5 Top Places To Visit In Sandakan (Part 2)
Ah, it has been 3 weeks since all of us bid our goodbye to each other at the Sandakan airport. I miss the trip, I miss Sabah so much. The feeling of being in your own state is indeed an unbeatable one.
Hoping for another opportunity to travel and explore Sabah again in the future *wink wink*.
I decided to split this blog post into two so that it will not be too long and heavy for you guys to read. Well, here is another list of the places you may visit when travelling in Sandakan. Those who plan to travel to Sabah, I definitely suggest you to visit and explore this second-largest town in the state.
1. Kim Fung Night Market
Some of the locals said if you want to experience the best of Sandakan (or some Sabahan) foods, Kim Fung Night Market is the place to be. This market is considered as one of the most visited night markets in Sandakan, by local and visitors from outside – due to the variety of mouth-watering foods that are sold here.
Image above: The locals buying food at one of the stalls around Kim Fung Night Market.
Image above: Who wants to try this coconut jelly with ice cream and various condiments?
Image above: A picture of us (with happy faces) enjoying our food that we bought at the night market.
Yeah, I came here right on time. After visiting Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, the Borneo Eco Tours and Sabah Tourism Board teams brought us to Kim Fung Night Market to see and taste some of the local foods. I am nothing but too excited and hope that I could find my favourite (or childhood) foods.
Kim Fung Night Market opens every Saturday evening from 5.00 p.m. to 10.00 p.m. What I love about this night market is:
a. Its strategic location – located 7km from Sandakan downtown.
b. The foods – a wide variety of local (including halal) street foods.
My advice is please visit this night market with an empty stomach so that you can have as many foods as you want because I am pretty sure that you will be tempted to taste the nyummy foods. Besides food, you can also find other items such as t-shirt, toy, handicraft, electronic accessories and more.
Don’t forget to catch a cultural performance (lion or fish dance) at 8.00 p.m. onwards every Saturday night.
For tourists who wish to visit Kim Fung Night Market, it best to come here by taxi. Do mention Pasar Malam Kim Fung (Kim Fung Night Market). Stress the word ‘Malam/Night‘ else you will be sent to Pasar Kim Fung, which is a wet market.
More details about Kim Fung Night Market
Address: Lorong Bandar Kim Fung 6, Mile 4, Bandar Kim Fung, Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia
GPS: 5.857267, 118.078450
Opening hours: 5.00 p.m. to 10.00 p.m. (Every Saturday)
2. Puh Jih Shih Temple
Puh Jih Shih Temple is one of the attractions that you will visit when following the Sandakan Heritage trail.
Image above: Big gate as the main entrance of this temple.
It is a Buddhist temple built in 1987 and the largest Chinese temple in the town. This temple has been one of the famous and must-visit places in Sandakan due to its religious significant. Allow yourself to step into the temple and witness its charming interior – with the blaze of red and gold with writhing dragons and golden Buddha statues.
Images above: The interior of Puh Jih Shih temple. Full of colours and gilded statues.
Image above: Akan is enjoying the sun and breeze with a view of Sandakan bay.
Image above: The view from this temple is definitely my favourite.
This temple is located on top of the hill that grants a beautiful panoramic view. While admiring the beauty of Sandakan bay, I started to realise that Sandakan is really beautiful and it is such a poor thing to know that most of the local and foreign travellers (including me) overlooked it.
a. Travellers are advised to dress up decently to show a respect. Please avoid mini skirt, short and sleeveless shirt.
b. Please remain quiet when you are in the temple, especially when there is a praying ceremony.
Puh Jih Shih is situated at about 4km west of the centre. There is a bus ride to this temple but I would highly recommend travellers to take a taxi and the journey (one way) will cost around RM 10.
But those who love adventure and would like to experience more of the local ambience, please go for a bus ride instead. You will be dropped down at the foothill and required to walk around 30 minutes (time depends on your own pace) to reach the temple.
3. St. Michael & All Angels Church
St. Michael & All Angels Church is also the attraction that you may visit when following the Sandakan Heritage trail.
Image above: The building of St. Michael and All Angels Church.
Being one of the oldest buildings in Sabah, St. Michael and All Angels Church is certainly the must-visit attractions in Sandakan. This church is located at Elton Hill in the Sandakan city. Can you guess how long do it takes to complete this one whole church? They took around 30 years to complete it making it as the oldest stone church in Sabah and first stone building in Borneo.
Interesting to know that St. Michael and All Angels Church was one of the Sabah’s surviving pre-war stone buildings. Hence, it is declared as one of the world’s heritage site since 2005.
The things that you should do when visiting St. Michael’s and All Angels Church:
a. Definitely, take a cool photograph with the building.
b. Learn about its histories by following a guide/meet with the local.
c. Don’t miss to marvel at the beautiful stained glass windows from outside of the church. Do take note that you can only get inside the church when there is a ceremony (wedding or other special occasions) held in it. Otherwise, it is closed.
Image above: Me standing in front of the church’s entrance.
The stunning stained glass windows were said to a donation from Australian to remember the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II.
More details about St. Michael and All Angels Church
Address: 51, Jalan Puncak, Pusat Bandar Sandakan, 90000 Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia
GPS: 5.840773, 118.112722
4. Agnes Keith House
More details about Agnes Keith House
Address: Agnes Keith House, Jalan Istana, 90709 Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia
GPS: 5.843347, 118.115639
Contact: +6089-222679 (Sandakan Heritage Museum)
Opening hours: 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. (every day)
Entrance fee: RM 2.00 (Malaysian) or RM 15.00 (Non-Malaysian)
5. Sandakan War Memorial
Image above: Entrance of Sandakan Memorial Park
Sandakan Memorial Park is located 11km outside of Sandakan. Great location making it as one of the favourite spots to visit among local and foreign visitors.
So, what you can do when visiting Sandakan War Memorial Park?
1. Stroll around the park to enjoy the breeze and nature. When entering the park, the first thing that you will see is a pond filled with water lilies. Expect a crowd of people running/strolling around the park if you come during morning or evening.
2. Go into the commemorative pavilion where all the story and history of the Sandakan war and death marches are presented in a form of text, image and video documentary. Do it if you really want to dive deeper into the history of this devastating tragedy.
1. Wear comfortable attire and footwear as the tour requires you to walk for few metres.
2. Do bring mosquito repellant. You can use it when in need.
Image above: Malaysian, Australian, United Kingdom and Sabah flags.
Image above: Exhibition inside the pavilion.
Image above: Iconic obelisk to remember those who suffered and died during the tragedy.