In Sandakan I stayed at Borneo Sandakan Backpackers, which had great reviews online and a modern website. I stayed in the dorm for 30 rm a night including breakfast. The hostel was in a great location right on the backpacker tourist street and a block from the sea. The breakfast was proper with eggs, and the staff were incredibly friendly and helpful.
I arrived at 2am. At noon I woke-up and had scrambled eggs with real coffee- none of the Instant stuff I have every morning at the other hostels. I then walked around the city a little but stayed in the same general area. The city is very small. The waterfront has a few restaurants but they are overpriced so I skipped them. I walked inside the new mall in the Four Seasons but it hasn’t been finished yet and there isn’t much there now.
For lunch I ate at Selera Sri Keniogan downstairs from my hostel. I ordered an apple juice and chicken noodle soup. Before my meal came I was brought a cup of ice cream, very bizarre but I definitely didn’t question it.After lunch I checked out the tourists shops. I had decided before hand to skip the Orangutan Sanctuary since I already went to one on Sarawak. Also, although the one here in Sepilok is more famous it is also more controlled and expensive. I’ve been told it feels more like a zoo than a sanctuary.
I also decided to skip Turtle Island once learning about it. One goes to Turtle Island to watch mother turtles lay eggs and then also to see eggs hatch, which sounds interesting but this only happens late at night and early in the morning and therefore it’s an overnight trip. The accommodation at the island is very expensive as is the trip in general. Again it’s something that would be more affordable if I wasn’t alone.
I did sign up for a 3 day 2 night Kinabatangan River tour, which someone recommended to me.
Across the street from the hostel are two spas both offering promotions. I chose Lynn Beauty Center, which offered an hour foot massage and ten minute back massage for 48 rm ($13.) The foot massage room faced out towards the sea so I had a nice view while I relaxed.
After the massage I went to the grocery store to pick up some fruit, veggies and snacks for the river trip. I then headed back to the hostel and relaxed for the night.