Sandakan had nothing really interesting or spectacular to show. Anyhow I dropped by a day since it was just an hour drive from Sepilok. This is the 2nd largest city after Kota Kinabalu. The city itself spread out wide and far .The coastal old town was busy in the day time but the crowds moved to Bandar Indah at Batu 4 in the evening for nightlife and entertainments.
The fresh cheap seafood is the main draw in Sandakan. I headed straight to the famous Sim Sim Village, looking for Sim Sim Seafood Restaurant. The shore was dirty, lots of rubbish scattering around. Obviously it was an accumulation after months, wondered why the municipal didn’t clean up the area.
The lively seafood was displayed. You picked and the restaurant cooked for you. Fresh and cheap, but the cooking was not so scrumptious.
Sandakan was occupied by Japanese army during WWII, plenty of Prisoner of War (Australians, British) were transferred from Singapore to construct airfield. The notorious Death Marches claimed lots of life. The Memorial Park in the city recorded the unpleasant history, mainly descriptions, no gory photos. The young visitors had no sympathy to the tragedy but fooling inside the exhibition building, what a shame. Apparently our education had not been teaching the students to respect the history.
The Kadazan Museum conducts exhibitions occasionally. The photo gallery of last century was interesting, leaving precious record of life not long ago.
Many new commercial lots are erected in front of the waterfront, a good place to stroll and have a beer in the evening. Plenty of restaurants and hotels catered to different budget travelers, but not enough space for the public to hang around.
I scraped the plan to visit Turtle Island, the sole agent increased the price almost 2 folds since 2 years ago. A 2D1N package for single person costs about EUR100, too expensive.