A Day In Sandakan, Malaysia

Written on Thursday, March 5, 2020 by

Sandakan Memorial Park is a place of emotions, mostly sadness, a bit of anger and a feeling of disbelief of the tragedy that took place here not so long ago. I recently visited the memorial, where in WWII 2400 prisoners, mostly British & Australian were interned here, in the most appalling conditions by Japanese forces and were forced to walk through atrocious conditions of the Borneo Jungle on a grueling 250 km march. A march which became known as the ‘Sandakan Death Marches’. If they managed to make it to the camp they were tortured & starved to death. Only 6 survived, yes ONLY 6! It is a cruel reminder of war and one which must never be forgotten in a lesser known part of the world.

After this emotional historical visit, we continued to a less haunting site, The English Tea House, set high above Sandakan with a superb view over the town & harbour, surrounded by beautiful gardens. A perfect place for English Tea & Scones, or a typical meal of Fish ‘n’ Chips. We opted for something more appropriate for the country we were in and ordered Beef Rendang. Next door is Agnes Newton’s house, an amazing American author who married Harry Keith, a British wildlife conservationist. They lived a comfortable life in Sandakan before WWII when they were imprisoned by the Japanese and lived in appalling conditions during the war.

Agnes wrote several books, the most famous ‘3 Came Home’, which became a movie.

What a truly fascinating day. It was great to see parts of Sabah beyond the wildlife its famous for.

Want to know more about Asia? Click here

Are you looking for more information about this post?

Contact us

Send us a message

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.