SANDAKAN, The Nature City of Malaysia: Land of Diversity and Conservation

Sandakan Town

Christopher Buddle, wrote that :

Naturalists are curious, observant, and passionate about the world around them, with a particular fascination for nature. Naturalists often document what they see, enjoy sharing their knowledge, and are motivated to continually expand their knowledge.

And he also stated that:

Many naturalists have no formal training in biology, and don’t have advanced degrees. They may have binoculars, probably have paper and pen, and they have an ability to observe carefully and critically and feel joy and appreciation about what they are observing. They are the elderly, they are children. My eldest son (when he was about 5 years old) collected, pinned and labelled some insects from our neighbourhood, and I consider that to be an activity of a naturalist.


If we accept that statement, then that means most of us are naturalists – even if we’re unaware of the fact. However, if we are living in the city, then the most that we can see are the landscaped plants, a few butterflies, an occasional snake or two, cats, dog, etc – the usual city dwellers. Not that they are uninteresting but after a few years of the same view, we tend to take things for granted.

So, to refresh our interest, once in a while, all naturalists need to venture into the exciting world of floras and faunas.

To all naturalists, I invite you to visit Sandakan, the Nature City of Malaysia, where you’re guaranteed to see the many, many wonderful plants and animals.


Sandakan is located in the East Coast of Sabah and about 6 hours’ drive from Kota Kinabalu.  The second largest town in Sabah, it’s division consists of Sandakan, Beluran, Kinabatangan and Tongod. Sandakan is the largest administrative division in Sabah as it covers almost 40% of Sabah.

map of sandakan
Pic credit:

Sandakan Town


Which are the spots in Sandakan that should interest naturalists? Well….let’s see. Among the well-known ones are:

  1. Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary at Mile 19, Labuk Road, Sandakan
  2. Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Mile 14, Sandakan
  3. Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary
  4. Borneon Sun Bear Conservation Centre at Sepilok
  5. Rainforest Discovery Centre at Sepilok
  6. Selingan Turtle Islands
  7. Gomantong Caves
  8. Agop Batu Tulug Museum
  9. Sandakan Orchid House
  10. Crocodile Farm

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation

agop lintaca

natural park sandakan

Wow! So many ahh! Yes, Sandakan is another unique and wonderful place to visit in Sabah just like Kudat with its Tanjung Simpang Mengayau, Honey Bee Farm, etc. You really must come to Sandakan and see for yourself. At least 1 week stay is necessary if you wish to really experience most of the places on the list.

There are places for Bird Watching too for bird and photography enthusiast.

I shall write in more detail about the above places in my future postings.

– SANDAKAN, The Nature City of Malaysia: Land of Diversity and Conservation

6 thoughts on “SANDAKAN, The Nature City of Malaysia: Land of Diversity and Conservation

  1. Karel stayed in Sandakan


    Nice town Sandakan. Spent about a month there and liked how nearby there were so many natural wonders and wildlife to see.

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.