What A Difference a Day Makes

Sandakan Travel Blog

 › entry 4 of 13 › view all entries

Fantastic! Today dawns bright and sunny.  Our stuff dries quickly in the sunshine and the grim weather of yesterday is soon forgotton. 

Our plan is to pickup a coach heading eastwards to Sandakan about 4 hours away.   We wait on the roadside for over an hour and nothing comes past so we decide to take a minibus into the next town (20km away) where we believe there is a bus station.  In fact we are wrong and we end up waiting by the roadside again but today fortune seems to be smiling on us, and though the first two coaches are full the third one is setting down 2 passengers and has room for us.  Generally bus travel in Sabah seems to be less efficient than we have been used to in other countries in Asia.  Perhaps this is due to the relative wealth of the country (many more people have cars here) but it can be a little frustrating.  Towns don't seem to have a central bus station and each main route has several competing bus companies.  The fast coaches from KK to Sandakan seem to be almost always fully booked which makes it pretty hard to get a seat when you aren't at KK.

The coach driver seems to be in a hurry and makes Sandakan in record time but is stopped once by the police, I assume for speeding.

The coach drops us outside of town and we taxi in to the centre.  Our first try for a cheap hotel, The Mayfair, looks grim from the road but actually turns out to be clean, comfortable and good value.  Each room has a DVD player and there are over 3000 dvds at reception to choose from. 

We check out the town, looking first for jungle tours and then restaurants.  The tours on offer are pricey so we decide that tomorrow we will investigate the Uncle Tan tours which have been recommended.  The waterfront is a plesant place with 3 reasonable bars/resturants.  In one we meet the three English students that we met on Mt Kinabalu.  Sabah is a small place.  

skippyed says:
I'm starting to catch up with your stories now!
Posted on: Sep 18, 2008
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Sandakan
photo by: canuck_downunder05