Sandakan is the second largest city in Sabah, historically known as 'Elopura' but popularly known as 'Little Hong Kong', due to its large Chinese population that trace their roots from Hongkie migrants. Til today, Hong Kong-style Cantonese is the primary language among Chinese residents of Sandakan, compared to Hakka across the rest of North Borneo.
The city center is situated on a strip of coastal land hemmed in by hills facing a wide bay along the east coast. Once the capital of British North Borneo during the colonial era, Sandakan is rich with historical monuments and buildings that may be discovered on a heritage walk promoted by local authorities. Finally, local culinary delights include the famous 'spring' noodles and 'UFO' custard tarts.