Sandakan, city and port, eastern Sabah, East Malaysia, northeastern Borneo. It is located on an inlet of the Sulu Sea, near the mouth of the Kinabatangan River, on the heavily indented east coast. The capital of British North Borneo (now Sabah) until 1947, it is the commercial heart of the state. Tropical Sandakan is a paradise for animal lovers. Watch turtles lay eggs at Turtle Islands Park, keep a giggly distance at a crocodile farm or share an impish smile with some of the residents at Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. The houses on stilts in the fishing village of Buli Sim Sim are perfect for sightseeing and photographing. The city is also a base for visiting the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and the limestone Gomantong Caves, home to swiftlets, bats and kingfishers. The Sandakan is the best.