My boss told me I had to go down Lahad Datu for work and gave me an option of staying overnight or do a day trip. Since my last visit to this town was 3 years ago, I decided maybe an overnight trip would allow me more time for some sight seeing. The best part was hubby decided to join me too.
Since this is not only a work visit but a holiday visit too I search the world wide web for the best place to stay and where to eat. That turned out to be very frustrating work because I found nothing about this town. I thought with Lahad Datu being the gateway to Danum Valley Conservation Area, Tabin Wildlife Reserve, and Madai Caves, it should have more articles on it online but strangely not at all.
Barely enough reviews on the hotels. Most of the reviews I read portray a very scary outlook which prompts me to think maybe having a night stay is bad bad idea. I had a tough decision to make, either Silam Dynasty Hotel which has better review and centrally located or Asia Hotel which has duvet instead of old school blanket. Asia Hotel was also RM8 more expensive than the other but offer additional set lunch for two. We decided to check out the actual room before making the final decision.
My last visit to Lahad Datu was 3 years ago. I must say that it has grown. However nothing I can say the same for the airport. It is still same.
Not far from the airport just a short 2 minute walk is Fajar Commercial Complex. We headed down this area for our first breakfast in LD. If you search for food you will find out that some blogger recommend Dovish restaurant. You can find the restaurant here but at the time we arrived it was still not open.
While we were having our breakfast we were approached by street children asking for money. We didn’t give any but they made us annoyed because not just one kid came begging at us but 3 consecutively by 3 different kids.
Later we drop by Silam Dynasty and found the room ok. They also offered free airport transfer which was an added advantage. We would have immediately checked in if not for my local friend that advice us Asia Hotel is a better bet. When we saw Asia Hotel room we were hooked. Definitely duvet was cooler and the room was slightly larger. What we didn’t expect was how thin the walls were which we found out later when we took a nap in the afternoon. Furthermore the sounds coming from the vehicles seemed to be amplified due to the open field below our window and the angle of the next building. Since we were already checked in, we decided to tolerate the sound and hope for less vehicles passing by at night.
As we walkout to find lunch, we asked the reception to show us the nearest Chinese restaurant. She told us that the nearest is located near to De Leon Hotel. We tried finding the place but it was too hot for a lot of walking so we decided to stop by Sabah Chicken Rice which is air conditioned and looks clean. Turn out the food served there was pretty good and the price is also reasonable. Sabah Chicken Rice shop is located close to Silam Dynasty and adjourned to Lahad Datu Center Point.
I realized Lahad Datu town is divided into Malay area and Chinese. Shops closer to the sea are Malay area and the shops closer to the hill slope are Chinese. The main road divides these two divisions.
The older shop lots can also be found in the Chinese area with a food court and
nearby. As you walk further
on you will find King Park Hotel and another Chinese restaurant opposite it. I did not take a photo of this restaurant but it looks not bad, new and clean at the time
of writing this. Chinese
As we ventured on, we finally found De Leon Hotel which is located opposite the new Lahad Datu Mall. The Mall was not fully opened yet so no comment.
We ate our dinner at one of the restaurant nearest to De Leon Hotel called Sakura. Turn out to be a cut throat at RM69.00 which includes just a plate of Wah Tan Ho and Steam soy fried fish. Although the taste was delicious but I think the pricing was over done. Next to Sakura is a restaurant that serves buffet steam boat and further down another Chinese restaurant.
The next day we had our set breakfast at Asia Hotel. It turned out that we were lucky because they were having a weekend promotion that month which includes free lunch too. Since our flight was early, we had our breakfast at there but did a take away for the lunch meal.