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Sandakan ~ Other Places

• History & People • Kota Kinabalu • Kinabalu Park • Kudat • Sandakan • Wetlands Nature Retreats •
• Other Places • Mantanani Island • Pulau Tiga • Danum Valley • Pulau Layang Layang • Sipadan Dive Islands •

• Agop Batu Tulug • Gomantong Caves • The Sandakan Crocodile Farm •

Agop Batu Tulug
Agop Batu Tulug is a steep limestone cliff that stands 39 meters high and is part of the 20-25 million- year old Labang limestone formation. The word ‘agop' in the Orang Sungai language means cave. There are three main caves, agop suriba (lower) on the forest floor, lintaga (middle) and sawat (upper) betweeen 12-15m high.

Inside the middle and upper caves are more than a hundred carved wooden coffins dating back 200-250 years, watched over by bats and swallows. Batu Putih village can be viewed from here as well. The coffins resemble different animals associated to the beliefs of the Orang Sungai but it has also been said that they are the coffins of the Chinese who once settled in the area as Chinese artifacts were found among the remains.
Location - Located at Batu Putih village and 41km from the Kota Kinabatangan township. The drive to Batu Tulug takes one and a half hours from Sandakan.

Gomantong Caves
The caves have been the focus for birds' nests for centuries, a prized delicacy among the Chinese and found nearly 100 metres up on the ceilings of the Gomantong Caves. The swiftlets produce the 'black' nests. The nests are made of the swiftlets' hardened saliva mixed with feathers. The local people are collecting these nests put their lives on the line literally, climbing networks of rattan ladders, poles and ropes to get to the nests.

There are two cave complexes - Simud Hitam (Black Cave) soaring up to 90 metres high and the more accessible of the two, and Simud Putih (White Cave), where the more valuable nests are found. The Simud Hitam (Black Nest Cave) is the more accessible and has a large chamber 30 m wide and 100 m high. It has a circular boardwalk to keep you off the guano-covered ground crawling with bugs and cockroaches and gives you easy access to do some exploring or watch the skilled harvesters at work. The Simud Putih is larger (White Nest Cave) and less accessible. Located on a limestone cliff above the Simud Hitam, this is where the valuable white birds’ nest is harvested, made of pure saliva. For centuries the birds nest harvested here and formed an important source of supplies to China where it had been and still is, a prized delicacy. The bird nests are made into a local delicacy: the bird nest soup.

Harvesting, is now regulated by the Wildlife Department to avoid over-exploitation, is done twice yearly. The nests are first harvested just after the birds have made them (between February and April). The birds then build new nests, which are left undisturbed until after the eggs have been laid and hatched; these nests are then gathered some time between July and September.

Stay the evening (around 5.15 pm) and witness a spectacular aerial show as millions of bats pour out for their nightly forage of insects while at the same time, the swiftlets will be returning to roost in the darkness of the cave. This also provides predator birds such as serpent eagles and kites an opportunity for to drop by for dinner
Location - Gomantong Caves lies in the heartland of the Gomantong Rainforest Reserve,
southwest of Sandakan.

The Sandakan Crocodile Farm
The Sandakan Crocodile Farm is Malaysia's largest with over 3000 of the reptiles. The original stock came from wild crocodiles found along the Kinabatangan River. Visitors can the crocodiles in all stages of development in cement pools.

Their precious skins are exported and the meat sold to local gourmets. Crocodiles are listed as an endangered species and the place has a certification from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Geneva, Switzerland. Each crocodile skin is recorded for CITES assessment! While practically 100% of the crocodiles in the farm are reared reptiles the site.

Besides offering visitors an up-close look at Sabah's biggest reptiles, the farm hosts several other attractions as well, including crocodile and snake shows. It also features a mini zoo with a 100kg Amazonian fish, and a children's park.
Location - Labuk Road;The drive from Sandakan to the farm takes about half an hour.
Weekday show times (Crocodiles only) - 11.45am & 4.00pm
Sunday and Public Hols show times (Crocodiles and snakes) - 11.45am, 2.00pm & 4.00pm
Daily feeding times - from 9.30am onwards until 4.30pm







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[Sandakan - Sights & Visits] [Sandakan - Other Places] [Lankayan Island] [Orang Utan & Proboscis Sanctuaries] [Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary] [Turtle Islands Park]

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