Sandakan & Sepilok
The city of Sandakan is the gateway to the interior of Sabah, where you will find the famous Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center and wonderful wildlife on the Kinabatangan River. Most visitors tend to head straight inland after their flight, however should you choose to spend a night in the city, there are a few cultural sites, including the house of American author Agnes Keith.
Sandakan was almost entirely destroyed during World War II, which is why despite its long history, there are few historical buildings to be found. However a few colonial mansions still stand, and the city’s trading heritage is reflected in a number of different religious buildings and monuments.
The Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center lies to the north of Sandakan. The center was founded in 1964, and provides medical care, rehabilitation and a safe area for orphaned, injured or previously captive orangutans. Next door there is also the Sun Bear Sanctuary. The Bornean Sun Bear is the smallest bear in the world, and critically endangered due to poaching and the destruction of its habitat.