Disappearing into thin air
Found my way back after being lost for years
A new map placed on my hand
A new journey awaiting for me
Looking at my surrounding
A big smile sculpted on my face
My inner voice telling me, this is it
Am I wiser? I knew that I’ve had grown up
Embracing life lessons
Learning from my mistakes
Taking a deep breath, closing my both eyes
Feeling the vibes of the waves of mysterious life
Opening my both eyes and exhaling slowly
Counting one to ten
Bidding farewell to the past
Saying hello to the present
Anticipating the future with a smile.
It takes sadness, hopelessness, scare, tears to know the path of your life. Just take a deep breath, count one to ten and exhaling slowly. Learn from the past, appreciate your present and always anticipating future with a smile. You’ll never know what will happen. Believe that best is yet to come. Lynn Amdan
Dancing on the floor made from the beautiful white sands
Running with the smile on my face
Fingers pointing at the blue skies
Drawing my hope and dreams
Hands up in the air
Jumping like a little girl
Laughing like there is no tomorrow
Dup dap dup dap
The sound of my beating heart
Tick tock tick tock
The sound of my wristwatch
The hopes will always be there
Yet time flies so fast
Faster than a fireflies
Warning sign have been given
Winds acting as a messenger
Messenger of happiness tell me to live in the moment
The blue skies are still bright
Bright like the colour of the blue ocean
Telling me not to worries
Where there is beginning of something
There will be always an ending for everything
Sadness is temporary
Happiness is temporary
Memories is forever
Choose the right ending for everything
Painful memories bidding its farewell
Leaving me with its precious gift
The colours of lesson have been gifting to me
Filling my drawings with the colours of lessons
Painting the skies with brush of courage
With the big smile on my face
Joy and happiness dancing around me
Sadness leaving us with the smile on its face
Waving and walking away
Faded slowly from my view
I keep on jumping
Laughter of happiness filling the air
The smile of joy beautifully sculpted on my face
A flock of birds flying in the air
The trees dancing following rhythm of the wind
Singing and wishing each other
To forget the past, live in the moment and every struggle there is an ending
Keep believing on the unknown future
Have faith on everything
The best is yet to come.
Thank you for your time reading my blog! Have a great day wherever you are. May your day fill with lots of smile and joy. If you’re having a bad day? No worries. It’ll be okay. Just a matter of time! Until next time! Ciao
The sound of my beating heart makes me close my eyes
The pitches of darkness surround me
I lose myself in the dark world
The fears hugging me so tight
So tight I can barely breath
Too many questions
Too many struggles
An endless obstacle
An endless difficulty
With no ending
Controlled by my own fear
The fear lead me astray
From the path that I have chosen for myself
Screaming out loud
Why there is nobody help me?
The tears keep falling on my both cheeks
This is it, the ending for everything
I’m going to leave this world
The world that I haven’t fully explore
The world that I haven’t seen enough
Bidding farewell this world ending my life
The feel of soft skin touching my face
Wiping away the tears on my face
The scent of flower chasing away the fears
Leaving me alone with a stranger
A soft body hugging me
Holding my both hands
Giving me something
Telling me to open my both eyes
Slowly opening my both eyes
Looking at my saver
Whom are smiling at me and shaking her head
Looking straight into my black eyes and telling me
Something that I will never forget
“Nobody will come to save you. You’ll the one who have to save yourself.”
Leaving me alone on the cold floor
The women walk away and started fading from my view
Looking at my hands
A white book with the blue pen beautifully place on my hands
The wisdom of words visiting my empty mind
Telling me to get up on my own two feet
Standing on my two feet
The wisdom of words telling me to never stop fighting
Remind me for the last time that nobody can help me except myself
As I was born alone and will die alone in the grave
There is no exception for everyone including me
Life is just like a book
The wisdom of words telling me to fill it up
Fill it with an endless of words
Form the words from the letters of happiness, sadness and joy
Looking right in front of me
A mirror stand still
My own reflection staring at me
Telling me that I’m not hopeless
I’m just afraid
My past was over
My adventure in the future haven’t begun
Yet I have been wasting time in my present
Human words are cruel and violent
Each word will kill you slowly
Killing you softly just like an odourless and tasteless poison
My reflection in the mirror telling me not to worry
As for every poison, there is a cure
A cure that can erase the human’s cruel word from my book
The cure is the life words.
Life obstacles written down on the book
Filling each page with mistakes made by the writer
Giving the reader of life book lesson of the mistakes
A happiness and joyful in life written down on the book
Accompanied with the beautiful pictures by the smiling writer
Giving the reader with hope
Hope with a happy ending
The life book represents the reality of life
Telling the reader the reality of life
Every obstacles, difficulties and sadness will be temporary
As there is an ending for everything
A happy ending.
Opening the first page of the book
A new book without words in it
Holding the bright blue pen on my right hand
Start writing down my very first life words
In my new book
“Fears are made by mind caused by insecurity that eventually introducing you to the Captain Hopeless. By embracing the fears, the weapon that can defeat the Captain Hopeless is the powerful sword of Courage. When your battle is finally over, the wind will lead you to the stairs of colourful rainbow where the door of happy ending waiting for you.”
I’m not sorry to tell you this, that nobody will save your from your own fear and negativity. You need to save yourself and at the end, by embracing both of it, you’ll get the happy ending that you deserve.
Are you a keen globetrotter and like to dip into local delicacies? Will you as a foodie traveller who have food hunting list be able to find places to go as soon you arrive in Sandakan? The answer would be BIG BOLD capital letter, YES. Despite of being labelled as one of the lonely planet, there are too many varieties of food choices available in Sandakan. Take a note that the local delicacies are much easier to find instead of western cuisine. But it doesn’t meant that you won’t be able to find any. Food is one of the basic things that everyone on this planet must have. I love food. Who doesn’t? I bet that most of the travellers will capture the picture of foods and posting it into the social media. As for some of the photographer, they will tell the food stories through the picture. The price range of food in Sandakan is affordable for everyone. So, don’t sweat yourself about your budgets on food! Just prepare yourself to dip into the delicacies that available in Sandakan City.
GUYS! REMINDER! There are no STARBUCKS stores available in Sandakan!
There is none of Starbucks outlet available in Sandakan city but you don’t have to worry if you’re a coffee lover, this town still have the best coffee. Well that’s what I’d have been told by the Four Point hotel staff.
If you want to grab a beer but you’re staying in the downtown? You can go to:
Best Brew, Four Point ( normally open at 5pm until 1am)
Balin Café, Nak hotel (open from 7am until 1am)
Harbour bistro garden ( open from 5pm until 1am)
If you want to listen to local live band, you can have your beer at the Best Brew but take a note that the band will start singing around 10pm. The happy hour in the Best Brew, Four Point starting from 5pm. You can ask the staff about it and if you have the SPG membership, you’ll get a discount on your beverages. If you want to have a beer with the great view from the rooftop, you can go to the Balin Café. There are no local live band and the place is small compared to the Best Brew, neverheless the view of Sandakan night scene on the rooftop? You’ll forget that you’re in Sandakan city.
The hidden gem to take breakfast in Sandakan with the perfect local village view?
The answer is 88 restaurant which is located in the Kg Sim-Sim. The local coffee that cost me for only MYR 1.90. The meals are based on the Hong Kong Style cooking. It’s open from 7am until 10 pm. You can have your breakfast, lunch or dinner at 88 Restaurant. The seafoods are fresh and you don’t have to worry about pollution that affected the seafood that they serve. Here some of the pictures of the restaurant view that I had been taken using my smartphone.
The hot spot place to have lunch or dinner in the nature environment?
If you’re staying in the Sepilok, especially at Uncle Tan hostels? You can have your drink, lunch or dinner in the Sepilok Resort restaurant. The staffs are super nice and friendly. I love on how they talked with me. I feel welcome by the staff every time I spend my time over there. If you have your favourite book and you’re a writer, Sepilok resort restaurant is the perfect place for you where you can sit down, doing your own thing, meditating and daydreaming.
The hot spot to have a western cuisine on the rooftop or by the pool?
Balin café, located in the Nak Hotel, Sandakan Downtown.
Four points by Sheraton hotel. Sandakan Downtown.
The latest local restaurant with the affordable local delicacies
San Da Gen Restaurant, Sandakan Downtown
This restaurant is the ideal place for blogger or writer having a cup of local coffee while writing down their idea. All the foods and beverages are 100% based on local cuisine. You will experience the local food in this cozy restaurant and who know that you will get a new inspiration to write on your travel journal?
The place where you can get a reasonable price for Spaghetti and pizza?
TIPS: For MYR5.00, you can your American breakfast. They also have special promotion on weekdays for lunch. Ask the cashier about the promotion. Looking for a place in Sandakan downtown that have a good internet connection, you can have your breakfast at reasonable price and use their wifi. Are you the type of backpackers who can try everything and have gut to try the local food that probably looks exotic to you with the cheap price?
Here’s tips for you, if your hostel located in the Sandakan downtown, you can go to the Sandakan market. And that’s where the hidden gem located for the breakfast. Why? For MYR2-MYR5, you can have your breakfast. There is a variety of choices in the market and if you wake up early at 5am, you can go to the market and have the fresh hot breakfast. Reminder for you, there is no western breakfast, only local breakfast available like banana fritters, fried noodles and etc. Note to every traveller: the local people in the market probably can speak English or not at all. So always bring your offline google translator or any offline translator apps in your phone. You’re a vegetarian? No worries. You can go to the level 2, Sandakan market. There is one stall that provide the vegetarian foods
In Sandakan downtown, another hot spot to have lunch and dinner, is at the harbour restaurants. There is a few of restaurant that will give you the variety of choices. Want to have Chinese Bun for MYR4.00? you can go there! You can get the pure local juice that will only cost you MYR5.00 per glass. You can try Keropok lekor while having your juice or local coffee. That’s the hot spot for local to spend their time with their families, hanging out with their friends and the perfect place to experience the local place.
So, that the end of my stories about Sandakan. I wish to all my readers happy travelling and if you feel bored reading this, I hope that you have a big cup of coffee to lighten your mood! Welcome to Sandakan to those travellers that decided to visit Sandakan. And to those who curious about this place that listed as one of the lonely planet, I hope that with all the info that I had written on my blog will help you to get know more about this place.
Walk like a local, sightseeing like a local, live like a local, explore like a local and eat like a local!
End of my journey in Sandakan, Sabah, Land below of the wind. I hope that all the information on my blog will be able to help those travellers that planning to come to Sandakan for the first time! It was an epic journey in Sandakan and after my little exploration in this city, I had been proud to be one of the local people in Sandakan city.
Let’s get connected with each other and you can check out my instagram writing on my page: @lynnamdan
Thank you for your time on reading this! See you on my next adventure! Have a wonderful weekend to all of readers! Ciao
Travel is the food for soul, knowledge is the food for mind and food is the basic thing that we need in life for survival. Mixing the ingredients together, we’ll get the ultimate of life experiences.
* I don’t have business affiliations with all the places that I recommended in my blog and don’t get any financial benefit in referring to their brand.
Being as one of local who live in the millennia era, I don’t really find the places in Sandakan attractive and I never took an opportunity to learn about my lovely hometown. Until one day, I can’t take it any longer when most of the people that I met told me that there is nothing to do in Sandakan and places to go other than the Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre and Labuk Bay Proboscis monkey. I agreed to disagree. That’s why I started grabbing my backpack, walking for miles exploring Sandakan city in the hot weather and visiting to every places in Sandakan with my friends, Juliana Chin and Boey Chin. If you’re decided to stay close near to the nature, instead of dancing to the ultra-techno music, you’ll be dancing to the cricket song. So, get rid of your expectation to have a big ultra-techno party. You’ll only make the monkeys lost their sleep and make them piss off anyway. Trust me, you don’t want to encounter with an angry monkey that will pull off your hair from your head. I’m joking. The night life in Sandakan, especially in the downtown is zero unless there is an event held in the Sandakan Downtown. I have listed Sandakan as the quietest place in my list. There is a few places that you can visit in Sandakan during your short stay before leaving to the other wildlife places such as Kinabatangan, Sukau, Gomantong cave and etc. You can expect wildlife in Sepilok and Labuk Bay area. Bear in mind that you can’t expect the wildlife adventure at the Sandakan downtown. As I have been mentioned in my first page, since 20 years ago, Sandakan have been rapidly changing . The main reason why you’ll see lots of construction projects going on in Sandakan. There is only one small shopping mall in Sandakan. Sandakan city have been mislabeled as a small undeveloped village in the lonely planet of Borneo and most of the people that I had encountered who have never been in Sandakan thought that Sandakan don’t even utilities. So this is the real facts, you don’t have to worry about the utilities and internet connection. There is a internet connection available in the local cafes and you don’t have to take a cold shower from the well. The locals are normally do their purchase through online or go to the boutique which is normally located at the Miles 4 and Miles 6, Tyng Garden. So if you’re one of the flashpackers who are shopaholic, don’t expect to see any big shopping mall that have international brand in Sandakan. You want to find a beautiful sarong or any local products, you can go to the Sandakan market, Level2.
This is the top places that you can visit during your short stay in Sandakan.
Michael Church and school, Sandakan downtown
if you’re staying in the downtown, you can walk from the downtown to the St. Michael Church. As soon you see the church, you will find it was out place. It’s because you can feel the British legacy as soon you see the church. Normally the church is close except on Sunday. And you will also see the first and the oldest schools in Sandakan, St. Michael Secondary School that was founded in 1888 by Reverend Elton John. This is one of the most infamous historical places in Sandakan as St Michael’s school have been survived from the world war II. St. Michael school is the first school and the oldest school in Sandakan City. In 2016, St. Michael school have been grown up beautifully yet the histories remained in the place. The school might have been modernized but whenever you step your foot in St. Michael Church and School, you can feel the history vibe.
St. Mary Church, Sandakan downtown.
From St. Michael, you can walk to the St. Mary Church. I don’t know about the opening time of the church as I visited the place during the school break and the church was in the renovation. Me and my travel mate nearly chase by the dog during our little adventure. Luckily our intention was good and our ass have been saved from being bitten by the guard dog. LOL
Sandakan Museum, Sandakan downtown
The entrance is free and open daily from 9am-5pm. You will see the traditional houses in Sabah, learn more about the Martin and Osa Johnson adventure in. Sandakan and etc. I had been visited the museum on the working days and I was on my own. It’s kinda feel eerie but the museum staff have been so friendly with me. I really enjoyed myself staying in the museum and looking at the traditional houses in the first floor. How I wish that I can take a picture of it!
Agnes Keith house
What is your plan after visiting Sandakan Museum? You can write this down in your notebook, Agnes Keith House. Sandakan Museum located in the downtown and from there, you can take the infamous thousand stairs to Agnes Keith house. Agnes Keith house was belong to the infamous English writer that had been introduced Borneo to the worldwide through her book, Land below the wind. Because of her title book, Borneo has been called as Sabah di Bawah Tanah Bayu which meant Borneo Land below the wind. There are also story about the house where they said it was also the haunted house. I’ve had been visited the house and it was true that they have wrote the story about the ghost, but I don’t really feel anything. Or maybe it’s because I’m the ghost. Joking! You can’t take photo inside of the house, but as soon you get into the house? You can tell me about it. The entrance fee is MYR 2.00. You can read the writer and her husband life during the world war II. You’re not only gain a history knowledge, you’ll manage to see the furniture and movie theater during the British Era in Borneo. Years have been passed but the feelings remain same. Same goes with the house that have been keep as the way it is.
LYNN’S TIPS: To get to the Agnes Keith house, you can walk or by taking bus. My advice, since it’s not that far, you can walk. But make sure that you have a very good companion.
Sepilok, Miles 14
Sepilok have been one of the reason why travelers come to Sabah . You might think that there is only Orang Utan Rehabilitation centre, but there is more than that. There are another two places that you can visit in Sepilok and for the wildlife fan? You’ll definitely have one of the most unforgettable memories in Sandakan North Borneo City, Sabah. Are you ready to find out what is the other two places? Keep on reading. 🙂
Orang Utan Rehabilitation centre. The entrance fee is MYR 30.00 for foreigner. The staff will ask you if you have camera because if you don’t have any, you can rent their camera. You can use your smartphone. Just make sure that you use the HDR and can take a very good shoot at long distance. You’ll be entertain by watching the workers feed the Orang Utan. The orang Utan are so cute especially the baby Orang Utan! I was very fortunate because I saw one the Orang Utan when I was sat down outside of the Orang Utan rehabilitation centre after my visit from Bornean Sun bear rehab facility centre. And guess what?! It was for free. After the free show, I decided to bought a ticket to see the Orang Utan because I became more curious and want to know more about this cute species. I was alone in the Orang Utan Rehabilitation centre, watched the Orang Utan ate Rambutan, coconut and other exotic fruits and what was on my mind during that time was their food made me hungry. They watched me for free and I watched them for MYR 30.00. It was worth it. By paying for MYR 30.00, you’ll help the organisation to protect the Orang Utan. You can do more by registering as their volunteer. You can write an email and they’ll tell you about the volunteering procedure. The Orang Utan is one of the most protected species in the world because it’s listed as one of the endangered species. After you visit the centre, you’ll start have the awareness to protect them from extinction. And you also can use the information that you gained by telling the younger generation about it. It’s good to start at an early age, because it will never too late and at least there is something you can do about it before it’s going too late. People said that it’s never too late to learn, it’s never too late to success in your life, it’s never too late to start something, it’s never too late to start your plan to travel across the globe but it will be always too late if you don’t to start protect animals. Because, the next day when you open your eyes, they might be already gone and their clone will be put in the Museum. And all you can say is , it was too late. So, starting from now on, take an action about it and start play your role.
Bornean Sun bear
You want to see Bornean Sun bear? You have come to the right place. You can go in the morning and visit the Orang Utan at 3pm because it is their feeding time. You can’t bring food or drinks in the jungle. The staffs are super friendly and one of the staff, Rebecca has been telling me about Bornean Sun bear. I also learned why the people hunting the bear. The main reasons on why people hunt the bear was for a selfish reason and scare the hell out of me. If you want to know for more detail, you can check it out at the Centre.
After you seeing Bornean Sun Bear, you can attend the little awareness seminar about the bear. You think you already know about them? Try to listen to the talk and you’ll be surprise on how much information that you have gained for the short amount of time. They need more volunteer and you can register to be their volunteer. You’ll help to provide the Bornean Sun bear meals, cleaning their places and etc. You can email the centre to get the more details about it. For your information, the Bornean Sun bear is the only Sun Bear rehab facility in the world. So, make sure that you’re stopping by before going to visit the Orang Utan.
Sepilok Recreation Discovery centre (RDC)
You can do the hiking and watching birds in the RDC. You’ll learn about the trees that grew in Sandakan land. Normally, every year, there will be a free entrance and exhibition. You can check out at the Sandakan Tourism Board website to see on the exact date for the free entrance. There will be a lot of activities during the exhibition, you’ll find a typical local food and you’ll also meet the Sandakanian local people.
LYNN’S TIPS on transportation: If your hostels or hotel is located in the downtown, you can take a public transport, bus and mini bus. The bus fare is around MYR2.50-MYR3.00. If you don’t want to be cheat by the local bus driver (as I had faced the similar situation where I have to paid for double price! I know! ), you can ask the local that ride the bus with you. Or you can consult with your hostel receptionist and ask them if there is any tour bus going to the Sepilok.
Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey.
My advice, it’s better for you to join the tour bus or rent the car as it is quite far from the main road! There are two places that you can watch the monkey. The last time I checked the entrance ticket was MYR 60.00 per person. You can have your lunch at their resort or bring something to nibble in your backpack.
Che Siang Khor moral education centre, Sim-Sim road
Che Siang Khor is one of my favourite places in Sandakan. I love the environment in the Buddhist Society centre. You’ll see the Buddha statues and the colourful flowers in front of the temple. The view at Che Siang Khor at early in the morning is magnificent. You can take the bus from the town to go there. Ask the local where you can take BDC bus. Normally the bus driver parked their bus at the Lai Piang Kee Building. Inform them that you’re going to the Chinese temple as they more familiar with the temple compare to Che Siang Khor name. There are two Buddhist tourist spot in Sim-Sim, so make sure that you inform the bus ticket inspector them that you’re going to the second place. When you’ll see the large Buddha statue at the entrance, you know that you’re at the right place. The bus fare is MRY 0.70 and don’t give them more than that. If you don’t want to have heavy coins with you, you can pay MYR 1.00. And there is no entrance fee.
LYNN’S TIPS: Opposite of the Che Siang Khor, there is local markets that have variety choices on Malays food. The infamous grilled fish was located at the market. If you’re famished, haven’t take the lunch, you find the perfect spot to eat seafood. And that’s if you’re seafood lovers. If you have an allergic on seafood, you’ll be tempted and trust me; I had done it and ate prawns. The consequence for my indulgence was my body feel itchy and red spots on my forehead that looks like acne on my forehead that lasted for a year.
2nd tips: You can take the sunrise photo from the Sim-Sim village in early of morning. You can ask the bus driver to drop you at the Tanjung Papat Sim-Sim.
Puh Jih Sih temple, Tanah Merah.
Puh Jih Sih temple is the biggest and largest temple in Sandakan. If you had been visited to the other temple in Sabah, Borneo, you can ask them about the Puh Jih Sih temple. The view from the Puh Jih Sih temple was spectacular and I have been visited the temple twice. One was at noon and second was at 7am. The temple only opens to the public at 8am until 6pm. I guess I was lucky because I was accompanied by my former classmate for the Morning Prayer in the temple. There are two building in that area. One of temple is where the praying ceremony held at. And the other one was for the place where the deceased ashes located at. I don’t really know what it’s called. Both of the building was beautifully built by the Chinese Society. From the Puh Jih Sih temple, you will get the perfect view to meditate, to soak up the calmness and taking picture. I’m very talkative but as soon I see the view, I managed to keep quiet for an hour or so. LOL: P How to get there? You can take taxi or bus. If you plan to take bus, you can go to the Gentingmas Mall supermarket and from there; you’ll find the bus that heading to the Puh Jih Sih temple. You can ask the local or the bus driver that you’re heading to the temple that located at the Tanah Merah and they’ll tell you which bus leaving first. Take a note that each bus depart at certain hour. The bus fare is MYR1.20. The bus driver didn’t wait for the bus until the bus filled with the passenger. Don’t forget to take water with you because you have to walk for a mile from the bus stops that the bus driver drop you at. Remind the bus driver that you’re heading to the temple. You don’t want to miss the place. Beware of the dogs if you’re walking to the temple. They can be scary though. But I was so lucky because on my first time, I had visited the temple with my traveller friend and when we leave the temple, the lady at the temple was very kind person whom letting us to ride with her and dropped us at the bus stop.
Sandakan War Memorial Park
You can pay a visit and put flowers at the Sandakan Memorial park as a sign to respect to the soldiers. In my opinion, the best time to visit the Sandakan Memorial park is on the ANZAC day. You’ll read about the death march during the World War II when Japanese taking over Borneo from the British. In Australia, there is a holiday and parade to celebrate the ANZAC day. The bravest group of soldier in the past that we will never forget and will never fade through the time. The entrance was free and you can go there by taking bus that going to the miles 7. The other second option to get there is by taking taxi. The bus fare is around MYR1.50 per person. You have to ask the local people for confirmation about the bus fare!
Sandakan zoo, Gum-Gum
I don’t know if you are the type of who can watch the animals in the cage, nevertheless you still can visit it. You can go there by taking miles 16 buses and the bus fare is MYR4.00 per person. In the zoo, there’ll be an animal show. You can see the Koi fish pond, the birds and even the monkey! But they’re in the cage. Take note on that.
LYNN’S: Since you’re in the miles 16, you can explore the place. If you’re into vintage clothes or looking for second hand clothes, the miles 16 is one of the infamous spot for the local to find any vintage or second hand clothes. Most of the villagers are those Indonesian that have been stayed in this country since their ancestors. So, you can get the typical of Indonesian mainly Bugis meals in miles 16.
Sandakan Crocodile farm.
Want to see the crocodile even though you’re not in the Australia? Don’t worry. You can watch live crocodile in the cage. You can go there by taking miles 14 bus. And again, yeh. Ask the local about the bus fare!
Selingan Turtle Island
You can go to the island by joining the tour company. There are no hostels available as you need to join the tour company or you can register yourself at the SeaQuest. You can go to the office by walking from the downtown. It’s cheaper to register on your own instead of joining the tour company. Don’t bother to write an email or call the SeaQuest. You need to go in person, bring cash with you and you can ask them about the trip to the island. Take note if you’re going during the monsoon season, they might cancel the trip. In 2014, my friend have been signed up and she paid MYR 480.00.Today, the price for overnight stay in the island is offered at a whopping MYR 600.00 per person The meals, transportation and accommodation have been included in the fee. In that island, you’ll see the turtles laying eggs and turtle conservation at work.
Berhala Island is the place in Sandakan that you can do the rock climbing. You can take the boat from jetty and the boat fare is MYR 2.00. You can contact the Sandakan Climbing Recreation club to ask them if they’re going to do the rock climbing at Berhala Island. The last time I checked, the club had been organised the Santaian Hammock Borneo where they do the rock climbing, slack lining sessions, hiking and etc. You can go with your own group, but take precaution on your safety. Take tons of DEET spray with you if you’re plan to stay overnight on the island, you better inform the army that located on the island. Be safe from the mosquitoes please!
Kim Fung Night market. ( or normally call as the Chinatown night market)
You can go to the night market at 5pm by taking Miles 4 bus. If you haven’t taken your lunch, looking for a place to have a cup of coffee, the Miles 4 are the perfect place for you. You can find lot of local coffee shop in Miles 4. There are variety choices for you to choose. You’ll see that mostly of the local in the miles 4 are normally Chinese, and during the weekdays, you can see lots of Chinese student. It’s because one of the biggest private Chinese school is located in miles 4. Night market is just another typical market in Borneo. I never see the chocolate corn until I go to the night market. That was my first experience in going to the night market. I don’t eat or drink in the night market as I was preoccupied taking pictures of the market. It’s a very small market compare to the other places in Borneo.
Sandakan town. LOL
If you’re too lazy want to explore Sandakan and just want to sit down and do nothing because you probably have one day or one night to stay before leaving to the Kinabatangan, Gomantong Cave or Sukau, you can take a walk in Sandakan. Take a note that Sandakan town is a very small town and in within two hour (if you’re a fast walker) you already explored the town. The day time is the busiest time in Sandakan town but after 7pm? Mostly of the shops already close and you can take that as a cue for you, to get into bed earlier. Ps: If you’re in the town on weekend, you can go to the Sandakan Sunday market.
I’m done talking about the places that you can visit in Sandakan. And now another interesting topic which is FOOD! I’m a food lover. We need food to survive. And we do need coffee to survive. Only for the coffee junkie : P Travellers, locals or expat always asking this question, where is the best restaurant in town? Where is the best coffee place in town? Want to more? Check out my next page that will cover about Sandakan foods. I’ll see you on my next page about the foodie little adventure in Sandakan.
Based on my research, there are 3 choices that available for your short or long stay in Sandakan. All the accommodations that available are mostly near to the tourist attraction and in the Sandakan downtown. You can also enjoying the wildlife by staying at the resort or hostel that available in the Sepilok and Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey with affordable price.
Backpackers place that located in Sepilok or Labuk Bay
If you want to escape from the hustle and bustle in the city (Definitely not in the Sandakan downtown obviously, I meant the other busiest city in the world), you can stay in the backpackers place in Sepilok or Labuk Bay. With range around MYR35.00 per night and above (you can contact the hostel for the price confirmation), you can live in the nature while listening to the cricket song that fill the air during the night time. Please take note that Sepilok and Labuk Bay is quite far from the downtown and the access for the public transport to the downtown is limited and especially at night. Consult with your receptionist in your hostel and they’ll help you arranging your transportation. I never stayed in the Sepilok, but I know that it’s a heaven for the nature lovers as I already visited the places in Sepilok and Labuk Bay. Close to the nature, located in the jungle where you can meditate in the middle of the night while listening to the cricket music, who doesn’t want that?
Backpackers in Sandakan Downtown
If you plan to stay in downtown, you can get a cheaper price to stay. The last time I saw the advertisement was on the hostel gate, the price was MYR18 per night++. It’s closer to the market and also to the biggest and cheapest supermarket in downtown, Gentingmas Mall Supermarket.
LYNN’S TIPS- You can buy cheaper chocolates in the Gentingmas mall or any junk food that you like. Or maybe crackers that you can put into your backpack before starting your adventure in Kinabatangan, Gomantong Caves, Sukau or anywhere where you plan to
Hotels and Airbnb accommodation
You can stay in the hotels in Sandakan and you can use the Trivago or using Airbnb apps. You can stay in the International hotel, Four point by Sheraton hotel that have a perfect pool with the Sandakan downtown view, the historical hotel in Sandakan that have a great view on the rooftop plus with the romantic mood, Nak hotel or you can rent the apartment through the Airbnb site. Planning to use Airbnb instead of staying in the hotel, my suggestion is you should find the place that located at the Grandview housing area. You can have the perfect place to see the sunrise, you can walk to the near local village where one of the famous seafood restaurant with the Hong Kong style, and the Chinese Society Building
You can check out at the Trip Advisor about the hospitality that every place provided and get an advice from the people who have been stay in the Sandakan. Other than that, you can use the Hostelworld site to find out the hostels that available in Sandakan and booked early before you arrived.
Looking for something to do in Sandakan and wondering whether there is a place to visit in Sandakan other than Sepilok Rehabillation Center and Labuk Bay Probiscis Monkey? Keep on reading at my next page that will cover everything about the places in Sandakan.
Located in the North Borneo and the second largest city in Sabah after Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan the nature city is well known for it’s Orang Utan Rehabilitation centre and the only the only Bornean Sun bear rehab facility in the world. From the wildlife to the historical places, Sandakan is one of the lonely planet in the world that still haven’t affected by the fast pace world. The locals can mingle with each other no matter what are their religion, race and social status. One of the famous thing about Sandakan people, they are so friendly and down to earth people. Born and grew up in the place where I’m proud to call my hometown doesn’t meant that I know very well about my own city. And that’s why I have taken the opportunity during my break from the corporate world to explore my hometown using two ways, the travellers and local way. Surprisingly, I started learning more about my little hometown.
How to describe Sandakan people? What is their main characteristic? Are they friendly like Thai people? The answer is, it will be always depending on the people that you will meet or had met. Are they friendly? Yes they can be super friendly and some of the local will say hi to you and tell you, have a nice day. They can be overreacting when they were star struck with the traveller and will ask you if they can take a photo with you. The chances of them for doing that is 90% .If you’re lucky enough, you’ll be the infamous celebrity in Sandakan during your short stay. Your will never know which one is the tycoon business as Sandakan people isn’t really into formality. What are the chances for you to see the big boss wearing formal tuxedo and rushing into their meeting? The answer is ZERO. Sandakan is the slow pace place and normally around 8pm-10pm, the most shops and restaurant have been closed. Only local cafes, bistro and bar open until 1am. While in the other part in the world, the rich will sit and have their coffee at the country club or the fine dining restaurant. Be prepared to be surprise. You will be surprise to see a group of business owner sit in the local coffee shops that don’t even have air-conditioning. The millionaire will sit in the local coffee shop, wearing a typical local shirts, sitting down with their newspapers and instead of having $8dollar for a cup of coffee, they’ll drink $0.80 for a cup of coffee. If you ever plan to make a business research in Sandakan, you better have a connection with someone that belongs to the Sandakan business society. It can be tricky to detect rich people in Sandakan because they are practising the humility attitude. When you speak with Sandakan people, always use the friendly tone. If you managed to capture their heart, you’ll find long-time bff or family. The elderly in Sandakan can freak you out by suddenly welcoming you to the family and adopted you as their own children although you’re a stranger. You might say that they just meet me and as for them, they already accepted you in the family on the first day you won their heart. Most of the Sandakan people only travel domestically and some of them are the people who never travel at all. They like to listen to travellers stories and will look at you using the goo goo eyes. Don’t take it as a flirting look because they just curious and want to know about the world. Take note to be not so full of yourself. : P They can very shy towards the stranger, especially to the traveller. Maybe you will find there is local who won’t smile at you and you feel they were being rude, but behind your back, they will say something, ooh ahh. He’s handsome. She’s so pretty. Don’t take it personally and just walk away. But if they’re in a group, prepare yourself to be greeted with the welcoming greeting. And they probably will have a small talk with you. Hmm. Once they have courage to greet you, one thing to another will lead you to the question, “Can we take a selfie with you?”. 😀
LYNN’S TIPS : They acknowledged their job although they worked as waitress or taxi driver. They are so proud in whatever their do because they find their income legally. So, when you say thank you to the waiter/waitress or give them a small tips? They will really appreciate you and let’s say you just help your country by promoting and give a good publicity on your country name to the Sandakanian. Not too many people give tips to the waitress. When you reply to their greeting, they’ll smile with happiness, jumping like a child behind your back and you just make a good deed by bringing joy into their life. Even it’s only for a fleeting moment and believe me, that’s feel good. Not only you make them smile, but you also make your day ended with a big smile on your face!
Decide to visit Sandakan and looking for an information on how to get there?
There are two ways to get into Sandakan City.
Located approximately 6 hours from the main capital city, Kota Kinabalu, you can go to Sandakan by taking bus or short flight from Kota Kinabalu to Sabah.
If you decided to take bus to go to Sandakan, bear in mind that the time taken to arrive in Sandakan from Kota Kinabalu is around 6 hours to 7 hours. And sometimes its can be longer than that during the landslides that normally happen during the raining season or maybe cause by the congestion road in Kota Kinabalu. Prepare yourself for any possibility with facing any difficulty. You better have something to nibble in the bus and make sure that your power bank was with you to charge your mobile phone. The bus fare to Sandakan since the last time I checked was MYR43.00 whereas the flight from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan is approximately around 45 minutes and the price of flight ticket is depending on which of the airline company that you’re going to take. You can choose Air Asia or Malaysia Airlines. Warning, if you plan to go to Sandakan during the festive season especially during Eid Mubarak Celebration, you have to buy your ticket at least a day or a week before you leaving. This is because the Sandakan people who have been working in the Peninsular and around Sabah will going back to their hometown to celebrate the Eid Mubarak day. Therefore, normally the seat will be always full and last minute buying flight ticket can be so expensive. You also can buy the right on the Eid day as most of the locals already go home during that time.
If you have decided to go to Sandakan 3 days before the Eid day, take my advice, buy bus ticket at least one week earlier before you’re going to Sandakan or you can buy ticket on the first Eid day and take a note to have to be careful because the cashier at the ticket counter will make an error and don’t be surprised if there are people who have the same bus number seat with you. It’s better for you to buy your ticket at the counter instead of with random people who sell the ticket to you. It’s much safer and if you ever encountered with the problem that I have mentioned before, the error of copy paste bus seat number, the ticket inspector will solve the problem for you, just be calm during the chaotic moment, and you will not lose your seat to the other people. I had encountered with the same situation and it had happened to me twice. The situation back then was chaotic but instead of panicking, all I did was sat down on my seat and don’t move when another person showed me his ticket. I showed my ticket to the person who have the same number with me and also to the ticket inspector, I don’t get up from my seat and let the ticket inspector solve the problem. That is why I always go to the bus station right before 3 hours before the bus leaving. Be creative when dealing with the problem that you have encountered. It’s because you’re dealing with a local that don’t have any formality in their procedure. They also might have limited English knowledge and you should use the basic English words that they can understand and you won’t have any difficulty in communicating with them. Complaining, cursing, make a negative comment about their procedure and act like they should respect you because you’re customer? We’re not dealing with top airbus company that will take your complain about their procedure seriously. So, my advice, is be calm and welcome to Asia. When you arrived in the Sandakan terminal bus, you can take a public bus if you arrive in daylight but if you arrive in late night? The only option for you is by taking taxi or maybe hitchhiking. Try to negotiate if they can take MYR15.00 to go to your hostel. Always start the bargain at the lowest price. If you take a flight, you shouldn’t drink coffee because it’s only a short flight and you don’t have enough time to enjoy your brewed coffee anyway: P
PS: If you’re going to stay in Labuk Bay resort or Sepilok Resort, you can tell the ticket inspector to drop you by at there.
Decided to take flight as it’s the fastest and convenient way for you to travel? Don’t worry; you won’t have any problem with the copy paste bus seat number. And oh! Don’t be surprised as soon you landed at Sandakan Airport. Sandakan was the small town that was rapidly changing since 20 years ago. The infrastructure have been improved, the market drastically change from the traditional market to organized market. Get rid of your expectation on Sandakan traditional market because you won’t manage to see another typical Asian market in Sandakan. You’ll just disappoint yourself about it but I’ll tell on the next page about the hidden gem in Sandakan Market.
Lost in the middle of the ocean because of her foolishness
Struggling looking for a way
To keep on floating
The struggle ended and the waves carried her away
In the deep soul of calm fool women
Lies a thousand of secrets in her heart
That slowly eating her in every second
Turning her into somebody that everyone despise
The emotion turmoil inside her heart
The war of emotion knocking her down
Leaving her with the painful scar
Making her as the lonely women with the scar on her heart
The ocean holds her still
The tears of regrets keep falling on her cheeks
The dark clouds dancing around her
With the sound of thunder punishing her
The sound of thunder judge her over and over again
The strike of lightning shattered her heart into pieces
The wind sweeping away the hopeless pieces
Leaving her with an empty mind in the middle of ocean
The dark clouds start crying
The tears from heaven falling down
Washing away her millions of regret tears
No more sound of angry judgemental thunder
No more tears, no more anger
No more regrets, no more sadness
Just an empty body carried by the waves
Slowly carried to the beach
With no maps and home to go
As she knew that she had been long gone and forgotten
The dark clouds swallowed by the crystal white clouds
Opening her both eyes facing the fears
A beautiful mother nature embraces her
Forgiving her mistake
Gifting her with a new heart
A small scar tattooed on her new heart
Telling her that she finally learned the lesson
And her new life just begin
Standing up, looking up,
The double rainbow welcoming her
To the uncertain but fulfilling life
The chirping of innocent birds telling her to never give up
The light from the sun giving her a new light
The light of hope and happiness
This is the story of the fool women
The lady that drowned in her past mistakes
Thinking that she won’t survive
Yet there she is
Standing at the beach
Standing up and pointing her finger to the clear skies
Drawing her new vision at the crystal white skies
Vision of hope and happiness
Crafting a poem about mistakes
Thousands of mistakes turning into life lessons
Lessons that giving an endless of source of hope
Moulding her into a new person
Embracing the feeling of loneliness
With the peace and calm hugging her
This is the story of the fool women
Standing on her feet
Knowing that she’s never alone
Spreading her arms wide embracing the wind
With the smile on her beautiful face
The road of happiness waiting for her
Waiting for her very first step
Looking at her surrounding
While standing still on the sand
Feeling the soft sand under her feet
Smiling at the Mother Nature
Thank you life for taught me a lessons
A lesson that I will cherished in my life
Thank you Mother Nature for forgiving me
May we meet again
When that moment comes, it will be accompany with the smile of gratitude and happiness
Guiding by the light of the sun
she walked away
Taking her first step
to the new life that she’s been wanting for.
Everyone can judge your mistakes without knowing the hidden truth behind it. Don’t be so hard on yourself. After all, you have learned the lesson no? Turn the lesson into the material to build your new path. 🙂
Thank you for your time and once again, thank you very much for reading this!
That it will be the farewell between father and daughter.
Bringg bringg bringg the phone ringing
The daughter answered with the frown cease on her forehead
Not giving a single chance for her father to talk and start complaining
A child self absorbed she was before
As she was the rotten spoiled princess in her hometown.
Bringg bringg bringg the phone ringing
The love of her father have been spoiled her rotten
Protecting her from the reality of the world that always racing
Telling her everyday that this world filled joyous and everyone is a good person.
Bringg bringg bringg the phone ringing
The daughter keep on complaining
Blaming her dad for sending her away from him to face the world alone
Feeling hurt on how universe treating her yet she did nothing wrong
His father keep on listening to her complaining as he know that she just started learning
He know that his daughter will stop complaining
When that moment arrive, he will be long gone leaving
Bringg bringg bringg the phone ringing
Listening to his daughter last sound of complaining
A father who were wise and caring
His love never lessen by his daughter complaining
Bringg bringg bringg the phone ringing
The daughter feel tired after long hours of complaining
Fall silent listening to her father sound of breathing
Feeling that there is something wrong
Her soul slapped her mind and she start panicking
Bringg bringg bringg the phone ringing
The daughter break the silence by asking, how are you my dear father?
His smiling and tired voice talking on the phone
An odd emotional moment feel through the phone
Bringg bringg bringg the phone ringing
Her father told her that he was just tired
Will take a short nap after the phone call
Want to listen to his daughter voice through the phone
Bringg bringg bringg the phone ringing
This is the final advice from father to daughter
World filled with good people although the cruel devil mind is always dancing
That lead them to take an advantage and killing each other
But don’t be afraid my dear daughter
There is always a lovely people that you’ll cross path with, my dear daughter
Bear in mind that life is short and the time taken to ended it is long
The good times will always remain short
The bad times remain shorter yet bad and good memories will be lasting
Embrace the universe feeling, my daughter
As to understand it is by learning
Never stop learning, my daughter
The last advice ended with the sound of chirping
The last phone call from father to daughter.
Bringg bringg bringg the phone ringing
The sound of phone ringing accompanied by sound of chirping
Years have been passed, who’s answering?
The lady answering with the calm voice
The former child self absorbed daughter standing at the seashore
Answering the phone but not complaining
Greeting and wish are the first thing she saying
No more complaining, just the sound of laughing
The beautiful bright sun goes down and the sunset mode is begin
The butterflies flying around her following by the sound of chirping birds
The music of the ocean waves washes her soul and mind
Enjoying the tranquil moment while enjoying the life lesson
No more sound of complaining, just the beautiful sound of nature filled the air
Hard and good time remains shorter
Yet the bad and good memories last forever
Everyone on this planet earth is beautiful just the way they are
We don’t realise it as our human nature like to complain
The skies turning into bright joyous orange skies,
The daughter looked up to the skies
This is the confession from daughter to father. Farewell from daughter to father.
“You, my dear father have been already long gone but the memories will be cherished forever. I feel like we just talking on this morning as the melodies of the good memories still fresh on my mind. Letting go of my pride and ego, I wish you can hear this my dear father. You were and always right. This world filledwith beautiful people with the beautiful heart. Happy Father’s Day.”
The ocean washes her feet, and one of the good memories resurfaced on the beautiful sunset skies.
A father and daughter walked together. The laughter and happiness radiated from his daughter. 6 years old little girl looking forward for her very first running competition. His father saw his daughter shoelaces was untied, and he tied his daughter shoelaces. Looking at his daughter face, he told her,
“ No matter what is the result, accept it. If you fall, stand up, keep on running until you reach the finish line. It’s doesn’t matter whether you win or lost. Finish what you started.”
“I don’t understand, father.”
Laughing and hugging his daughter, looking into her eyes, “One day you will. Eventually.”
Life is hard but it doesn’t mean that your mind and souls have to be moulded by it.
Lynn R. Amdan
Thank you for reading and have a great day 🙂