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Sandakan Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary Sandakan Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary
  In my previous article, I listed out some well-known places of interest in Sandakan. Now, let’s talk about how to get to Sandakan?... Sandakan Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary


Sandakan Land of Diversity and Conservation

In my previous article, I listed out some well-known places of interest in Sandakan.

Now, let’s talk about how to get to Sandakan?

You can easily reach Sandakan by car, bus or plane.

However, if you have ample time, I would recommend driving a car or taking the bus. The trip will be long (6-hour journey) but the sights along the way are really beautiful. You’ll be passing through Kota Kinabalu, Tuaran, Kundasang, Ranau, Telupid, Kinabatangan and finally, Sandakan. Trust me, it is worth it.

You’ll enjoy a wonderful view of lush greenery, valleys and hills. 

Most importantly, before the journey starts, please empty your bladder (I’ll tell you the reason shortly).  And for those who are prone to car sickness, please bring along suitable remedies. 😀

A Journey to Sandakan by Bus

For a bus trip from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan, you need to get a ticket at the Inanam Bus Terminal.  There are many bus operators to choose from. If you pick a new bus operator, the trip could get cancelled if there aren’t enough passengers. However, new bus operators usually have new buses – which means new upholstery and comfortable seats.

Moreover, there would most likely be a few unoccupied seats, too.

Depending on your destination, the fare would be around RM40 – RM50.  Some passengers may want to stop at Mile 32 (Check Point) or at Bukit Garam, Kinabatangan or head straight to Sandakan town.

Bus To Sandakan

Before the journey begins

An early morning trip (at 7am) should give you the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful green landscapes as the bus passes through Tamparuli, Kundasang, Ranau and Telupid.  Do bring along a sweater or jacket because the air-conditioning in the bus could get very cold.

It is advisable to buy yourself some snacks and drinks at the shops near the Terminal before the journey. The bus usually makes a stop about 3 hours later at Telupid, to enable passengers to visit the loo and also get something to eat.

Despite the signage in the bus, NEVER visit the in-house lavatory except in cases of extreme emergency!  Most are not in good working condition.  So, don’t drink too much, just enough to keep yourself hydrated, and forgive me for the extremely graphic picture below…. :{

Toilet Bus

Some graphic instructional images in the bus

While on the move

Get your camera ready. There are plenty of opportunities to capture the majestic Mount Kinabalu and its surrounding lush green scenery.  If the weather permits and you don’t get sick during the snaky uphill route to Kundasang, you should be able to capture a decent photo for keepsake.

The odds should be greater if the bus gets ‘trapped’ in the middle of an envoy ‘escorting’ tankers or lorries. The snail-paced convoy should enable you to snap clearer shots or catch sight of the huts for mushroom cultivation and marvel at the rows of corns or blooming mango trees planted by the road side.

Folks in Kundasang and Ranau are really blessed with amazing green fingers.

If you choose to get off the bus at Mile 32, there’s a food court not too far ahead called  Sam Jaya Food Court at Mile 16, Kampung Gum Gum, Labuk Road, Sandakan. It has a satisfactory washroom facility, a mini-market and a mini-zoo.

Bus Trip to Sandakan

Here’s the washroom. Fully automated. Just drop in a coin to enter.

Sam Jaya Toilet

And here’s the activity bulletin which features many fun programs.

Clearly, there are more than a few activities to keep the kids occupied.

Sam Jaya Notice of Activities

Afterwards, if you’re not too tired, you could head straight to Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary at Mile 19, Labuk Road, Sandakan.

Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary

labuk bay

Proboscis Monkey, or Nasalis Larvatus as it is scientifically named or Monyet Belanda in Malay, can only be found in Borneo.  This forlorn-looking, beady-eyed and extremely fast-climber is the mascot of Malaysia’s Visit Malaysia Year 2014.

Proboscis monkeys endemic to the Borneo island in Malaysia

There are quite a lot living around Sandakan areas. Interestingly, I was told that in Kinabatangan, proboscis are frequent visitors at the school backyards.

In the Sanctuary, you are guaranteed opportunities to have a closer look a few times each day. No need to take a river cruise through their natural habitats of swampy mangrove wetland or the river flood plain.

Entrance Fees

Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary

Here’s my generous host, tour-guide and sponsor for the trip 😊 He is very camera-shy.

As you can see in the map below, there’s walking involved. Luckily, I had a comfortable walking shoes on, and the temperature was not too hot.

Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary map

Pic credit: www.proboscis.cc

Sandakan Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary lies in the middle of a 400+ acres palm oil plantation and mangrove area. Entrance fees for Malaysians are RM15 (Adult) and RM5 (Child). For non-Resident are RM60 (Adults) and RM30 (Child). In addition, there’s also a fee of RM10 charged for usage of standard digital camera or handycam.

Gate Pass Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary

Feeding Times

Evidently, the best time to view the proboscis monkeys is during the daily feeding times scheduled in the morning and afternoon.

There are 2 feeding places Platform A and Platform B.

  • Platform A is a simple big hut, The feeding times at Platform A are at 9:30 am and 2.30pm.
  • Platform B has additional facilities such as video room, sitting room, souvenir shop, etc. The feeding times at Platform B are at 11.30am and 4.30pm.

Furthermore, visitors at Platform B also have a good chance of encountering the Silver Leaf Monkeys (and their cute babies) and the Oriental Pie Hornbills.

For more info regarding the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary, please visit their excellent website at www.proboscis.cc.

Chalets and Accommodation

If you fancy an experience of living in the middle of the plantation and waking up to the sounds of birds and other creatures, there are chalets and other accommodation available in Labuk Bay.  In fact, there is a promotion due on 17th May 2014 which I find is quite interesting:

labuk bay promo

Pic credit: www.labukbay.com.my

So, what do you think?

Would you like to visit the adorable orang utans at Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre? Or learn more about the sun bears at the Borneon Sun Bear Conservation Centre? What about the mysterious caves of Agop Sawat and Agop Lintanga? Or take a river cruise to witness the diverse ecosystem of the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary?

Zurainny Ismail

Previously an IR consultant focusing on industrial harmony, she now serves as a Legal Manager. She still loves exchanging ideas and thoughts with others on many subjects. An occasional knitter and an aspiring crooner.