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Town of Nature, Seafood and Simplicity: Sandakan

Want some fresh air? Hoping to get some nice and cheap food but don't know where to find it? You have all of it here in Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia.

Sandakan is a little town located at the east coast of Sabah. In case you don’t know, Sabah is one of the states of Malaysia. It has been called “nature city” for its large areas of greens and woods. Most of the Chinese here speak Hakka and Cantonese with a bit of a Malaysian accent. Some old folks also know it as “Little Hong Kong”, probably because of the design of the old buildings and the style of food. There are also some really old buildings here which survived WWII.

One of the major activities people like to do in Sandakan is to have tea break, or what the locals refer to as “Yum Cha”. This is also the reason why you can find A LOT of restaurants, coffee shops, and food stalls all over the place. Day or night or even MIDNIGHT, there are always food stalls open for you with delicious food! And did I mention seafood? YES! Sandakan is one of the best places you can get exceptionally fresh seafood, straight from the ocean and into the wok! People usually wait for fishing boats to arrive at the house-above-water village to grab the freshest fish! And because seafood here is plenty, you can have it at a lower price compared to other big cities. Trust me, I gain a whole lot of weight every time I stay in Sandakan! :D

And for those nature lovers out there, you should never miss on Sandakan in your trip! This town has parks and a rehabilitation centre for orangutans, birds, and different kinds of trees and flowers. You can already enjoy the cool breeze when you start walking into the woods, accompanied by the sweet smell of grass and flowers. The thing I love about Sandakan is the sky. I find the sky here is VERY, VERY, WIDE! Just move your head up and you can see the whole piece of sky without any tall buildings or signboards blocking any part of it.

It’s not about big shopping malls or exciting night life here in Sandakan. This town is special because of its simplicity and carefree lifestyle. People do not rush but take their time to enjoy the surroundings instead. I think that is why there are so many eateries in this town, because people here love to relax. Be sure to visit this lovely town if you happen to be traveling in Southeast Asia, because you will not regret it!

written by yapfl

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