Sandakan is the second-largest city in the state of Sabah, East Malaysia, on the north-eastern coast of Borneo. It is located on the east coast of the island and had a population of 347,334 as of the 2000 census. About 18% of the population is ethnic Chinese (mostly Cantonese and Hakka). The rest of the population are Bumiputras (Malay, Bajau, Dusun,Bugis and others) and a large population of immigrants (mostly Filipino and Indonesian). It is the administrative centre of Sandakan Division and was the former capital of British North Borneo. Sandakan is known as the gateway for ecotourism destinations in Sabah, such as the Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary, Turtle Islands Park, Kinabatangan River and Gomantong Caves.
The area is also infamous as the site of a World War II Japanese airfield, built by the forced labour of 6,000 Javanese civilians and Allied prisoners of war. In 1945 the surviving prisoners were sent on the Sandakan Death Marches; only about 10 of them survived the war.
It was also once known to be the place with the world's highest concentration of millionaires.Template:Fact
During the early 1870s, the east coast of Sabah was under control of the Sultan of Sulu, who also ruled what is now the southern Philippines. The first European settlement in the area was founded by William Clarke Cowie, a Scottish gun smuggler from Glasgow, who received permission from the Sultan to establish a small trading base. Cowie called his settlement Sandakan, which in Tausug (Sulu) means "the place that was pawned", but it soon came to be known as "Kampung German" after the large number of Germans who also set up posts there. The settlement was part of the lease Austro-Hungarian consul Baron von Overbeck acquired from the Sultan of Sulu in 1878. After the lease was purchased by von Overbeck's British partner Alfred Dent, Kampong German was accidentally razed to the ground on 15 June 1879. The new British Resident, William B. Pryer, decided not to rebuild the village but to move to Buli Sim Sim on 21 June 1879. He named his new settlement Elopura, which means Beautiful City. A few years later, the name was changed back to Sandakan. The name Elopura still refers to a region of Sandakan.
In 1883, the capital of the British North Borneo Company was moved from Kudat to Sandakan. In the mid-1930s, Sandakan's timber export reached the record figure of 180,000 cubic meters, making it the largest timber-exporting port of tropical wood in the world. At the height of the timber boom, Sandakan boasted that it had the highest concentration of millionaires anywhere on Earth.
The Japanese occupation of Sandakan during World War II began on 19 January 1942 and lasted until a brigade of the Australian 9th Division liberated it on 19 October 1945. The Japanese administration restored the name Elopura for the town. One of the many atrocities of World War II was the Sandakan Death Marches, when Japanese soldiers decided to move about 6,000 prisoners of war in Sandakan 260 km (160 miles) inland to the town of Ranau. The prisoners who did not die en route to Ranau were crammed into unsanitary huts; most of those survivors either died from dysentery or were killed by prison guards. When the war ended, Sandakan was totally destroyed, partly from the Allied bombings and partly by the Japanese. As a result, when North Borneo became a British Crown Colony in 1946, the capital was shifted to Jesselton, now known as Kota Kinabalu, (often just called 'KK' locally).
Sandakan remains Sabah's second most important port, after Kota Kinabalu. The port is important for palm oil, tobacco, cocoa, coffee, manila hemp and sago exports. Sandakan is also one of the most bustling towns in East Malysia.
In recent years, more businesses have shifted their operations away from the town centre to the suburbs due to the presence of illegal immigrants in the town centre. In January 2003, the Sandakan Harbour Square, an urban renewal project, was launched in an attempt to revive the town centre as the commercial hub in Sandakan. It will feature a new central market and fish market, a 4-storey shopping mall, and an 160-room, 5-star hotel. It is to be built in three separate phases and is due for completion in 2008.
However, Sandakan residents encounter a serious electrical power and water shortage since decades ago. These two major problem has never been solved even though it has been promised all the time by either the politicians or the state government during elections. The electrical power often fails whenever it is thunderstorm or heavy rain.
 Schools & Academic Institution
Tertiary Academic Institution
Open University Malaysia, PPT Sandakan (Universiti Terbuka Malaysia) - 
ILP Sandakan (Industrial Training Institute)
Kinabalu College - Link 1
Maktab Perguruan Sandakan (Sandakan Education College) - Sabah Edu.net - Link 1
Maktab Rendah Sains MARA sandakan
Pusat giat mara sandakan
 Future & On going developments
- Equatorial Hotel - a 250 room hotel.
- Giant Hypermarket Sandakan
- Mile 5 Private Medical Centre
- Sandakan Education Hub - a 1,200 acres site to be developed as an educational hub for five colleges that have expressed interest to establish campuses in Sandakan.
- Sandakan Harbour Square - consists of 129 unit of shopoffices, a new central market, a Town Square, 4 storey shopping centre, 160 room five star hotel and a convention centre.
- Sawit POIC (Palm Oil Industrial Cluster) - a new integrated palm oil industrial hub with 2,800 acres of land earmarked to cluster and centralised all palm oil related industries in one single complex.
- Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) branch campus
- Sandakan Integrated Barter Trade Terminal (SIBTT) - a place for traders to conduct their activities with utmost case and leisure. " A Sanctuary for Traders". The terminal will be developed on a 33.55 acres piece of land in Batu Sapi, Sandakan with custom checkpoint, jetty, warehouse, cold storage, grain terminal, container storage, CIQS (custom, immigration, quarantine and security complex), duty free complex, shop lots, hotel and main office. The Integrated Barter Trade Terminal will undoubtedly become a SANCTUARY that will manage and generate an intrinsic income stream to Sabah's economy.
As Sandakan was almost totally destroyed in World War II, there are few surviving buildings of any age. Some of the main sights today include:
- Agnes Keith House, also known as Newlands - two-storey home of local author Agnes Newton Keith and her husband Harry (the Curator of the North Borneo Museum) from 1930 to 1952. The house was destroyed in World War II and was rebuilt on the same site. Mrs. Keith wrote several books about Sabah and its people, including Land Below the Wind, Three Came Home, and White Man Returns. The house has recently been restored after a number of years of neglect.
- English Tea House  - Located in the grounds of Agnes Keith Museum, fine restaurant on the hillside above Sandakan serving traditional English and Asian cuisine. address: 2002 Jalan Istana - tel: 6089 222544
- Sandakan Memorial Park - built on site of the Taman Rimba prisoner-of-war camp.
- Japanese Cemetery - housing a memorial to the Japanese war dead on Borneo.
- St Michael's and All Angels Church - this beautiful granite church was built in 1897 and is one of Sandakan's few surviving pre-war buildings. It was recognized as one of the world's heritage since year 2005.
- Puu Jih Shih Buddhist Temple - completed in 1987, this fiery red and gold temple overlooks the town centre.
- Sam Sing Kung Temple - completed in 1887, it is the oldest building in Sandakan.
- Sandakan Mosque - completed in 1988, it lies next to the bay and Kampung Buli Sim Sim.
- Kampung Buli Sim Sim - stilt fishing village on the original site of Sandakan town.
- Sandakan Market - one of the largest and busiest in Sabah.
- Crocodile Farm - located 12 km (7.5 miles) out of town, it houses more than 2,000 of the reptiles in concrete pools.
- Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary - a perfect Proboscis monkey observation spot for tourists who wants to have a closer look at these monkeys in their natural habitat.
- Third Avenue, Sandakan.jpg
Third Avenue , Sandakan
- Side Street, Sandakan.jpg
A side street in Sandakan
- Sandakan from The English Tea House.jpg
Sandakan from the English Tea House (near the Rotary's Observation Pavilion)
- Sandakan from Puu Jih Shih Temple.jpg
Sandakan from the Puu Jih Shih Temple
The oldest granite church in Malaysia, Parish of St. Michael's and All Angels
- Water Village, Sandakan 1.jpg
Water village in Kampung Buli Sim Sim , Sandakan, landward side
- Water Village, Sandakan 2.jpg
Water village in Kampung Buli Sim Sim , Sandakan, seaward side
- Sandakan Jungle Resort3.JPG
Sandakan Jungle Resort along the road to Sepilok Orang-utan sanctuary
- Puu Jih Shih Temple, Sandakan.jpg
Puu Jih Shih Temple , Sandakan
Puu Jih Shih Temple gate
Sea view from Puu Jih Temple
Statues in Puu Jih Temple
one of the suburbs (satellite towns), Bandar Indah Jaya , at Mile 4.
The uniquely Sabahan Chinese New Year Unicorn Dance, perhaps the only state with such CNY heritage performance & still being performed in Sandakan during CNY, especially in Bandar Ramai Ramai.
The view of Sandakan town centre
- Malaysia site - Additional information and images on Sandakan
- Classified for sandakanites- Classified for sandakanites
- Sandakan Harbour Square Official Website
- History of Sabah
- Sandakan - The Last March
- Sandakan Municipal Council
- Sandakan Info: (In English) (In Malay)
- Sandakan Memorial Window Project
- Sabah Tourism Board
- Sukau Rainforest Lodge
- Tours of Sandakan
- Sabah Law on line Sabah Law on line
- Malaysia Travel Guide: Sandakan
- Sabah Travel Guide: Sandakan
- Virtual Malaysia Travel Guide: Sandakan
- Sabah Goverment Teachers' Union, Sandakan Branch (KGKS Sandakan): KGKS Sandakan
- A street in Australia named after Sandakan