Sandakan Part 1 : Sepilok, Proboscis Monkey, War Memorial and Agnes Keith House

So, right after we finished dining, we went to search for the hotel that we have booked ahead. Thankfully my friend had informed them earlier that we will check in late at night, if not then we would have been stranded in our car for the whole night because hotels there are not open 24 hours, unless you make a booking first.
Once we found our beds, we went to clean up a little, not even taking shower, pray for solat Isyak and Maghrib (for the Muslims) and off to wonderland, like literally snoozed off.
Amazingly, we woke up early at 5.30am. After washing and taking a very refreshing shower, we immediately checked out of the hotel and rushed on to place our bags to another hotel. haha. I know it sounded weird to change hotel while both are just within walking distance,. and we booked it the night before, but really guys… it’s the best decision we have ever made. Plus, it felt exciting to experience different places to stay.
The first hotel we stayed in was for family room, so each of us costed about RM20, while the second hotel which was dormitory, costed us RM30. Looking at the price range, of course the second one has better and comfortable accommodation than the first one. I would recommend the second one, obviously though.
Our second room in Sandakan.
lobby.

Then we proceed to search for UFO Tart which was one of Sandakan most searched food to try out. Sadly, we were lost in the search for the bakeries so we thought we could just get a breakfast. We went to this small stall that was bright with its yellow painted wall so everyone of us had Coto Makassar for our brunch. It was my first time trying that out and guess what? I’ve had it all inside my stomach! I didn’t expect the food could be that great and I would really recommend everyone out there to go there and have a taste of the Coto Makassar. It’s hard for me to explain but the idea is kind of like any soup but the soup was really different, thick in taste and it got some rice cube in it. I’ve ordered Chicken Coto Makassar but you could have other option like Mixed Coto Makassar or Meat Coto Makassar. and I’ve had Teh Tarik to go along with it too!

I loved these!

So our first destination to visit was the Sepilok Rehabilitation Center (please google). This place is known for the Orang Utan and it’s never been quiet. There are always people coming up, wanting to see the Orang Utan in a close range and see how this 96% human looks like in real life. I myself was stunned at how photogenic the Orang Utan was while everyone was taking pictures of him. We were informed that they are 6 times stronger than human so it is advisable to not trying to stay too close to them. Despite the cuteness and cheekiness of the Orang Utan, I still look at them as a scary animal and I would rather not seeing them anywhere in the jungle because again… 6 times stronger.

 

at the ourdoor nursery

The ticket per person for Malaysian was only RM5 but if you have camera that you would like to bring along then that would cost extra. We were there for about 2 hours and we have the chance to visit the Outside Nursery where toddlers Orang Utan was given care and also got to see the other Orang Utan being fed in the feeding platform. I was amazed at their friendliness to their caretaker and they seemed to be really enjoying being watched by the visitors because all they do was eating and showing off (and sulking, which was funny because Orang Utan does get sulky).

He/She really knows how to pose for the cameras

Our second destination was the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sactuary. It was the farthest destination we visited among all the places we went to. Using your own car or rent one from the town is definitely the best choice apart from hopping on the vans that were provided for tourists (check with your hotel). Just about we stepped in the observatory balcony, we were shocked by the biggest yet veteran Proboscis who suddenly stepped in and seemingly walking towards us in a slow movement. It was a 5 second cardiac attack for me because the caretaker did ask us to move to the side immediately, which indicated the Proboscis might do harm to people. Luckily nothing bad happened so we continued on watching them being fed and taking lots of pictures. Ironically, we’ve got to take picture with the monkey that had us all arrested earlier on. We then leaved an hour later.

Really Farah? I am not flirting with Proboscis. haha. jk
This one is Kiki. She came when the caretaker called upon her name several times.

We proceeded to go to the War Memorial Park in Sandakan after we failed to search for the UFO tart the second time. This place was my absolute must-visit for this trip so I was quite excited to see how it looks like. To my surprise, it was open for free and the place was also a recreation park so there is a trail that was made for jogging and little hut for resting. It was bigger than I expected because I was imagined it kind of looked like the War Memorial in Ranau. There are many things to learn about history here and the sufferings that the Australian and British had faced in that horrible time.

So, our last destination of the day was the Agnes Keith House and Tea House. Tea House was a British-like restaurant nearby Agnes House since we didn’t plan on having lunch there so we just walked by. Once we bought our tickets (which was only RM2 per person), and icecream pop in our hands, we went straight into the house. Having very little knowledge about this Agnes lady so I just went on with the group. Once we stepped inside, I was like immediately holding on my breaths because the air smelled of people’s feet! I was like…what is this??? I knew for a second where the smell came from, a large group of primary school students were there, having their field trip that day. Pretending like I didn’t bother the smell, I went straight upstairs that I hoped to have fresher air. My friends were like looking at me and I knew exactly the meaning of that looks. The house was air-conditioned so the feet smell was everywhere. It was like 10 minutes of suffering. Thankful the students went away after that.
My friend posing over the house
Bought icecreams here
We had the entire room for ourselves and we had to learn about Agnes, her husband, Harry and her son, George. We even learned about the house being hunted from Agnes own experiences and I was like having goosebumps while reading the story,at the exact place that it happened. Are you even joking? So yes, that was about it. It’s interesting to see how she used to live in there and how determined she was during those years that she was able to write books and even named Sabah as ‘Land Below the Wind’. Did you know that George was the one who put a name to the biggest flower in the world called the Rafflesia? Thank you George, at least you have given a very unique and beautiful name to it.
A helpful graphic map of interesting places around Sandakan
Bird’s bathtub.
The entrance of Tea House
Tea House
My friend, Soleha with an overview of Sandakan city in the background
So that was it for the day. Part 2 of our second night in Sandakan will come real soon.
 Till then. Enjoy the reading.
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