Have you ever heard of Labuan Island? No? Alright. Let’s have a talk.
Labuan Island or typically just called Labuan, is a small island that was once under the governance of Sabah. In 1989, it was officially renowned as Federal Territory of Labuan.
The great thing about Labuan is that it is act as a transit for people to go to Brunei, a small but amazing country in the Borneon Island. Therefore, Labuan should not be missed when it comes to travelling, as there are bunch of places to look for. Amazingly, you can have a tour in this island in just a day!
A few facts of Labuan that you should know about, just to let you know a little bit more about the place:
- Labuan was once a part of the Brunei sultanate empire.
- Most of the locals are Brunei (in ethnicity) but there are mixed of people lived and worked there now. (Malaysians and foreigners).
- Since it is a duty-free industrialized place, import products such as chocolates, perfumes, cigarettes, beverages etc etc are pretty much lower in price.
- Not a weird situation to find men in overalls at the malls during working time.
Now, let’s get into the must-visit places in Labuan, shall we?
- Labuan War Memorial Cemetary
This is by far on top of my list to visit in Labuan. The reason was because I’ve visited both Kundasang War Memorial and Sandakan War Memorial and I thought this one should not be missed in any where possible. Since Labuan is basically an industrialized, working setting, occasionally you would find just a few of visitors coming by on the daily. Most people would be at their workplace. Means, we’ve had the place all by ourselves and learnt about the history of the war.
It was a sad truth that I’ve come to reflect on my own life. The armies died in such a young age, not married nor had the chance to properly say goodbye to their families back in Australia. There’s so much to reflect on.
- Layang-Layangan Beach & The Peace Park
Layang-Layangan Beach and The Peace Park are different but they are both technically just on the same area. The Beach is a perfect place to wind down either individually or with your family. I was with my friends when we got there during midday and given the hot weather, there’s nobody else there. Just a nice place to get away from the crowded life at the town area.
The Peace Park could be your next alternative whenever there’s too many visitors at the beach. Just walk a few meters away from the beach area and there it is, you can have your kids play on their freedom.
- The Surrender Point
Interestingly, the surrender Point is just on next to Peace Park, exactly facing the Layang-Layangan Beach. While visiting and capturing photos, there came a sedan parked just nearby and out two males and a female whom undoubtedly were foreigners by looks. We greeted and talked a little bit, which we then learned they were citizen of Australia. One of them worked here and attempted to speak in Malay to us, which was great because it certainly did amazed us. Good try.
The place held a remarkable historic value where it was the location of where the Japanese Colony had came and surrendered in front of the Australian army during The World War II. There’s no wonder of bumping these nice Australian fellows that day.
- Labuan Marine Museum
Labuan Marine Museum was just about 5-7 minutes away from The Labuan Ferry Terminal. If you are a fan of marine life then this should be on your list. It is also perfect for weekend short gateway with the kids.
- The Clock Tower
The tower was located within the outside of Labuan Marine Museum. There’s not much to see except the replica of the ruin of the exact tower, which was destroyed in war (correct me if I’m wrong).
- The Chimney Museum
I loved the Chimney! There’s a unique side of it, that is the builds were made for uncertain reason. It did not completely finished at the end but for the purpose of avoiding its existence and the value of Labuan history, the Chimney was finished and now is available for visitation.
- The Bird Park Labuan
Do you know that there were camels in Labuan Island? Yes. Just about 5 minutes ride from The Chimney Museum, you could have a nice walk around the park, with different species of birds. Birdie lovers should love this. Kids too. Only they should be monitored every minute.
- The Labuan Museum
The Labuan Museum would probably the highest amount of time we spent in Labuan. There was not much tourists around and we’ve had the entire place for ourselves, enough to share viewpoints within us and wandering just aimlessly. It is also just about 1-3 minutes (?) from the Terminal. The staff were friendly too.
- Ujana Kewangan
Ujana Kewangan or known locally as UK is a shopping complex (and office too). But typically people would come by to shop for what Labuan most known for, duty-free chocolates! Sky Park should be on your on your lists and be careful of your spending!
Footnote: This post has actually been published in the TheVocket.com where I’ve shared, (which you can read through this url: https://www.thevocket.com/pengalaman-best-saya-berkunjung-ke-9-lokasi-menarik-di-pulau-labuan/) but I purposely reuploded it here in English version.
Thank you for reading.