Once Sabah’s capital city, Sandakan was virtually destroyed during World War II and its administrative functions were moved to Kota Kinabalu.
Now rebuilt, it is an interesting place to spend some time before continuing your journey to Turtle Island National Park, Lankayan or the Kinabatangan River.
Sandakan War Memorial
There is a thriving port and excellent wet market where the catch of the day is brought for sale, while the war memorial at Sandakan is built at the site of the former Sandakan Prisoner of War Camp in memory of the 2,400 Australian Prisoners of War who died here and in the death marches of World War II.
The shady, forested setting is a peaceful sanctuary to contemplate the tragedies of this all-too-recent history.
Suggested itineraries featuring Sandakan
Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Sandakan, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
Map of Sandakan
Places & hotels on the map
Places in and around Sandakan
- Sepilok Sandakan
- Kinabatangan River 22 miles away
- Deramakot Forest Reserve 57 miles away
- Garama Wetlands 60 miles away
- Tabin Wildlife Reserve 73 miles away
- Danum Valley 73 miles away
- Maliau Basin 96 miles away
- Mount Kinabalu 104 miles away
- Kinabalu National Park 105 miles away
- Mataking Island 108 miles away
- Sipadan, Mabul & Kapalai Islands 109 miles away
- Kapalai Island 121 miles away
- Kota Kinabalu 134 miles away
- Gaya Island 141 miles away
- Manukan Island 142 miles away
- Brunei 224 miles away
- Mulu National Park 248 miles away
- Miri, Niah Caves & Lambir Hills National Park 300 miles away
Accommodation choices for Sandakan
We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Sandakan. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.