Monday, 4 February 2013

heritage trail - sandakan, sabah

sandakan, sabah is situated on the east side of sabah and borneo island, facing the sulu sea.  sandakan in the early years was the capital city for sabah until it was destroyed almost entirely during the wwII.

it is a quirky town with its own charm.  i personally have been to sandakan a couple of times but only recently i have found the time to do this heritage trail.  it is fairly an easy trail to follow and one unique feature is that you can find a mosque, a chinese temple and a church along the trail.

among the sites i came across was the masjid jamek, william pryer monument, stairs with hundred steps, agnes keith house and few others.

heritage trail map - easily available from the tourism office (sabah tourism & tourism malaysia)

starting point of the heritage trail

let's go!

one step at a time

i was so worried of walking up the stairs until i missed out the masjid jamek mosque! the mosque is situated near the starting point of the trail.

signages are clear and at every few meters

the name in english and malay does not jive
seribu means thousand
hundred means ratus

entrance to agnes keith house

a very well preserved wooden house

agnes keith house is one of the main highlights of this trail and the house now is a museum.  agnes newton keith, her full name, wrote several books/autobiography titles 'the land below the wind', 'three came home' and 'white man returns'.

on the day i visited the place, there was a carnival going on and managed to try some of the local games being promoted.

5 attempts to hit the bottles. all failed

another game, another 5 attempts, another 100% missed

walking down from agnes keith house, i arrived at the rotary observation pavilion.   it is a little run down but the view is quite nice.  you can see the sandakan town overlooking the sulu sea.

what's left from the pavilion

the view from pavilion

moving on, next to agnes keith house is an english tea house which serves a very good scones! Or you can opt to play some croquet.  i do not know how to play this but it makes a good prop for photo shoot.

up the stairs and you'll find a very nice lawn

a game of croquet, anyone?

a very english styled menu

probably the best scones in sandakan and sabah

after i had my afternoon tea and scones, i became lazy to walk around. i just walked through the trail as fast as i can as it was very hot. another thing, i had the swimming pool in mind.  if only the weather was a little bit cooler, i might have completed the trail.

some of the attractions i missed were remains of old staircase, a chinese tam kong temple, a hindu temple sri sithi vinayar and few others, i think.  i took a short cut through the main road and went straight to the last point, st. michael's and all angels church.

 st. micheal's and all angels church

structures build of stone

completely destroyed during the war with only the structure left behind but is fully restored now

some believed that this rock is a time capsule

if you need more information on sandakan, you can visit sabah tourism website here.

there is a direct flight from kuala lumpur to sandakan with mas and airasia or via kota kinabalu.


  1. wow.. cool.. never been to this trail before. but again.. been a long while since I've been to Sandakan T_T

    1. It is a small quirky town and very nice to get out from the main city. Plus, the seafood there is cheaper than KK =)