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Lahad Datu
 

Lahad Datu

Lahad Datu lies in the Tawau Division on the East coast of Sabah.The interior mountain ranges stand on its west and the Celebes Sea borders it from the east.The economic activities are very similar to those of its neighbouring town, Tawau.Timber, palm oil, rubber and cocoa are the main livelihood of Lahad Datu.
It is also the gateway to the renowned virgin rainforest of the Danum Valley Conservation Area, the Tabin Wildlife Reserve in the east and the Madai Caves further south.

A settlement is believed to have existed here in the 15th century, as excavations have unearthed Ming dynasty Chinese ceramics.
Just east of Lahad Datu, is the village of Tunku, a notorious base for Lanun pirates and slave traders in the 19th century.
Lahad Datu is also home to Sabah's population of Cocos Island Malays, who were settled in this area in the 1950s when the Cocos Islands became part of Australia.

The port serves a productive agricultural community specialised in cocoa and palm oil. It is also an important timber exporting port with loading activities handled at midstream. There are also facilities at the Port to service oil tankers.
Lahad Datu is linked to other towns in Sabah by road and by regular air service. To drive to Lahad Datu from Sandakan takes about 2 ˝ hours. From Kota Kinabalu to Lahad Datu, it is a 6-hour drive or a 40-minute flight.
The town of Lahad Datu is situated just 1 km from
Lahad Datu Airport.

 

Paces of interest:

Tabin Wildlife Reserve is an enormous dipterocarp rainforest landscape in the eastern part of Sabah, with a most diverse range of flora and fauna. Tabin was declared a wildlife reserve because of the large numbers of animal species inhabiting its forest, including several which are highly endangered. With a protected forest area of 120,500 hectares, the Tabin Wildlife Reserve plays an important role as a dedicated ground for the breeding of endangered wildlife and protected mammals in Sabah. Tabin has several intriguing mud volcanoes that provide mineral salts for the wild animals. The three largest land mammals of Sabah: Borneo Pygmy Elephant, Sumatran Rhino and Tembadau are found within Tabin.

Madai Caves is an important place for birds' nests. The village at the entrance of the largest cave comes alive twice a year when the Ida’an community comes to harvest the birds' nests from various parts of the caves. It is a special communal event, almost like a festival. The harvesting is a dramatic event with the men risking their lives to prise precious nests from the cave roof. The Ida’ans have held their rights to the Madai Caves for over 20 generations.

Another 16 km from the Madai Caves is Baturong, a huge limestone massif of archaeological importance. Baturong was once part of the Tingkayu Lake, which has long since drained away. These limestone outcrops, which are about 250 metres high, are one of Sabah’s most important archaeological sites. Recent discoveries have led archaeologists to believe that cavemen lived in this region as early as 25,000 years ago around the shores of Tingkayu Lake.

 

 

 

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