The island of Labuan is located at the north of the Bay of Brunei and it faces the South China Sea. It is one of Malaysia’s three federal territories, comprising of the main island as well as six other islets surrounding it. Labuan is also known as “ The Pearl Of Borneo “ and is Malaysia’s only deep water anchorage. It is a duty-free port and an international business and financial centre. Labuan is home to stunning wreck-diving sites, World War ll relics, and an international sea sports complex. Visit Labuan for a great historical, natural and cultural experience.
LABUAN MARINE PARK
The marine park consists of the islets of Kuraman, Rusukan Kecil and Rusukan Besar. There are many secluded bays and sandy beaches for those who love the outdoors. Visit the beaches of Layang-layangan, Pancur Hitam and Pohon Batu for spectacular views and sunsets. The crystal clear waters are home to beautiful coral reefs and four stunning diving wrecks. The famous four diving wrecks are the American,Australian, Blue Water and Cement wrecks. Besides diving, visitors can also go swimming, snorkelling, sailing, kayaking, island-hopping, jingle-trekking and canoeing
This island is one of the top ten diving destinations in the world. Layang-layang is also known as ‘Swallow’s Reef ‘ and the Wall Diving Mecca of Southeast Asia. It is an oceanic atoll where the seabed around it drops 2,000mm where manta rays, turtles, barracudas, big-eyed trevally, hammerhead sharks and other marine life can be found in abundance. Layang-layang is also a well known resting site for migratory birds.
credit : dive-the-world
Visiting a water village is the highlight of a tourist’s visit to Labuan. There are 2 water villages in the southern part of the island, named Kampung Patau-patau and Kampung , mostly inhabited by Brunei Malays. These water villages are said to be the last remaining traditional water villages in the country. They are built along the edges of the water and are built on stilts above the water. A long wooden walkaway connects each and every house in the village, boats are owned and used as a means of transport by most of the villages. The homes can be spacious, most of them have airy verandahs so the homes can be quite cooling. There are seafood restaurants and water sports activities are available here.
Taxis are available to take the tourists to the water villages. The people in the water villages are friendly and do not mind the visitors paying them a visit. Visitors can stay the night in a villager’s home to experience their food, culture and lifestyle. The charges are reasonable and basic facilities like water and electricity are available. Visitors can also choose to stay at hotels in Labuan town.
The chimney is a famous landmark in Labuan, 106-feet high and located at Tanjong Kubong. It is made up of 23,000 pieces of red bricks imported from England. The purpose and existence of this building remains a mystery till today as there is no confirmed explanation for it. There is an information centre at the Chimney Historical Complex which provides information about the coal mining industry in this area.
WORLD WAR ll MEMORIAL
This war memorial is the largest memorial in Malaysia and is the final resting place of 3,908 war heroes from Britain, India, New Zealand, Malaya, Australia and other countries. This historical site is often visited by war veterans and families. Every year, ‘ Remembrance Day’ is held in November to honour the soldiers who lost their lives , attended by the local and foreign tourists. It is an elaborate ceremony conducted in full military tradition.
The village of Bukit Kuda is situated next to the Bukit Kuda dam which is Labuan’s largest natural reservoir. This reservoir supplies most of Labuan’s fresh drinking water. This village has won the ‘Excellent Village “ award at both Labuan and the national level. The area surrounding the village is beautiful with stunning landscaped houses. ‘Lidi noodles and Virgin Coconut Oil are produced by this village.
The Peace Park was built as a memorial and a renunciation of war, a promise of peace and harmony for all mankind for the future. It was built by the Japanese government in co-operation with the Malaysian government in 1982. The main feature is a large raised mound with two prominent arched walls. The park sits in a beautifully landscaped area with gardens and pavilions. Japanese- inspired ponds with stone bridges, park seats are some of the features in this park.
This site is located beside the Peace Park and is of historical significance. It was here on 10th September 1945 where the 37th Japanese Southern Army surrendered to the 9th Division Australian Imerial Forces ending the end of World War ll in Borneo. Surrender Point overlooks the beautiful South China Sea.