Terry and Suzanne had suggested we read the books by Agnes Keith. “Land below the Wind” by Agnes Newton Keith describes the life in Sandakan before the war. After reading them we definitely had to see her house. This house has been restored by the Sabah Museum. It was an old colonial wooden house. It was very spacious with high ceilings. They certainly knew how to build for the heat. You could easily survive with ceiling fans. The property was surrounded by tall trees helping to keep the heat off the building. It was a lovely house. Within the house are photos and memorabilia of the former occupants.
The President of the Sandakan City, and his wife invited the rally folk to his house. We had a slide show with a biologist describing the natural wonders. They are very aware they have a unique and special asset, in this biodiversity hotspot. The Sabah government is endeavouring to retain 55% of the remaining rainforest, to keep in trust for future generations.
The party was great with the hosts singing decent karaoke. We couldn’t match them really.. singing a very flat Waltzing Matilda. It was a lovely night.
We went to the Sandakan war memorial. The aussie govt spent a lot of money here producing the posters , documentary and upkeep of the place. But somehow it was not as moving as the Kundasang War Memorial.
We visited the Lubuk Proboscis sanctuary. The sanctuary is in the midst of a palm oil plantation. It is a privately run tourist operation. If you want to see proboscis and silver leaf monkeys this is the place. They feed the Proboscis monkeys with salt free pancakes and cucumber and the silverleaf monkeys with long beans. I enquired why they didn’t feed them fruit and vegetables, the managers said the proboscis monkeys don’t like fruit and are vegetarian. If they feed them vegetables something they could get in the forest they simply wouldn’t come. Hence the pancakes.
We visited the Rainforest discovery park. This was a truly interesting place run by the Sabah Parks and Wildlife. It had a very informative botanical gardens and trails through the primary rainforest. There were some seriously BIG trees. The canopy walk infrastructure was very solid and extensive. You never felt threatened in the least as it barely swayed. We hung about and actually spotted birds, colourful sunbirds and flying lizards. Tony and Pat from Full Flight had brought their mini binoculars and were great for spotting the little birds. The canopy and trails had information posters to help identify the birds. If we ever go back to Sandakan I really want to do the night walk to spot animals.
The members of the Sandakan Yacht Club were really friendly and a lovely bunch of people.
Terry and Suzanne left us from Sandakan. They had visited the Kinabatagan river. A river the other yachties were keen on entering. The shallow draft yachts (several multihulls and Rubicon Star) could enter from the northern entrance. Chris and Judy of Braveheart saw something that looked like a crocodile in the water, on further observation it turned out to be the top of an elephant’s head, and slowly the entire pygmy elephant was revealed as it walked out of the water.