutans resting on the trees, Monitor lizards by the river banks, and other wildlife. If you are lucky, you can spot a group of Borneo Pygmy Elephants eating or swimming by the riverside.
Choosing Sandakan as one of your Borneo Family Holidays destination would be a perfect time to increase the bond with your family and to have a memorable experience together. The best part of it, your kids will have a lot of stories to share with their friends in school. Feel free to read our travel guide to Sandakan to ease your mind on planning your travel in Sandakan.
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