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“Fascinating place”

Gomantong Cave Sandakan
Ranked #7 of 31 things to do in Sandakan
Attraction details
Reviewed January 1, 2014

I have been to many caves around the world but had never experienced anything like this. All the nests had been removed before our trip but it was still fascinating to learn about how the Eco system within the cave works and how the men who harvest the nests live. Very slippery underfoot so recommend walking boots or trainers!

1  Thank Visitor186299
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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271 - 275 of 421 reviews

Reviewed December 31, 2013

Based on the reviews on Tripadvisor, we expected very much (the best and the worse) of those caves. We were also a little afraid because our little daughter (3 years old) panics every time she sees something crawling or flying... Entering the cave is a little scary because it is quite dark, but except for the cockroaches, there was nothing special. Ok, you hear the noise made by the bats, and you can see some of them flying, but thats it. The best thing happened on the trail to the cave. We had a realy close encounter with 2 mum ourang outangs and their babies. Just sitying on a branch 2 or 3 meters from us, watching us, without any stress. So, even if the cave is pretty dark to make pics, don't make the mistake I made by leaving my camera in the bus (based on a previous review saying that it was too dark to make pics...grrrrr), you never know who you're gonna meet in the jungle! The caves are not worth the 2, 5 hour trip from Sandakan.

Thank William_Decoster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 22, 2013

The caves were basically on our way so we thought we might as well go and see. It was really worthwhile. The short walk to the caves through the forest is already lovely. We saw two species of lizards, several butterflies and pig-tailed macaques on the way. The cave is really impressive! Much nicer then the Batu Cave in Kuala Lumpur. It's huge and the way the light comes in from several exits makes it very special. You can smell and hear the animals living in it. It all gave a very special ambiance, like being in another world.

Thank Alu-Poo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2013

If you are not into cockroaches & cetipedes, foul smell, slimy texture, then, you can have Gomantong Cave crossed off your bucket list because it comprises of all these three items in a huge way. Gomantong is a Sulu word, meaning "Hanging". Then, perhaps, you may have an appreciation of the true culture of Sabah, which has a mixed influence of Malaysia, Brunei and the Phillippines. The cave itself isn't huge but it gives you a new perspective that Batcave in real life isn't as glamorous as that's been depicted in the Dark Knight trilogy. What intrigues me even more is that there are actually local residents that are living INSIDE the cave (with all the stench)!!! Just as I found the whole experience incredulous, the occupants found me the same too! The joy of travel:) Anyhow, depending upon the time that you come and visit the place, there are up to four harvesting for birds nest each year and there are the black and white type, black one being cheaper because it's more labour intensive to rid off all the impurities in the nests before they could be sold off to the end consumers. Because we are actually in the wild, sometimes, you may encountered unexpected pleasant surprises and for my group - a bunch of orang utans on the trees eating their fruit away. The gentle creatures simply stared at the group and kept on eating and for me, that lingering memory is priceless indeed! Commendable visit if you are into actual "adventure" mode of embracing tropical adventure!

1  Thank wiredfrog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2013

The Gomantong Caves was a 30 min drive from the jetty near Sukau Lodge. We did a short hike through the forest to get to the cave (don't brush up against any plants - I had 3 leeches on me from this short hike). The cave was filled with roaches, poisonous centipedes, slippery bat guano, bats, swift birds and sparrows. The roaches were all over the hand rails so you couldn't catch yourself if you slipped (and you will slip and slide on the bat guano, even with hiking boots on). Thank goodness for the hard hats - you could feel things dropping down on your head. The smell was terrible. There was a guy outside the cave holding 2 black bird nests (used for making bird nest soup), so we got to see the nests up close and take pictures.

1  Thank Lori C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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