17 May 2010

My Personal Tribute: What Makes Sandakan a Nature City

This is the second part of my personal tribute to Sandakan : The Nature City. Don't miss out on the first part here.
Picking them up from the hotel the next morning, I actually took them over to another major attraction of Sandakan. Oh well, since it is quite a distance away from Sandakan town, one has to go there by car.


The last time I went there, the road was still graveled. Happy to announce that it has now been asphalted, providing a smooth ride and easy access to what was once a series of puzzling road junctions.
Don't be fooled by the picture above. I took it just outside of Coolangatta Airport here in Gold Coast when I was heading to the beach this morning. Just take it as an illustrative picture :=P.  It really was so sad to be there for the fact that Hanyut – The Friendly Otter wouldn’t be there to welcome me this time. Apparently, they had put in something else to take over his role.

They could never get any friendlier that Hanyut but they didn’t seem to be scared of human either. While the management is so strict about the feeding times, you’d find out how these other monkeys were so fascinating to watch to occupy time.
And then these…
I get more excited than I am usually prepared to every time I come upon them.
They are probably only species of monkey that generate much interest among the tourists to Sabah – apart from their counterparts, the mighty Orang Utans.
One thing you gotta know is that, even though Orang Utans are highly endangered, they actually can still be found in many places across Borneo and Indonesian islands so they might not be unique to Sabah only. You may not  find Proboscis monkeys anywhere else on the planet but Sabah.
Which is why, coming to Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkeys Sanctuary a very worthwhile one.
After finally saying good bye to these big-nosed red monkeys, we headed off to another popular attraction of Sandakan – Sandakan Crocodile Farm. Err, I really don’t understand what relevance does Ice Cream Nestle make to something like crocodile. I forgot to ask either.
The existence of this place as one of the main attractions in Sandakan is actually so much highlighted by the construction of this strategically located round about here.

Standing in the middle of it is a replica of a bloated crocodile pointing directly to the farm itself.

Ohh, and they have increased the entrance fee from RM5 that I remember it was on my last visit, to the current RM7 (locals) and RM10 (USD2.90) for international tourists.  
You probably wouldn’t see crocodiles basking in the sun in such a big number anywhere else in Sabah but here at the Sandakan Crocodile Farm.
They come in different sizes and levels of aggressiveness. Some of them look so still you might question if they are real or not. Seriously, I was so tempted to throw my LX3 Camera at them just to make them move.
But then, the crocodiles that are put here actually come from one of the most savage species in the world. Oh yeah, you can be so assured of that.
And probably the only ones that don’t age at all. Three years ago, I came to this place and took my very glimpse of Tako. He was 60 years old.
Now, 3 years later, I came to this place again and thanks God, Tako was still there. He was still 60 years old.
So was Taki. He has never aged!
Cramped up into small fenced areas, fights among the crocodiles are quite common occurrences. Some of them can turn quite ugly and fierce and watching them fight is like watching a road accident right before your eyes. The snapping sound would make you wince.
This was actually recorded when these two crocodiles were about to launch yet another attack on each other but I couldn’t bring myself into recording it more than up to the one I took here. I believe it or not, still wince every time I watch it. LOL!
Coming with the name ‘Farm’, one has to expect this place to be a breeding territory for crocodiles. And true enough, they do grow crocodiles in big numbers here so much so that they actually sell crocodile meat!
Yes, they do. So, if you are one of those exotic food enthusiasts, they you’ve come to the right place. But then, you might want to reconsider eating the meat once you have checked out the ‘real habitat’ that most of them are put in to grow.
Murky+green+stinking, it is just so ewww. Oh well, it doesn’t seem to be the most hygienic habitat for something that you’d want you feed your mouth with.
When it comes to food, I’d rather go for these.
They actually provide you with small sacks of pellet fish food for you to feed the fish with.
Priced at RM1 each, the management has been smart by providing something that surely goes back to the fish.
But then, once you throw the food into them, they’ll scramble to push upon one another to form a ticklish wriggling orgy. They can be so nubile they can make you go wriggling. LOL!
Oh well, despite the name, Sandakan Crocodile Farm is not all about crocodiles actually. It offers quite a mini zoo of some kind, guaranteeing you close-range sights of, among others, OTTERS!
Oh well, Otters are very amusing to watch. Instead of pellet food, they actually eat small fishes which are readily sold for RM1 each. Insisted by his little son, one of the visitors had bought one of them and put it into the enclosure. The otter seemed to ignore it even after quite awhile until the father and the son finally walked away in disappointment.
They should have waited a little while longer so that they wouldn’t have missed the real action that took place later. The otter had after awhile pushed the fish which was still alive to the water pond. Otters seem to enjoy the adventure of playing run-and-catch with a fish.
It really was fun to watch and of course in the end, the fish would eventually get eaten by the otter.
There are more other interesting animals to see such as this.
And this (among others).
He/We weren’t there quite at the right time. He/We missed the show.
Next up was another historical landmark of Sandakan – The Agnes Keith House. Oh well, I am sure a little click and search of Agnes Keith on google would lead you to hundreds of websites that tell about this wonderful writer who is most notably known for describing Sabah with what it is famously called nowadays – The Land Below The Wind.
If you don’t already know, it is actually the title of one of the books that she wrote when she came to stay in Sandakan to follow his husband who was posted to work here as an army.
Just like any other Sabah Museum’s property, welcoming you at the entrance is this.
But that was the wrong thing to say to me. Before I knew, I was beginning to take a photo.
And another.
And another.
Oppsss! Due to time restriction, I could only grant one last place to bring them to. And sure enough, they anonymously asked to be brought to………..
Sandakan market! Oh well, this place is probably the only reason for what I’d come down to Sandakan town center once in awhile. Said to be the biggest of its kind in Sabah, if offers just about everything for seafood.
Highly odorous for sure, things that you bring from here might need highly air-tight wrap-ups to make sure they go past the luggage check at the airport.
There were some other places of attractions that I didn’t bring them to due to some reasons that I am sure you can easily figure out later. Like this one here.
Completed in 1897, it is actually the oldest church in Sabah and one of the oldest in the whole country.
Oh well, there are dozens of Churches all over the countries that stand out for being superior in terms of architecture and designs but this St. Mary’s Church in Sandakan seems to define the beauty of simplicity at its best. Seriously, there is something about this church that makes it stand out in the eyes of everybody that comes here.
                         [pics taken many many months ago.. :-P]
Mind to tell you that places of interest that I have listed down here are just the ones that I have been to and are easily reachable from Sandakan itself. Of course there are other places such as Sukau in Kinabatangan..
and the Turtle Islands..
but they are not those places to be reached within a day so I’d spare them for some other entry. For me, with the existence of direct flights from Kuala Lumpur and Kota KInabalu both Air Asia and Malaysia Airlines, Sandakan can be such a purrrrrfect holiday destination.
I can type in a thousand words but you can never know until you cum here for yourself.. so, cum cum cum! :-D

7 comments:

Shirleen said...

the crocodile statue pointing to the farm looks as though it's pointing to the direction where you'll be slaughtered by more crocodiles.. lol..

Kelvin said...

The crocodile statue looks like a dino! And i agree with Shirleen haha XD

Its like the statue is saying go there and get eaten up XP

kenwooi said...

you looks different here.. longer hair? haha..

anyway, i wanna see crocodiles! whamp whamp! =P

Murphy said...

I always laughed whenever I passed by this crocodile statue. Because from certain angle, it looks like a croc showing its middle finger, lol...

JIPP said...

Shirleen & Kelvin: Yupp. It looks so inviting. If looked upon closely it has this evil grin which makes me amused evertime. LOL.
Kenwooi: I know, and I was errrr, with some extra kilos when the pics were taken. Haha.
Murpy: Haha. Really? I didn't notice but I may probably notice now that you've mentioned it. :-D

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