Sandakan, formerly known as Elopura is the second-largest city in Sabah, East Malaysia, on the north-eastern coast of Borneo. It is located on the east coast of the island. It is the administrative centre of Sandakan Division and was the former capital of British North Borneo. Sandakan is known as the gateway for ecotourism destinations in Sabah, such as the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, the Rainforest Discovery Centre, Turtle Islands Park, Kinabatangan River and Gomantong Caves.
The area is also infamous as the site of a World War II Japanese airfield, now known as Sandakan Airport, which was built by the forced labour of 6,000 Javanese civilians and Allied prisoners of war. In 1945, the surviving Australian prisoners were sent on the Sandakan Death Marches; only 6 of them survived the war