BLOG: Man of the forest

Sandakan Travel Blog

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We've just returned from the Sepilok Orang Utan sanctuary where these lovely creatures (literally "man of the forest" in Malay) are rehabilitated. Originally started when the trend of having these apes as pets lost its gloss, but nowadays it is for orphaned young'uns due to logging. Rangers play Mum by training them in the essential skills of the jungle such as climbing but supplement them with fall-backs such as milk and bananas until they are completely self-sufficient.

On the way there, we visited the Australian War Memorial. This is in memory of the 2500 OZ soldiers who lost their lives in WW2. They were shipped from Changi (Singapore) to build an airfield for the Japanese. But when the Japanese defeat seemed inevitable they were marched as far as Ranau (near KK) ... not sure how long it took, but took us 40 minutes in a plane ... where only 6 survived.

Somehow I expected rows upon rows of headstones like in Yangon (Myanmar) but it is a forest reserve set amongst new housing development. But it is quite peaceful and very well done with remants of the prison camp and good write-ups of the history.

And then getting to this internet cafe is quite an experience. We tried two other places which directed us here. The other ones were only fronts for computer and internet gambling!

We're having a great time so far ... we had known that Sandakan would be like this. So, it is good that we've got a nice hotel with a great pool etc. And excellent inclusive breakfast ... with my all-time favourite of nasi lemak (coconut rice, mini-anchovies with chilli sambal, curry squid etc) in addition to the usual western stuff.


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photo by: canuck_downunder05