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Sandakan is a gateway for ecotourism destinations in Sabah, such as the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, the Rainforest Discovery Centre, Turtle Islands Park, Kinabatangan River and Gomantong Caves.

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Wikipedia - Sandakan

An aerial view of Sandakan Town
An aerial view of Sandakan Town

Sandakan is the second-largest city in Sabah, East Malaysia, on the north-eastern coast of Borneo. It is located on the east coast of the island and it is the administrative centre of Sandakan Division and was the former capital of British North Borneo. Sandakan is known as the gateway for ecotourism destinations in Sabah, such as the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, the Rainforest Discovery Centre, Turtle Islands Park, Kinabatangan River and Gomantong Caves.
The area is also infamous as the site of a World War II Japanese airfield, built by the forced labour of 6,000 Javanese civilians and Allied prisoners of war. In 1945, the surviving Australian prisoners were sent on the Sandakan Death Marches; only 6 of them survived the war.

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Wikitravel - Sandakan

Sandakan was the former capital of British North Borneo until 1946. The town prospered in the early days due to its port with visiting traders from about the world. Sandakan is an important town to Australian and British WWII history with the infamous Death Marches commencing here in 1945. After WWII the capital moved to Jesselton (now Kota Kinabalu).
"Sandakan" is derived from the Suluk word "sanda" meaning, to pawn and "kan" being the suffix. So "Sandakan" means the place that was pawned. Who pawned it, and to whom, remains a mystery.

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