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Labuan in Malaysia
Written by Siddhi on June 8, 2020 Share on

14 Best Things To Do In Labuan On Your Malaysia Trip

The small island of Labuan may not be one of Malaysia’s vacation hotspots however enough attractions here keep the tourists busy for a short visit. Labuan is a 90 sq. km island situated off the northern shore of Borneo near Brunei and Sabah. The name Labuan is thought to come from the Malay word labohan, which means anchor. The Sultan of Brunei ceded the island to the British in 1846 who wanted to use this good harbour as a base to control piracy along the coast of Borneo. The British built this base to develop it into a city to equal Singapore or Hong Kong.

This never happened but today the island has a population of over 90,000 and plays an important role in Malaysia’s offshore oilfield services industry. This duty-free port enjoys Federal Territory status, which means cheap beers for tourists and visitors! Labuan is known as the Pearl of Borneo and numerous residents who live here value its tranquil, quiet and peaceful way of life. Check out the top Labuan attractions, what to see and things to do.

1. Labuan Botanical Garden

Labuan Botanical Garden in Malaysia
Image Credits: Google Images

This attractive park, found near Labuan’s air terminal, was previously a splendid garden of the official residence of Labuan’s British Governors and Residents, initially built-in 1852. During WWII in 1945, the house wrecked and only some ruins remain. Later in 2001, the same place converted into a public park.

2. Gurdwara Sahib Labuan

Next door to the Botanical Garden is the main Sikh temple on Labuan. Sikhs have been living in Labuan since the 1860s. Many were initially employed with the coal mines and the police but later generations have been successful in different fields and the unrestrained appearance of the Gurdwara evidences the prosperity of the Sikh community in Labuan.

3. Labuan War Cemetery & The Labuan Memorial

Labuan War Cemetery & The Labuan Memorial
Image Credits: Google Images

In this cemetery, you can spot as many as graves of those Allies who died in Borneo, either in battle or in captivity. The cemetery has unidentified graves of about 1500 burials. Of the 1,752 identified burials there are 814 British, 858 Australian, 1 New Zealander, 43 Indian and 36 Malayan mariners, warriors, aviators and locals.

4. Pantai Tanjung Batu

This top Labuan attraction, found near the cemetery, at a short distance from town. Rocks on the beach contain holes made by water disintegration. You can spot dozens of oilfield supply vessels anchored offshore. There are toilets, changing rooms, kiddies’ playground and snack stalls here.

5. Labuan Clock Tower

Built-in the town centre in 1906, this replica of the original Labuan Clock Tower, funded by a Chinese businessman from Malacca called Chee Swee Cheng. It was the only structure in Victoria Town (Labuan Town) that survived the Allied bombardment of 1945. Sadly, it was demolished in 1948 but the replica was built in 2002.

6. Marine Museum

Fundamentally an aquarium, the Marine Museum owns a couple of tanks of live fish along with some other ocean-related exhibits. Built-in 2002, the Labuan International Sea Sport Complex has been the venue for many aquatic sport events. For example, the yearly Labuan National Water Festival includes the Labuan International Deep Sea Fishing Tournament.

7. Ramsey Point

This stretch of beach borders the Labuan Town. In 1846, the Sultan of Brunei handed over control of Labuan to the British. Nearly a century later, this same beach allied forces landed on this beach and liberated Labuan from the Japanese occupation and civilisation.

8. Patau-Patau Water Village

There are two primary water towns on Labuan namely Kampung Bebuloh and Kampung Patau-Patau. You can see wooden houses, many of them substantial, and some concrete structures built on stilts above the shallow bay. These structures connect each other by wooden walkways. The villages have mosques, shops, schools and other facilities. Homestay accommodation is available at Patau-Patau.

9. West Coast Beaches

Nearly the entire west shore of Labuan, stretching around 20 km, is one longshore. From south to north, the names of the beaches are Sungai Miri Beach, Sungai Pagar Beach, Sungai Labu Beach, Layang-Layangan Beach, Pancur Hiram Beach, Pohon Batu Beach and Batu Manikar Beach. The beaches are completely clean and sand quality is truly amazing but jellyfish can be an issue sometimes.

10. Labuan Bird Park

This bird park covers a 6-hectare site at the north of the island and holds various geodesic domes in which the birds have some fly space around. Since it looked a little tired and I did not have much time I did not go inside. One of the cheapest attraction in Malaysia with mixed reviews but if you like bird parks do visit this park.

11. The Chimney & Chimney Museum

Chimney Museum in Labuan
Image Credits: Google Images

Near the bird park, is one of the top Labuan attractions, a really old red block chimney with a height of 32 meters. The original purpose of this attraction was unknown but is likely to have been connected to the coal mining activity which took place in this area at the time. There’s a small museum on the site to give some background data.

12. Former Coal Mine Tunnels

Just off Jalan Lubok Temiang, not far from the Chimney, is a path leading to a clearing in the jungle where there is some evidence of 19th-century coal mining activity. There is a water-filled passage shaft 42 meters deep, a piece of old pipe and some other excavations.

13. Surrender Point Memorial

Surrender Point Memorial
Image Credits: Google Images

Right next door to Peace Park, Surrender Point marks the spot where 9th Division, Australian Forces received the formal surrender of the 37th Japanese Army in North Borneo on 10 September 1945. Historical information and old photos on Labuan in the Second World War are on display here.

14. Labuan Museum

To know about the exact history of Labuan this is quite a good museum. In front of the museum, you can see a small square with flame-of-the-forest trees in each corner planted in 1953 to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Here too are various stones and plaques of historical significance.

Reasons outnumbered for you to kick-start your bookings to Labuan. We at Pickyourtrail make sure our best travel experience is put into planning your vacation with lots of excitement. Start planning your Malaysia holiday package by customising your itinerary online with the top highlights and attractions of Lauban. First-time travellers? Don’t worry, check out our guides page!

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