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The Mysterious Agop Sawat and Agop Lintanga in Sandakan The Mysterious Agop Sawat and Agop Lintanga in Sandakan
After the long walks at Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary and Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Borneon Sun Bear Conservation Centre and Rainforest Discovery Centre... The Mysterious Agop Sawat and Agop Lintanga in Sandakan

After the long walks at Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary and Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Borneon Sun Bear Conservation Centre and Rainforest Discovery Centre at Sepilok, Sandakan, why not take a breather by visiting Sandakan Orchid House, the Crocodile Farm and Agop Batu Tulug Museum?

Sandakan Orchid House

Sandakan Orchid House

Sandakan Orchid House has a collection of rare orchids and is a must-see for green-fingered enthusiasts. Moreover, you could also buyย  some orchid species to take home.

And if you want to see reptiles, along the Labuk Road from Sandakan is a crocodile farm, which is home to about 1,000 crocodiles of various sizes.

Agop Batu Tulug Museum

Lots of steep, wooden stairs…

Agop Batu Tulug Museum

Next, drop by Agop Batu Tulug Museum in which lies the mysterious Agop Sawat and Agop Lintaga. Notwithstanding its eerie atmosphere, it is a fantastic place to test your stamina, leg muscle-strength and ascertain whether you have a fear of heights, dark caves and coffins.๐Ÿ˜…ย  If I were living in Sandakan and planning to conquer Mount Kinabalu, I would start my training on the steps adorning Agop Batu Tulug caves.

Situated in Batu Puteh Village, about 80km from Sandakan town and 41km from Kota Kinabatangan town ship, is the Agop Batu Tulug Museum.ย  It stands on an isolated steep limestone cliff that reaches about 40 metres in height and part of the Labang limestone which was formed about 20-25 million years ago.

Agop Batu Tulug caves

About 500 to 900 years ago, it was used as an ancient log coffin burial site.

โ€˜Agopโ€™ means โ€˜caveโ€™ in the Orang Sungai language.

The drive to Batu Tulug Museum takes about one and a half hours from Sandakan or 45 minutes from Lahad Datu.

You may drive there yourself or go there through a tour operator.

Agop Lintanga

Although there are 3 main caves in Agop Batu Tulug, most of the coffins were in 2 caves. The 2 caves are Agop Lintanga (the middle cave) and Agop Sawat (the upper cave). The latter involves climbing hundreds of steep and quite damp staircases. In my opinion, the hardest part is the walk down the stairs.

As such, better wear climbing shoes for this, unless you plan to fly down the steps like a dare-devil. Make sure your sandals or shoes are equipped for the task. Besides that, your leg muscles must be strong enough to carry you up and down the steep stairs. Especially if there’s no Hercules standing by to carry you down if you get muscle cramps. Once you’ve almost reached the opening to the upper cave, don’t forget to look down – the view is breathtaking, literally! ๐Ÿ˜€

Agop Caves

Agop Sawat and Agop Lintanga

Agop Sawat and Agop Lintanga contain more than 125 ancient log coffins, aged up to 250 years old. Carvings symbolizing different myths and legends of the Kinabatangan people decorate the Belian hardwood coffins.

Discovered in the coffins were remnants such as human bones, gongs, blowpipes and Chinese ceramics.

The coffins inside the caves

According to folklore, a wandering hero named Raja Tua Baturong discoveredย Agop Batu Tulug.

Aside from being a burial site, the locals also use the caves to practice asceticism. Now, doesn’t that fact brings to mind Tan Sri P.Ramlee’s ‘Pendekar Bujang Lapok‘ hilarious scene at the cemetery?

The popular belief is the coffins belong to the Orang Sungai community. Nonetheless, some believe that the caskets contain the remains of Chinese traders who once settled in the area. This is because Chinese artifacts were also found among the remains.

Agop Sawat and Agop Lintanga

On the way up, there is an information centre with washroom and also resting huts. I find it very necessary for those (like me) who need to take a rest after climbing down the steep staircases.

I must admit, I didn’t think I could climb up the whole thing.

Admission Fee

The admission fee for Malaysians is quite cheap, actually.

MyKad holders : RM 2.00 (Adults)
Others : RM15.00
(Students in uniform, children below 12 years, disabled persons and senior citizens enter for free)
Visiting hours : 9am โ€“ 5pm

Other places in Sandakan

Wondering where to go next? Here are some ideas:

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.

  • amirulfaiz

    June 7, 2014 #1 Author

    Will definitely put this place of attraction in the to-visit list. Close to nature, great activity for the whole family.


    • Ismail N

      June 8, 2014 #2 Author

      Hope 2 see u in Sabah one day bro…


  • zizie

    June 6, 2014 #3 Author

    teringin sangat nak ke sana, tapi xdop duit.. huhuhu.. tengok gambar jela… huhu.


    • Ismail N

      June 8, 2014 #4 Author

      adehh… nanti la kalu kawe kaya, kawe sponsor ๐Ÿ˜€


  • ema

    June 6, 2014 #5 Author

    entah bila lagi nak pergi cuti ke sabah ni.


    • Ismail N

      June 6, 2014 #6 Author

      Sekarang ni cuti sekolah?


  • puteri kasih

    June 5, 2014 #7 Author

    I love the nature..so this will be a must visit place when I go to Sabah for a holiday ๐Ÿ™‚


    • Ismail N

      June 6, 2014 #8 Author

      absolutely. If u need any help with the arrangement, travel agent perhaps, let me know ๐Ÿ˜€


  • cyza

    June 5, 2014 #9 Author

    Very interesting indeed. I have been to KK once in 2009 or 2010. Visited kaki gunung Kinabalu, but not to the top. I am with my family, so tak dapek lah naik gunung…hehe…anyway, to Sandakan not yet. InsyaAllah if God will, maybe we’ll go there. But priority will be on visiting the pantai…then nature…but the cave seems interesting…hmmm tengok lah dulu…huhu


    • Ismail N

      June 6, 2014 #10 Author

      Don’t worry bro. I dah 15 years here but haven’t been to the top of Kinabalu either. ๐Ÿ˜€


  • myrujukan

    June 5, 2014 #11 Author

    saya x pernah ke sabah, tp nmpk sabah ada banyak tempat menarik


  • encikarman

    June 5, 2014 #12 Author

    ambo suko travel masa muda2 dulu – skrg dah ada famili nih, kekangan masa jadi penghalang.


    • Ismail N

      June 5, 2014 #13 Author

      Time cuti sekolah begini, cantik kalau travel sama famili ๐Ÿ˜€


  • TehR

    June 4, 2014 #14 Author

    alam semulajadi sabah memang sangat cantik
    malangnya dalam malaysia ni, hanya sabah je yang aku belum pernah singgah


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