Welcome to Sandakan!

Welcome to Sandakan


Sandakan was the former capital of British North Borneo from the years 1884-1946. Sandakan was one of the largest towns in Sabah in the early years with traders from Europe to Africa, from Arabia to China, from the Indies to Java and from local Dusuns to the Japanese. After WWII the capital was transferred to Jesselton (now Kota Kinabalu). In the early years, Sandakan served as a major port for early settlers to Sabah, and most Chinese came through this port. With the many Chinese from Canton, Sandakan once earned the nick-name of "Little Hong Kong".

With the different nationalities of early settlers and traders, Sandakan was rich with early traces of foreign cultures. Places of interest in Sandakan include the Puu Gih Jih Chinese Temple - a majestic temple erected on top of a hill facing Sandakan Bay; St Michael and All Angels Cathedral, erected in late 19th century and one of the oldest stone buildings in Sabah. Other places of interest that can be visited are the world famous Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary which is located just 26 km from Sandakan. The Sandakan Crocodile Farm located on the Labuk Road near the Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary is also a major attraction.