After our early morning one hour riverboat ride back to the jetty and then 2 hour car ride back to sandakan we had a bit of time before catching our flight to kuala lumpur so our guide took us on a sightseeing tour.
First we visited a local market (4 floors) that sells everything from fish to fruits and vegetables to clothes, luggage, purses and shoes. The market although run down looking was actually quite clean, however, some of the smells were a little hard to consume!
The people of Malaysia are primarily Muslim or Buddhist so our guide took us to see one of the largest and nicest temples in sandakan. The Buddhist faith is based on the 4 elements (wind,water,land and air). In one of the pictures below you will see a backwards swastika symbol which has been the Buddhist symbol for thousands of years. Buddhist people were very upset when Hitler choose the swastika as the nazi symbol and there are lots of questions and theories as to why he did this. The temple itself is unbelievably beautiful and very well maintained.
Our guide then took us to one of the many water villages located in sandakan. This village is the home to 27,000 people and from what we saw of other water villages it looks like this one is the Uplands of water villages. Some of the homes here have been renovated and can sell for as high as $50,000 our dollars. The people who live here are very friendly and did not mind us taking pictures. People live in water villages as it is cheaper than purchasing land. From what we could find out it sounds like the average person earns about 2000 to 2500rm per month which is equivalent to approximately $800.
The government has brought water and power to the water villages but the sewage and garbage is dumped into the water which is the same water they get their fish from. Thank goodness I had all my shots. You will notice in one of the pictures below there is a rack of shoes--this shoe rack was outside one of the water homes- glad to see this person treasures their shoes reminds me of someone.
Off to the airport and KL.