Sandakan Rainforest Park (SRFP) covers an area of 148.6 hectares.
The development of the park began when the National Landscape Department approved an allocation of RM2 million in response to the request by the Sandakan Municipal Council for this purpose during the Eighth Malaysia Plan (2001-2005). After the forest was gazetted as Kebun Cina Amenity Forest (Class IV) Reserve in January 2007, it was handed over to the Sabah Forestry Department, which has secured an allocation of RM 3 million from the Federal Ministry of Tourism for the development of the park during the Ninth Malaysia Plan (2006-2010). The present phase of this development project began in late 2006, and is scheduled to be completed in 2009. At present, the Sabah Forestry Department takes the lead in the management of the park, with support by the Sandakan Municipal Council.
The park has been promoted as an icon of Sandakan, the Nature City, with emphasis on the following attractive features:
• Biodiversity conservation
The forest is the home to a high diversity of plants and animals including many rare and endemic species.
• Botanical science
The forest is a very important site for research on plant diversity in Borneo because some of the earliest botanical explorations in Borneo were carried out here. It is the collection locality of about 115 type specimens. By Y.F. Lee & Alviana Damit
The name “Kebun Cina (meaning Chinese Farm or Orchard) Forest Reserve” has its origin in the early suburban settlement known as “Kebun Cina” which was established immediately after the founding of Sandakan by William B Pryer on June 21st, 1879. Historical Kebun Cina played an important role in the development of Sandakan. In the Kebun Cina Gallery, important events in this Chinese settlement dominated by the Hakka community are displayed.
• Outdoor recreation
Facilities such as the jogging track and children playground are provided in the park for promoting healthy lifestyle. Nature trails have been established to provide access to the undisturbed core area of the park for adventurous nature lovers.
• Nature Education
Kebun Cina Gallery is the exhibition centre where visitors can learn about nature. The exhibition covers many aspects of nature exemplifi ed by Kebun Cina such as pitcher plants, insects, fern and dipterocarps. Furthermore, many trees and shrubs along trails have been labelled for visitors to learn more about them.