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Ways to Experience Sandakan Memorial Park
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Reviewed 3 days ago

This park is situated where the Sandakan Death camp was situated Relics of this horrendous time in history remain but more importantly is the now memorial to the service personal who died and where buried here.
A very emotional park but so worth the visit and thank you for their service journey
However I do think that a proper cafe is needed where one can buy a tribute to lay on the memorial .There is an information centre of sorts but has little in the way of tributes available

Thank KeenTraveller12372
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 week ago

A place any Australian or British traveller should visit and even a Japanese traveller for that matter.
Download the smartphone app on arrival using the wifi at the office and it provides a commentary whilst you walk to the various stations of interest within the park. A very humbling experience with highlights the atrocities of war but important to know how our servicemen suffered to protect our countries in wartime. This was the starting point for what became known as the Sandakan Death Marches where only 6 servicemen survived (all escapees) by escaping into the jungle and with the support of village tribes made it out alive. This if a free experience that is supported by the Australian, British and Malaysian governments. Very glad we took the time to visit this place.

Thank slip20182018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

A beautiful park and well designed memorial dedicated to the Pow of WWII. Lots of info on the history of the site and the POW that were held there.

Thank 221jennir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Well explained by our tour group leader, but one we got started on the easy to follow path way, we soon reached the main building where so much information was available, in terms of text, pictures , diarama and video presentation.
Excellent!

Thank Wayne R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We are Australian and felt it would be a nice idea to go and pay our respects at the memorial park. We are very happy we did. Although it is heartbreaking to read the stories and hear the facts of the horrendous treatment of our soldiers. It was at the same time very beautiful and moving. The park has been done in a very informative, respectful and tasteful way with the Cathedral at the top being a highlight.
May We Remember Them

Thank 131jodieg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Years ago as a child I had heard about the Sandakan Death March and the POW camp and i was determined that someday I would visit to pay my respect. It seems that not many people know of this story of 2500 POWs being forced to march to the Ranau area with only 6 surviving as they managed to exscape and assisted by the locals. The park is beautiful and its hard to imagine the horrors that happened here in such a beautiful spot. There is a pagoda in the park where the story of the site is told with the utmost respect to all. It is an essential visit that any Australian or British traveller to Borneo should see to know of their history.

Thank Rockmelon1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

My partner and I nearly didn’t go to this memorial as we weren’t sure it would be worth the trip out of town, but we are so glad we did. The park is a beautifully designed and curated memorial to a horrific, and little known Australian, British & Sabahian story. We downloaded the free app on arrival and spent nearly 2 hours wandering the beautiful garden, listening to the informative and interesting audio guide. We learnt so much about a part of our history that I’m ashamed to say we knew next to nothing about.

It was a moving place and an emotional look into the past, but it was done with the utmost respect and sophistication.

This is such an important historical place for Australians, I’m so glad we made the effort and that the POWs have been honoured and remembered in such a beautiful way. We will definitely be spreading their story when we return home.

Tip: bring mosquito repellent and download the free app.

Thank Felicity F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

In September and October 2017 my wife and I visited delightful Malaysian Borneo visiting attractions in both Sarawak and Sabah. Included in the Sabah section was a visit to Sandakan Memorial Park.

A visit to the Sandakan Memorial Park is a reflective and very solemn experience for any visitor to Sandakan. It dedicates the memory of 1793 Australian and 641 British members of the armed forces whilst prisoners of war (POWs) in Borneo during World War II. It highlights the terrible atrocities inflicted upon those POWs who lost their lives on the infamous Death Marches from Sandakan to Ranau, around 220 kilometres inland and close to Kinabalu Park. Only 6 prisoners, all Australians, survived. To my mind it is an essential visit for any Australian traveller to Malaysian Borneo to gain an insight into this important aspect of Australian war history.

The Park is adjacent to the site of the original Sandakan POW camp. There are several memorial and interpretive stations around the park for visitors to explore at their own pace via an impressive walking track. The landscaping of the Park including the lake, gardens and trees is very beautifully maintained. The Commemorative Pavilion is also an important aspect of the Park displaying photographic exhibits that tell countless stories of the atrocities inflicted upon these brave POWs by their Japanese captors. A feature in this Pavilion is the decorative gates depicting flowers representing people of the three nations who suffered at Sandakan during the Second World War.

Above all, the Park is a chilling reminder to all that in learning to forgive the wrongs of the past we must maintain Memorials such as Sandakan Memorial Park to make sure we never allow these wrongs to be repeated. It’s this reminder that makes this Park so essential to include in any Borneo visit.

Equally impressive are the memorial stain glass windows installed since 2005 in St Michael’s Church, Sandakan in memory of the POWs imprisoned in Borneo. I would recommend a visit here also. You need to make arrangements with the Church Office to gain access inside the Church, for a small fee.

Another must for travellers interested in this chapter of World War II history is the Sabah Tea Plantation at Ranau. The Plantation is on the very site where the Death Marches ended and viewing further impressive POW memorials is an added bonus to simply buying Sabah tea or enjoying lunch in the Plantation Restaurant.

We were deeply moved by all three experiences.

.

1  Thank OrderintheHouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Before visitng Sabah, my wife and I had no idea about the fate of POWs at Sandakan and the horrific Sandakan Death Marches. The information centre is well presented, with comprehensive details of the horrific treatment of over 2000 POWs. The grounds are beautifully maintained, though not extensive. Although we visited the memorial on a holiday, we are so glad we were shown this place.

Thank oznewbie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2018

We visited here with our guide Christopher. His ancestors were in Sandakan pre WW2 so must be sad memories for him also. A place for contemplation here, very serene. The park is well cared for with a path surrounding the park that gives one time to think back on the horrors of the time. Christopher made sure we had plenty of time here to read through the history of this place, that is mainly in a building and on plaques. We found Christopher via Trip Advisor while planning our trip early in year - his contact is email weetung63@gmail.com

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