I was hoping a local would pick this up but in the meantime I will give you the little information I have.
1) It will be easy enough to get a bus as they are more frequent in the morning than afternoon, it might be busy though so buy your ticket in good time.
2) The express bus takes about 2 1/2 hours from Sandakan to Lahad Datu but I do not know how to find times for you. In my head I think there is one at 7.30am but I could be wrong. BUT you will be able to find that out when you are in Sandakan/Sukau.
3) We got a bus from LD to Sukau and it cost 17RM last September (09), it will be a bit more to Sandakan. Minibus drivers may well try to charge you more and the bus is MUCH nicer!!
4) Similarly, the minibus will stop at Sukau but they only go when full.
I don't know if the minibus will agree to drop you at the airport but if not you need to allow time to get from the bus station to the airport in LD although LD is not big.
If you are at a lodge in the Sukau area, your lodge should be able to offer you transport to Sukau and show you where to get the bus/minibus.
Thanks a ton ponaire!
Sorry I couldn't help more but that gives you some idea.
The lodges are probably a boat trip and then maybe a 20minute drive or so to Sukau junction, depending on where you are staying. From memory it took about 1 hr 40 mins from LD to Sukau junction where our lodge picked us up.
There will definitely be a morning express bus you can get from Sandakan and hopefully your lodge will know the time or else you can find out from Sandakan bus terminal if you are staying in the town. If not, you have to haggle with minibus drivers and unfortunately they will probably charge you more as they know they have the upper hand!!! We travelled on a Sunday morning from LD to Sandakan and were told that we should be at the bus station about 8am to get a minibus - we ended up on the 9.30am express bus along with one or two others who had been on our minibus (you don't pay until it is leaving) before giving up on it and taking the bus!! I imagine there are a lot less buses going on a Sunday though.
Have a great trip!! I would love to be going back :)
My advice is if you have a flight to catch, it is better to leave a day earlier and arrive at LD the night before. From what I see, the bus/mini van is a bit unpredictable. If you plan to leave in the morning, do not rely on the bus/mini van, pay more, chartered a taxi (or private car) to LD (direct to airport) would be best.
Recently, we left Sukau shortly after our fellow "house mate"s. The couple wanted to catch a bus/mini van to either Semporna or LD. They left in a private transfer from Sukau to Sukau junction, while we left Sukau for Gomantong Cave. When we are done at Gomantong Cave(about 1.5hrs later), the two of them still waiting at the Sukau junction. In the end, my uncle picked them up and send them to Semporna, since we are going that way.
AmiEdited: 13 May 2010, 12:40
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