Day 1 of my Sandakan trip….

It was definitely great to be back in Sandakan again, and my last trip here which was also my first one was three years ago, before pandemic….

Before coming to Sandakan, the eastern part of Sabah was definitely foreign and stepping foot in the town was almost like stepping into one of the old towns in Hong Kong or such…

Our first stop when we arrived was to the English Tea House for lunch…

we ordered the Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup made from Kinabalu wild Mushroom served with homemade croutons; Grill Chicken breast served with mash potato, buttered seasonal vegetables & a choice of black pepper sauce or mushroom sauce and
an English Scone which is served with homemade clotted cream & strawberry jam… the food was definitely yummy and the scones really soft like muffin, unlike some places where the scones can be almost rock hard….

After lunch, we made our way to the Agnes Keith House which was just a stone’s throw away… Agnes Keith was an American lady who was married to an English man working as a Conservator of Forests and Director of Agriculture for the government of North Borneo under the British Chartered Company back then….

She lived at the house with her family for years – until the Japanese occupation where they got caught and sent to Berhala Island….

The Agnes Keith House has posters and information boards on her life and her family’s… Agnes and her family eventually returned to Sandakan when the war ended but her husband was transferred to the Philippines and so that marked the end of their 18 years’ stay in Sandakan.

(Taken from

Agnes Keith is best known as the author who had first named Sabah the Land below the Wind through the title her book which she wrote about her life in Sandakan. That book is a legacy from her– the Land below the Wind – which Sabah is also famously known as…

From Agnes Keith House we took the 100 steps heritage trail steps to town….the original heritage trail is supposedly begin at the 100-year old Masjid Jamik, and then next to the Pryer Memorial, a granite structure erected to honour the founder of Sandakan, William B. Pryer before we are suppose to climb the Stairs with a Hundred Steps that will lead us to a beautiful view of Sandakan town and bay. It also bring us to the famous Agnes Keith House, but well, in this case we did it backwards…

….hahahah beginning with Agnes Keith House and ending in front of Sandakan Hotel with the Masjid Jamek in full view…

Then we hopped on the bus which took us to the Sandakan Memorial Park

The Sandakan Memorial Park which is located in Taman Rimba is actually very pictureque and instagrammable with lush greenery and it is well taken care off…

However it happens to also be the exact location of the POW (Prisoners of War) camp where thousands of POWs, mostly Australian, were imprisoned by the Japanese during the World War II.… Being the exact location of the torturing where more than 2500 people were killed, it’s no wonder that this place is rumoured to be haunted.

(Taken from

The Sandakan Memorial Park is known for what is called the Death March in which about 1000 POWs – the leftover of a much bigger number, were forced to walk some 260 km away right from the camp all the way to Ranau. Of course back in 1945, it was not easy. They had to walk through swampy terrain in the beginning, then through dense forest across mountains in very poor health and conditions.

Kulang and Bariga – the two local men / heroes helped some of the Death March POW escape… these survivors were not well-fed and as a result, many of them died from starvation, succumbed to injuries or contracted some deadly infection and died from it. Some of the less fortunate ones were shot and had their bodies left to rot along the track. Two of these POW managed to escape and tell their horrifying story to the world – thanks to Kulang and Bariga…

It would truly be a crying shame if you come to Sandakan and leave without indulging yourself with the plentiful and affordable seafood for which Sandakan is so well known for and so we headed to Empire Seafood Restaurant where we tucked into a hearty dinner consisting of Prawn noodles; Steamed hybrid grouper; Deep fried calamari; Roasted chicken thigh; Garlic Sabah veggie ; Bbq crab and washed our superb dinner down with some Coconut Pudding

Then we headed back to Sandakan Hotel where we finally checked in and got a good night’s rest, marking the end of the 1st day of my Sandakan SeeEatFood trip….

This trip was made possible by Tourism Malaysia Sabah, Tourism Malaysia, Malaysia Airlines, Mas Wings, Sandakan Tourism Association

Accomodation was by Sandakan Hotel and Bilit Adventure Lodge

One thought on “Day 1 of my Sandakan trip….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s