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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

Australian War Memorial Park, Sandakan, Malaysian BorneoThere 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.

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Audley Travel specialist Jack

Start planning your tailor-made trip to Sandakan by contacting one of our Borneo specialists

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

    Our expert guides to exploring Sandakan

    Written by our specialists from their own experiences of visiting Sandakan, these guides will help you make the most of your time there. We share both our practical recommendations and the best ways to appreciate Sandakan at its best.

    • What to see in Borneo: our highlights guide
      Proboscis monkeys, Sandakan, Borneo

      What to see in Borneo: our highlights guide

      What to see in Borneo: our highlights guide

      This guide features recommendations for things to do in Borneo. It focuses on the states of Sabah and Sarawak in Malaysian Borneo, which offer a lot of variety in a smaller radius than Indonesian Borneo.

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    • Borneo family vacations
      Elephants on the Kinabatangan River, Malaysian Borneo

      Borneo family vacations

      Borneo family vacations

      Borneo specialist Sophie explains why Malaysian Borneo is a great family vacation destination. She recommends engaging ways to spot wildlife, experience tribal cultures and have jungle adventures.

      9 min read

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    • Honeymoons in Borneo
      Lankayan Island, Malaysian Borneo

      Honeymoons in Borneo

      Honeymoons in Borneo

      Plan your perfect honeymoon to Borneo with Audley. Discover some of the best properties, places and wildlife on offer and how we can make your honeymoon in Borneo extra special.

      8 min read

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    • Seeing orangutan in Borneo: Malaysia or Indonesia?
      Baby orangutan at the Sanctuary

      Seeing orangutan in Borneo: Malaysia or Indonesia?

      Seeing orangutan in Borneo: Malaysia or Indonesia?

      Although Borneo is the place to see orangutans in the wild, its political separation as part Malaysia, part Indonesia does leave you with choices for where to plan your orangutan-spotting trip. Our expert Sophie helps you decide: Indonesian or Malaysian Borneo?

      4 min read

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    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.