Heritage Trail and Mooncake Festival

Sandakan Travel Blog

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The Agnes Keith House, Sandakan.
    The last thing we wanted to do in Sandakan was to follow the Heritage Trail map the tourist info centre lady gave us (also noted that the info centre does not appear to be open on weekends).  After visiting the Sandakan Heritage Museum (very basic but coming along), we walked up the 100 steps (although think it was somewhat more than this) to the Agnes Keith House, which has been restored and opened as museum by Sabah Museums.  Agnes Keith wrote several books about her family's life in Sandakan, and the current house was re-built after the war as the original was destroyed during that period.  The house was been restored really well, and has some fascinating information within about the Keith's lives and Sandakan during their time - certainly worth a look if you have time.
View of Sandakan from the Rotary Lookout.
  We then walked for what seemed like hours to try and find the Chinese War Memorial and the Japanese Cemetery, also mentioned in the walk, but to no avail.  We couldn't find them, no signs mentioned them and eventually we gave up.  Ended back at the Keith House to walk down the hill and cross the main road to visit two old Chinese temples and then find some well-earned lunch and some lovely fruit juice.  Afterwards, walked back through the hawker market again to spend the afternoon updating travbuddy (!), doing some washing, and relaxing before we leave for Kota Kinabalu tomorrow.  Wonder whether AirAsia will get us there on time!

Had a bit of a treat this evening.  As we were eating our dinner in a cafe on the waterfront, we heard drums start up.
One of the high-tech lanterns at the Mooncake Festival - it revolved and had all sorts of light action going on!
  Couldn't resist the rhythm, so wandered around a bit further until we came across a huge party - a Mooncake Festival party organised by the local political club.  There was music, dancing, acrobatic Chinese dragons, a lantern competition and - best of all - a karaoke competition for the more senior members of the community!  Our favourite was a chappy probably around 70 years old, in a pretty classy black outfit, belting out what was no doubt a popular Chinese song (judging from the crowd reaction) and jiving to the beat - can't get better than that!  We stood out a bit as westerners, so were given bottles of water, mooncakes and a guided tour of the lanterns by a couple of local experts (lots of explanation as to which was the best and why it should win).  Most enjoyable evening!
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The Agnes Keith House, Sandakan.
The Agnes Keith House, Sandakan.
View of Sandakan from the Rotary L…
View of Sandakan from the Rotary …
One of the high-tech lanterns at t…
One of the high-tech lanterns at …
photo by: canuck_downunder05