Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player


Sandakan is the second-largest city in Sabah, East Malaysia. Sandakan known as the gateway for ecotourism destinations in sabah such as the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, Turtle Island Parks, Kinabatangan river, and Rainforest Discovery Centre.

It is located on the east coast of the island and it is the administrative centre of Sandakan division and was the former capital of British North Borneo from year 1884-1946. Sandakan was one of the largest town in Sabah. In the early years, where subsequently attracted the foreign traders to visit the new town.

In the mid-1930s, Sandakan's timber export making it the largest timber-exporting port of tropical hardwood in the world. After WWII the capital was transferred to Jesselton (now Kota Kinabalu). Sandakan remains Sabah's second most important port, after Kota Kinabalu.

The port is important for palm oil, tobacco, cocoa, coffee, manila hemp and sago exports. As well as, Sandakan also one of the most bustling town in East Malaysia. Sandakan was rich with early traces of foreign cultures with different nationalities of early settlers and traders. Now, it is likely tourism will become increasingly important to the town.