Agop Batu Tulug
Gomantong Caves The Sandakan Crocodile Farm
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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 &
Daily feeding times - from 9.30am onwards until 4.30pm