Lahad Datu overlooks the South China Sea and complements its coastal setting with a lively fish market, seafood restaurants and coral reefs. The waterfront township is also a gateway to the popular wildlife park and nature conservation area located nearby.
Things to do in Lahad Datu
Start your journey in Lahad Datu at the Danum Valley Conservation Area, which features rare East Sumatran rhinoceros, Bornean orangutans and clouded leopards. Explore the jungle treks, do some birdwatching or take a guided night jungle tour. Don’t forget about Tabin Wildlife Reserve, which has the three largest mammals of Sabah: the Borneo elephant, Bornean rhinoceros and tembadau.
Immerse yourself in Lahad Datu’s local culture by hanging around the town’s fish market in the morning, where you can watch dedicated anglers bring in their daily catch and sell it from stalls. You won’t need to look far to find your next seafood meal in Lahad Datu. Head to Sakura Seafood Restaurant for a delicious spread of Malay-style seafood or stop in at Wilayah Seafood Restaurant for sumptuous crab and prawn dishes.
If you prefer to shop for your own ingredients, visit the Milimewa Superstore, a well-stocked supermarket with unique food items and an on-site hawker stall called Angel Food Corner. It’s surrounded by local clothing and lifestyle retailers, including Play Boy House, Mapindo Design and the Toko Buku Sabah bookstore.
Are you looking for an outdoor adventure? Make your way to Mount Silam, which rises over 850 metres above sea level and is home to an array of unique flora and fauna, such as the Silam crab. The two summit trails take between two and three hours to traverse one way and include sections of boardwalk and steep climbs.
Getting around Lahad Datu
You can fly domestic to Lahad Datu Airport or drive there in seven hours from Kota Kinabalu. Walking is most convenient when in town, but those wanting to explore the natural attractions in the surrounding region will need to join a tour or rent a car.