Friday, November 06, 2015

Steve Paine: A day for discovering Sandakan

With our days in the jungle now fading, a glance out the window looks to a large swimming pool rather than a dirty brown river, I think I preferred the later.

We went down to the Plantation Restaurant for a buffet breakfast that just about had everything on offer from Omelette to Rendang Curry and everything in between.

Now don't get me wrong I do enjoy doing this blog but it can be a little time consuming, but hey, what else is there to do on holiday?

At about 9.45, when the housekeeper knocked on the door we realised we ought to make a move and go and see the town.

Looking back to towards the Sabah as we walked out the drive, it was indeed a large place and evidently originally built by the British during their colonisation.

Pictures in the lobby showed the view towards the town in 1945 after it was flattened by the Allies in a bid to rid the place of Japanese Occupation.

We headed down the hill towards the centre. Sandakan looked a little dirty, but no more so than other South East Asian towns, and cleaner than most.

The local shoppers were going about their business and I don't think we passed another westerner until we neared the Sheraton Four Points Hotel, which was stuck right on the sea front looking out on to the harbour. It was flanked by the obligatory Japanese Restaurant, a McDonald's and a KFC.

We toured the streets looking at the local wares. Like most Asian countries the predominant goods sold in stores were mobile phones and SIM cards, like anywhere else most people walked the streets hardly glancing up from their texting, face booking or tweeting!

Nevertheless, eye contact with any of these people usually was rewarded with a huge smile a greeting and a polite hello.

Children just loved to give high fives and practice their English, teenagers walked around in their favourite football shirts but still spoke, adult men mainly mirrored the youths and the women were mainly dressed in their hajib's.

We walked the streets, made a detour through the market and ended up in a supermarket to buy some supplies.

Loaded with a few Tigers, some crisps and some soft drink we started to make our way back. We came across the heritage trail which Robert had told us about, and decided to follow as it broadly went in the direction we intended to go.

Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: Steve Paine: A day for discovering Sandakan