Hotels in Sandakan perfectly cater to backpackers and budget travellers, offering no-frills yet cosy accommodations with breathtaking sea views and convenient access to Sandakan Town which houses ample dining, shopping and sightseeing opportunities. Sandwiched between the sea and jagged cliffs, Sandakan may not be the most immediately appealing town in Sabah but it’s got plenty of character. Featuring an interesting grid of streets, Sandakan has a lot of redeeming features but its main draw is the fact that it acts as a springboard to quite a few of Sabah’s most mesmerising destinations including the nearby Sepilok Orang-Utan Rehabilitation Centre and Turtle Islands Park.
Another big tourist draw for the town is its chequered past: all but destroyed during World War II, Sandakan is notorious among Malaysians as the site where the Japanese set up a POW camp in January 1942 from where the infamous Death March to Ranau commenced. Promising a pleasant stay with contemporary facilities and friendly service, Sandakan hotels consist of budget lodgings and a few mid-range deals, though luxury ventures are scarce.