Labuan is located off the coast of Sabah. It is made up of the main Labuan island and 6 other small islands around it. All this time, Labuan is best known as an offshore financial centre as well as being an offshore support hub for deepwater oil and gas activities in the region. As a developing tourist destination, Labuan has plenty to offer its visitors.
The school holidays are here and if you are still undecided on where to bring the kids for a break, why not check out Labuan?
Here are the Top 10 things to do in Labuan…
1. MUSEUMS & WAR MEMORIALS
First of all, the best place to learn more about the history of Labuan is the Muzium Labuan. Established in 2004, the museum is located in a 2-storey pre-war colonial building. Inside its cool interior which is like a maze, are displays of all kinds of artifacts depicting the history of Labuan. In fact, it is a one-stop centre with information on everything relating to Labuan.
Peace Park, Surrender Point Memorial
One of the most visited parks in Labuan, the Peace Park is located near Surrender Point where the 32nd Japanese Southern Army surrendered to the 9th Australian Imperial Forces on the 9th September 1945. The Peace Park was built by the Japanese as a promise to peace and mankind. The huge man-made mound has a plaque signifying the renunciation of war.
Next to the Peace Park is the Surrender Point Memorial. This was where the Japanese officially surrendered their rule on Labuan to the Australian army which marked the end of World War II in Borneo.
Labuan World War II Memorial
Known also as the Labuan War Cemetery, this memorial graveyard is where many personnel of the Indian and Australian troops were buried. They were killed during the Japanese invasion of Borneo. There’s a total of 1,788 graves in this immaculately maintained cemetery. There’s an incredible sense of peace as one walks around this place.
Labuan Botanical Gardens
Close by the War Memorial is the Labuan Botanical Gardens, a popular place for both locals and visitors.
This beautiful sprawling park used to be the estate of a stately government mansion. It was built in 1852 as the official residence for Labuan’s first governor, Sir James Brooke and the island’s succeeding Residents.
Now the gardens are landscaped with lush greenery and shaded by huge ancient trees. There is an added skate ramp, reflexology path, gazebos, boardwalks, bridges, water features, a children’s playground and a fun-looking tree house in one of the many huge trees.
The Chimney is something of a mystery in Labuan. Standing 106 feet tall, this tower located in Tanjung Kubong, is made with strong bricks brought in from England. Although called a “chimney”, there’s actually no trace of smoke or burning inside this tower. However, as there were coal mines in the vicinity back in 1847-1920, it was thus named as such.
Labuan International Golf Club
Avid golfers will love Labuan International Golf Club (LIGC) with its promise “Tee-off with Mother Nature”. This par 72 golf course with its pristine green in undulating slopes is sheer joy for golfers. LIGC is the only 18-hole golf course in Labuan. Their 16-bay driving range, perched on a hilltop, provides a sweeping view of the greens and fresh crisp air for golfers practicing their swings.
3. LABUAN UN BEACH – COCKTAILS AT SUNSET
As Labuan is an island, naturally it is surrounded by beaches. One of the most popular stretch is known as “United Nations Beach” located along the northern coastline. This name came about due to its “Clean Beach Award” from the United Nations Environment Program during the 2nd COBSEA Marine Litter Workshop & Clean-up campaign in 2008. The 9km stretch runs from Batu Manikar Beach to Sungai Miri. The people of Labuan have upheld the honour as I personally saw the council staff diligently cleaning the beach.
It is also listed as one of the Best 15 Beaches in Malaysia. It may not be the perfect beach with powdery white sand but it’s very clean and one of the best spots to enjoy a spectacular sunset. Oh you can also have a cocktail party here, with some help from the Catering Team of Dorsett Grand Labuan!
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