Blogs from Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia, Asia


Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sandakan June 13th 2018

I got up for dawn birding at the RDC and tiptoed past the guard again. There is a guard in there, but it's the same guy as starts his shift at 6 the night before and he doesn't seem very lively at 6 the next morning which is a very good thing. I also get the impression that they're not concerned about people going in early, and there were a couple of other birders about. It's just the night which is an issue. I started the morning with a wonderfully showy endemic: Bornean Banded Kingfisher, and continued with a number of other nice birds including two massive White-bellied Woodpeckers on an emergent tree. I was hoping for some broadbills though which are supposed to be easier to see in Borneo but no luck yet (also no ... read more
White-bellied Woodpecker in Emergent Tree
Proboscis Monkeys

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sandakan October 14th 2017

Blog now resides at read more

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sandakan April 6th 2016

Terimakasih Borneo! You were such a great introduction to Southern Asia for me. Over the years, I had heard so much about Malaysia, many travelers raved about its beaches and friendly people. But that never quite sparked my radar. And then a few planes fell out of the sky, and I was like, meh. So it was only after I read an article about rehabilitated orangutans at a sanctuary in Sepilok that I really wanted to visit. I did my standard Googling to see exactly where the hell Borneo was, I practiced how to say good morning, hello, thank you and goodbye in Malay, and most importantly, I watched comedian Bill Bailey do a UK travel program on proboscis monkeys and laughed myself silly for a rather long time. With that, I frantically dusted off my ... read more
Cozy Cottages
The Office
Back to the Sea

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sandakan March 19th 2016

Sandakan 15 March 2016 After breakfast at 7.00am, we depart Turtle Island in the same speedboat we arrived in and return to the mainland. It was a day for seeing some of the special features of Sandakan. We were driven around by a big tourist bus even though there were only 12 of us. First we visit the Central Market which consisted of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as fresh and dried fish and red meat. We then walked over to the Sheridan on the recommendation from 2 fellow travellers, that the cappuccinos were excellent there. We have been a little ‘staved’ of good quality coffee over the past few days. The downstairs cafe didn’t disappoint us. The coffee was excellent. The Sheridan is on the water over-looking the sea which had both pleasure and ... read more
Agnes Keith Museum (1)
Pam in the infinity pool at the Sheraton - someone has to do it
Buddist Temple in Sandakan (3)

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sandakan March 13th 2016

Turtle (Seligan) Island After leaving at about 9.30am from Sandakan Harbour it took a 400hp boat an hour to get us to Turtle Island. On the way we saw Pilipino pirates with black hoods on and 4 of the masked men with big guns, holding up this other smaller boat. I didn’t get my camera out fast enough to take a shot. We learned that there is now police on Turtle Island because there had been a kidnapping several months previously and lots of poachers. We settled into our basic accommodation and then 10 of us sat around telling travel stories etc. It was great.....not to mention the occasional joke. They were a good mob. After lunch we hired fins, goggles and snorkel and went for a swim in the sea where they had netted off ... read more
Sandakan Harbour
Sunrise leaving Turtle Island (1)
Pulae Salangaan Resort - Turtle Island (9)

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sandakan January 16th 2016

Geo: 5.84117, 118.113It didn't take long to get to the Sandakan Memorial Park. Our driver parked and walked us to the entrance. There is no entrance fee here. Here we read the information board, it was a lot of depressing information to take in. This park is a memorial to all the 2500 prisoners of war, mainly Australians and British who died here during the Second World War. The prisoners of war here were made to do hard labour, one of the tasks was to build the nearby Sandakan airport. The pavilion, which is a museum was built by the Australian government in the 90's. There were a few relics from the war, an excavator, boiler and generator. We walked up the steps to the pavilion. Inside there is a small, but very informative museum. Continuing ... read more
02 Plant
03 Boiler
04 Tropical Flower

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sandakan January 15th 2016

Geo: 5.84117, 118.113I had a great, normal night's sleep last night – jetlag is gone! We got up early, packed our bags and then went to the bank to get more cash for our trip. The bank was only a block away. Then it was breakfast time and we ate at the cafe next to the hotel. At 10am we were in front of the hotel looking for our taxi. He found us and we were off. This driver was better than yesterday's, as he didn't tailgate. It took an hour to get to the airport and cost the same as yesterday's journey of 120 Ringgit. We quickly found the crowded Air Asia desks. The lines were massive and we soon realised that they were moving too slowly. We had already checked in on-line like everyone ... read more
02 Out the Window
03 Borneo
04 Borneo

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sandakan June 17th 2015

Its been a while since i v publish anything on travelblog, been a busy and adventurous year for the state of borneo and its tourism industry..a challenging one with that. once of the interesting places which is quite new or it has been there but not much promotion and also because it s forestry reserve is dramakot. Back ground: Deramakot Forest Reserve is managed in accordance with good forestry practices. It was certified as such by the FSCTM (Forest Stewardship CouncilTM) in September 1997 and currently in its 5... read more
Checking out what best way to climb and install the camera.

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sandakan February 10th 2014

The seven hour bus ride from Kota Kinabulu to Sandakan in bus seats definitely designed for the smaller Asian body type, not large and leggy foreigners like us, may not have been that much of a treat, but arriving at our sweet hotel with a sea view to die for certainly was, as you never really know what you are gonna get until you get there. The irony is that this delightful room, with breakfast included, was only $45 a night, nicer but less expensive than most hotels we have stayed in so far on this trip. In addition to the spectacular view of the South China Sea from our hotel window, we also enjoyed an evening dragon dance in the nearby town square. But pretty as it was, Sandakan was merely our point of departure ... read more
Male Model
Whose Watching Who?
I'm Outta Here

Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Sandakan September 23rd 2013

Monday 23rd Up early and managed to catch the 8.30 bus to Ranau along the road from Mount Kinabalu towards Sandakan. We find an hotel and leave our things and try and get a shared mini bus up to the sulphur hot springs at Poring. There's no one to share with and we don't want to wait until enough people turn up to fill the bus, so we hire the whole bus for our selves for 30 ringgits. (£6). Poring is a small place and really only important because of the hot springs built by the Japanese during the war. We take a walk around and see the Botanical Gardens, not very impressive. It would help if they actually finished it ! We then have another canopy walk 25 m above ground with good views over ... read more
Proboscis monkey
Another Proboscis monkey

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