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.
These are some of the iconic Labuan attractions to consider visiting when in Labuan:
- United Nation Beach
This 9 km stretch of beach is along Batu Manikar Beach to Sungai Miri. It is nicknamed the UN’08 Beach as it had received the ‘Clean Beach Award from the United Nations Environment Program’ through the 2nd COBSEA Marine Litter Workshop and Clean-Up campaign held in 2008.
The award is given in recognition of the cleanliness of the beach, which is well-deserved as every morning municipal council workers are seen cleaning the beach of debris.
Along this stretch of beach, is also the Pancur Hitam Beach, with a beautifully landscaped park extending directly to the sandy beaches. There is also Layang-Layangan Beach, a popular hang-out of Labuan folk during weekends.
- Islands and Marine Park
Labuan is surrounded by small islands which are Pulau Rusukan Besar, Pulau Rusukan Kecil Island, Pulau Kuraman, Pulau Burung, Pulau Papan and Pulau Daat. Popular among these is Pulau Papan (Papan Island) catering to tourists and visitors with facilities such as campsites, chalets, and will thrill adventure seekers on an exciting adventure throughout the island.
There is also the Labuan Marine Park, situated 2 km to the south of Labuan Island. The islands of Pulau Kuraman, Pulau Rusukan Kecil and Pulau Rusukan Besar make up the marine park.
Here, visitors can enjoy walks on long stretches of sandy beaches, reel atoll, mangrove as well as several wrecks in the area. Surrounded by coral reefs and marine life, teeming with colourful sea creatures, the marine park is a haven for divers as well as other water sports activities.
- Diving Sites
There are several World War II and post-war shipwrecks around the waters of Labuan. There is the Australian wreck, the Blue Water wreck, the Cement wreck as well as the American wreck. Diving expeditions can be arranged with hotels, resorts and tour operators to these sites with the American wreck lying 21 meters under water (located 24 km from Labuan), the Australian wreck lies 21 meters under water (locate d 23 km from Labuan) while the Cement wreck lies to east of Kuraman islands with a depth of up to 30 meters, and the Blue Wreck is 34 km away from the Labuan coast.
Kampung Patau Patau, or Patau Patau water village in Labuan is a large village built on water. These wooden houses hark back to the water villages reminiscent in Brunei. Today, these villages have been upgraded to accommodate modern facilities in tandem with today’s living standards. There are also homestay facilities where visitors can revel in the rich historical culture of the water villages.
- Mystery Chimney
The chimney, located at Tanjung Kubong is an artefact from Labuan’s coal mining days (1847 -1920). This 106 feet tower, made from bricks imported from England was to have been used as a chimney. However, there are no traces of smoke or burning at the chimney. However, neaby coal mines suggest that this would have been used a chimney. There is also a museum housed in the information centre adjacent to the chimney.
- World War II Memorial
Located along Jalan Tanjung Batu, the cemetery, also known as the World War II Memorial, was constructed and is maintained by the Commonwealth Graves Commission. It honours men of the Australian land and air forces, as well as the local forces, who died valiantly during operations for the recovery of Borneo. Some were prisoners of war in Borneo or the Philippines. The Australian government later officiated at the World War II Memorial grounds in Labuan in June, 1953.
- Peace Park
Built as a memorial to honour fallen war heroes in Borneo during World War II, the Peace Park is located at Kampung Layang-Layangan. The memorial is surrounded by landscaped gardens, pavilions and was built by the Japanese as a symbol of peace and close ties between Malaysia and Japan. Situated at a tranquil spot near Surrender Point, where the handover signing ceremony of the peace treaty took place it serves a reminder to future generations to appreciate peace, as its writing etched on the stone situated at the entrance of the Park, ‘Peace is the best’.
There’s something for everyone here on the island of Labuan, and if you’re planning on a visit, there are flights available from Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu (Sabah), Kuching and Miri (Sarawak) to Labuan. It is a 20 –minute boat ride from Menumbok, a small fishing town on the mainland of Sabah. Labuan is also connected via high-speed, air-conditioned ferries that travel daily from Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei Darussalam.
For further information:
Labuan Tourist Information Centre, Lot 4260, Jalan Dewan / Jalan Berjaya, 87007, Labuan, Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan
Phone: +6087-423 445
Fax: +6087-423 446