Road Trip: From Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan + What To Do

malaysia war memorial park garden ootd travel
I've had more than a few people ask me about Kota Kinabalu, where I've been and also asking about a few neighboring cities. I thought this would be the perfect time to share with you a little more about Sabah, Malaysia, and my road trip from Kota Kinabalu to my mom's hometown, Sandakan and the places along the way for visitors to well, visit! You can take a quick 40 minute flight, but you miss out on seeing a lot of the sites. Be warned: You're in for a bumpy ride!

Nabalu Kundasang 

If you are to stop anywhere on the drive from KK to Sandakan, then make this place your first pit stop. There's a giant pineapple statue there so the location is easy to spot and there's a market nearby with stall shops to buy snacks and gifts. What I recommend the most is the Nanas (pineapple) Josephinas, the special Pineapple grown in this area. The Guava and Jambu are delicious too and all of them are extra tasty with the dried plum powder! Plus, if it's clear enough, you can see a gorgeous view of Mt. Kinabalu.
malaysia kk sabah borneo
malaysia kk sabah borneo kundasang

Desa Dairy Farm

If you like dairy, cool weather, and the smelly breeze of cow manure (ha ha, jk), then stop by the Desa Dairy Farm, a popular tourist destination. You can buy some milk, chocolate milk, coffee milk, frozen ice cream, t-shirts, cheeses, and more here while also getting a beautiful view of the valley. Apparently, there's a petting farm too but I totally missed it! Ha.
sabah malaysia kundasang ootd cotton on converse
sabah malaysia kundasang ootd cotton on converse yogurt

Kundasang War Memorial Park

If you come to this area, then the Kundasang War Memorial is a definite must-see destination. It does cost a small fee to enter, but the price is worth it to learn about the history of British and Australian soldiers who died in the Sandakan POW camp during their death marches to Ranau. Read all about it and see their memory commemorated in beautiful gardens with rare flora species.
Malaysia sabah borneo
malaysia war memorial park garden ootd travel contemplation garden

Sabah Tea Farm

Enter the Ranau area and beautifully green Sabah Tea Farm. This area and time of day we visited was extremely hot and since we were running out of time to get to Sandakan, we only stopped here for a little bit to shop and eat with not enough time to go on a tour. The surroundings are absolutely breathtaking and it should also be noted that this is the only organic tea farm in Borneo. I highly suggest stopping in the shop to purchase their Pandan tea! There weren't any samples, but when I got back to Seattle to try it, I couldn't believe how flavorful it was and I wish we bought more! They also serve tea in a few of their items like their scones, waffles, and pancakes, and we ordered a few other tasty treats too.
malaysia sabah tea borneo organic tea farm view ranau
Malaysia ranau kundasang sabah tea borneo sanrio
crepe green pancakes borneo malaysia
Malaysia borneo breakfast ranau kundasang
Malysai foodie food sabah eats borneo
Malaysia borneo ranau kundasang vegetables foodie
foodie waffle tea breakfast malaysia borneo

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

Another must stop is the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre a few miles before Sandakan. It's an experience to walk through and just to admire these beautiful creatures. The best times to go is during feeding time. Take a walk to the 'playground' area for to see the baby orangutans play - I even got close to one as it was being a bit naught, haha. I can't find the photo to that one but when I do, I'll share it here!
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The naughty one climbing away!


There's also a few bridges within the area, but this one was a random one that I can't quite remember the name of, but my uncle decided to stop to let us cross it! It's narrow, but tightly secure and if you want a quick thrill, check them out!
water bridge sandakan malayisa borneo sabah

Durian Pit Stop

And of course, if you are driving and see random stalls or trucks along the way with fruits you want to eat - be sure to grab them. We missed durian season and the US visitors were craving it so we had to stop when we saw this stall with the King of Fruit!

I hope you enjoyed this post, especially if you have plans to travel in Sabah, Malaysia! Stay tuned for a few more Malaysia trip posts =)


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