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Sandakan on the trail

Sandakan on the trail
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Borneo Post

Sandakan, Sabah's second largest town, was once known as “Little Hong Kong” due to thriving businesses and of course, the timber boom. Over its hundred year history, Sandakan has developed from a gunrunning village to become the timber centre of Sabah during the 60's and 70's. From a settlement dotted with stilt homes, it now has become a magnificent skyline. From a timber reliant city, it diversified into agricultural activities in the 80's and 90's. Now it has ventured into the tourism industry, concentrating on eco-tourism and wildlife conservation. It is now the Nature City of Sabah. It remains today the first town in Sabah in more ways than one.

Sandakan has so much to offer. The Orang Utan Sanctuary is an iconic destination that every Malaysian and visiting foreigner should visit at least once in their life time. The Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary at Labuk Bay which is located 90 minutes from Sandakan town (and not on the Kinabatangan as I had reported last week) is a popular spot to go monkey watching.

At Labuk Bay, you get to feed Silver Langur long beans and spot a Hornbill thus making your Sandakan getaway a truly memorable holiday. For those of you eager to watch turtles laying their eggs, head for Turtle Island Park. The Park is famous for its green and hawksbill turtles, which lay their eggs on the beaches of the islands. There is so much to see around Sandakan that you will need to spend a couple of days in town.

The brand new Sandakan Harbour Square is the new part of Sandakan built of reclaimed land facing the glorious Sulu Sea. Located at the heart of the business and entertainment quarters of Sandakan town, it has given Sandakan a fresh modern day appeal. The Harbour Square consists of a beautiful landmark hotel appropriately named @ease hotel.

@ease hotel has a fresh modern day outlook consisting of 138 elegant rooms and suites. Comfortable rooms amidst a relaxing environment make it perfect for both busy business travellers and tourists alike. The rooms are elegantly furnished with modern day conveniences namely free Wifi internet connection in all guest rooms as well as public areas, an excellent selection of Astro programmes, wall mounted flat screen TVs and latest designer bathrooms. If you need to conduct meetings or seminars, the hotel has well appointed meeting halls. @ease Hotel is having a special promotion of RM88.00 net per room with breakfast for two. This is subject to availability, so hurry and book your stay today by calling 089-240888.

As for food and entertainment, you are spoilt for choice. There are so many places to dine at Sandakan Harbour Square. Try delicious Tom Yam at Harbour Bistro Café or exquisite dim sums and freshest seafood at New Imperial Bayview Restaurant above the sparkling clean central market. Sandakan is indeed an iconic town and one of Sabah’s best kept secrets. In the next series of On the Sandakan Trail, I will bring you more attractions around Sandakan.

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