Monday, 8 March 2010


Sandakan in East Malaysia is one of my favourite places to visit. The people are laid back, friendly and everyone is helpful.

I visit Sandakan often as its also home to my 2 favourite places, the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and the mighty Kinabatangan river. Kinabatangan is really rich in biodiversity and really very easy to get to. Its teaming with birdlife and hornbills are a common sight. A slow cruise along the river is a must and you’ll be greeted with a wonderful sight of several species of monkeys (macaques, leaf and proboscis).

From the tree tops, they watch you as intently as you watch them, so I sometimes wonder who is watching whom?

The local wet market is a great place to visit for local food and traditional local produce like Keropok, salted fish etc. The food centre is extremely clean and well maintained. As an added bonus, the last time I visited, it was the fasting month and every evening many roadside food stalls would appear. The delicious and colourful food was both mouth-watering and reasonably priced –the BBQed seafood and spicy chicken is a “must try”.

The star attraction of the Kinabatangan cruise are the elusive pygmy elephants. I only saw them at my 5th visit but my travelling vet friend Vishant saw them on his first tr ip – some people have all the luck!!

I am organising another trip in late April/ early May with Ramesh Travel services. The actual timing and prices are being worked out, email me if you’re interested in joining us.

Text and photos by Grant
Mobile: +65 96840950

Oriental pied hornbill

A typical chalet at Bilit

Traditional fish trap

Great egret in full flight

The fruits of the Nauclea officanalis (Entcing but poisonous)

Fruiting season

The best way to explore the mighty Kinabatangang is by boat
Comorant on the lookout for fish
Comorant sunning

Geat egret (Casmerodius albus) patiently waiting for food to swim by

Fish for dinner

Probosis monkey in flight

Banded leaf monkey

A probosis monkey sitting pretty

Hanging out with friends

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