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Lahad Datu is a town and district located in Tawau Division, in the east of Sabah, Malaysia on the island of Borneo. It occupies the peninsula on the north side of Darvel Bay. Its population was estimated to be around 199,830 in 2010. Lahad Datu is surrounded by stretches of cocoa and oil palm plantations. It is also an important timber exporting port. The town has an airport for domestic flights.HistoryA settlement is believed to have existed here in the 15th century, as excavations have unearthed Ming dynasty Chinese ceramics. Just east of Lahad Datu is the village of Tunku, a notorious base for pirates and slave traders in the 19th century.Based on a jawi manuscript in the Idahan language dated 1408 A.D, it is believed that Islam was first introduced to Malaysia in Sabah. The jawi manuscript gives an account of an Ida'an man named Abdullah in Darvel Bay who embraced Islam.Filipino intrusionOn 23 September 1985, 15-20 armed foreign pirates landed on this town, killing at least 21 people and injuring 11 others.On 11 February 2013, several armed Filipino supporters of the Sultanate of Sulu, calling themselves the Royal Security Forces of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo, arrived in Lahad Datu district and occupied the village of Tanduo. They were sent by Jamalul Kiram III, a claimant to the throne of the sultanate. His stated goal is to assert the Philippine territorial claim to eastern Sabah as part of the North Borneo dispute. In response, Malaysian security forces surrounded the village.Plan your vacation with our Malaysia trip itinerary planner and discover the best things to do in Lahad Datu.
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Top Lahad Datu tours
Private Full Day Gomantong Cave and Kinabatangan River Cruise with Lunch BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $90
Duration: 9 hours
2-Night Danum Valley Borneo Rainforest Lodge Hiking and Wildlife Adventure BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $1,410
Duration: 3 days
3-Day Adventure in Tabin Wildlife Reserve BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $789
Duration: 3 days
Popular things to do in Lahad Datu
Side trips from Lahad Datu
Duration: 8 hours
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36 days in Sabah BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA December, beaches, popular sights Preferences: December, beaches Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 8 days in Lahad Datu BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA June, popular sights Preferences: June Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 30 days in Lahad Datu BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA September, popular sights Preferences: September Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 5 days in Lahad Datu BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA May, popular sights Preferences: May Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 7 days in Malaysia BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA April, popular sights Preferences: April Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 4 days in Lahad Datu & Sukau BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA February, popular sights Preferences: February Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium