The Federal Territory of Labuan comprises Labuan Island (75 km²) and six other smaller islands which are Pulau Burung, Pulau Daat, Pulau Kuraman, Pulau Papan, Pulau Rusukan Kecil, and Pulau Rusukan Besar.
Facing the South China Sea, Labuan is situated south-west of Sabah and to the north of Brunei Bay. One can visibly see nearby Sabah and Brunei which is accessible via ferry service.
It is one of three federal territories in Malaysia. The others are Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, located in Peninsular Malaysia. Labuan is recognised as an international offshore financial and business centre.
It is said that Labuan is derived from the Malay word used at the time, labuhan, which means port.
Offering a host of amenities, Labuan has become a popular island for tourists foreign and local. It boasts world-class resorts, sandy beaches, duty-free shopping, wreck-diving, golfing as well as several important World War II Memorials.
Several dive sites in three states in Peninsular Malaysia have been temporary closed due to coral bleaching, a phenomenon caused by global warming that has increased sea water temperature. According to the Department of Marine Park, Malaysia has more than 80 dive sites.
The closure period is from July 2 until October 31, 2010 and the affected areas are listed below:
Pulau Tioman is said to be a real treasure as it has colourful coral reefs and marine life such as anemones, starfish, limpets and thorny sea urchins. There are more than 20 diving spots around the island; among the best are Pulau Tulai and Pulau Renggis.
Here, in vast gardens of hard corals, cuttlefish, angelfish, barracuda and turtles await divers. Deep diving enthusiasts will love Pulau Chebeh, the site of several giant manta sightings.