Where to visit in Labuan?
Labuan is known as the Pearl of Borneo, which is also a Federal Territory of Malaysia. Many people have the wrong perception that this state is part of Sabah. When everyone seems neglected about this place, I was curious about how this place looks like.
It consists of one large and six smaller islands in East Malaysia.
- Because Labuan was proclaimed as a Federal Territory and it is also a duty-free island.
- It is an island that you get to enjoy the beach and diving activities here.
- It is best for a weekend getaway which only takes about 2 ½ hours flight from KL to Labuan.
- The food is cheap especially the seafood and you get to explore the island by renting a car here.
- Labuan is a peaceful place and everyone living in harmony.
- Grab car service is convenient here. Furthermore, most of the grab drivers are driving the imported car (because of free tax) hence you get to experience to sit in different types of cars. The grab service was relatively cheap where some distance just cost us RM2 per ride only.
What to see in Labuan?
As mentioned, Labuan is a place that you get to explore by car.
We rented a car which cost us RM60 per day to explore the town. There are many car rental services counters available in the airport. For our case, we rented the car at the hotel.
The Chimney Museum
Our first stop was the Chimney Museum, which takes 20 minutes to drive from downtown to there.
The famous “Chimney”, a 106 feet high red brick stack believed to be linked to the coal mining days of Labuan. The Chimney is still very much a mystery until today.
Opening Hours: Everyday from 8:00 am to 5:00 p.m.
Along the way, we stopped by at the Palm Beach Resort & Spa beachside (which just took 3 minutes’ drive from Chimney Museum) to enjoy the wind and wave.
Peace Park (locally known as Taman Damai)
The next stop was at Taman Damai ( Peace Park), located in Kg Layang – Layangan, near to the beach. This is the Park which built as a memorial to peace.
This place has a historical story about the surrender of the Japanese force at the end of WWII. This is another place for local people to get to relax and enjoy during the weekend or after work.
It is another memorial spot located in Peace Park. From the history, this is the place where Japanese forces officially surrendered their ruling on Labuan to the Australian in charge.
From here, you get to see a nice view of the South China Sea in front of the beachside.
During the evening time, it is good to have a tea break at Mortar café to avoid the high temperature outside. The contemporary design and relaxing music in the cafe make you wanted to stay longer in the café.
There are many varieties of food to try in Mortar.
For dinner time, we went to Mr. Crab Restaurant to try out the food.
The seafood here is relatively Fresh & CHEAP!
We have ordered 3 dishes for 2 people and guess how much the Crab costs? RM9.00 per crab!!!
On day 2, we started our trip by exploring the downtown in Labuan.
We randomly chose a local restaurant and tried out the “Kolo Mee” here and walked around the town.
Another place of attraction in Labuan. It is just 6 minutes drive from the town.
This is the water villages which are mostly lived in by the Brunei Malays.
Again, after taking some nice pictures we thought of going back to the walk the market at the town.
Most of the stalls were going to close when we arrive, however, we managed to check out more info about Pulau Papan tour at the tourism office.
Next, we continued our road trip to the war cemetery.
According to Wikipedia: “This is a Commonwealth World War II graveyard in Labuan, Malaysia. Many of the personnel buried in this cemetery, including Indian and Australian troops, were killed during the Japanese invasion of Borneo or the Borneo campaign of 1945”
The place was similar to the place where I have visited in Kanchanaburi Thailand.
八仙庙 Ba Xian Temple
It would be easier to search the temple by typing the Chinese name: 八仙庙 cause it was a struggle for us at first to find this place via google map.
Luckily enough the local people willing to guide us and they even showed us the temple by driving the car to there.
UTC & Labuan Central Market
Labuan International Sea Port Sports Complex
You get to visit the aqua world with FREE admission. If you compare the other aqua place this is a slightly smaller museum but it’s definitely no harm of paying a visit.
During evening time, you get to enjoy the relaxing time just right outside of the sports complex.
Here they are selling the local Ramli Burger, Cendol and Keropok.
While spending your time to enjoy the sunset there, having a chillaxing time in front of the beach is totally worth it.
Yumcha at the Hotel rooftop bar
As Malaysian, we always enjoy the night time to have a “drink” outdoor.
The types of drink we would choose mainly sweet drinks, for example, Milo, Horlicks, Teh Tarik, Air Limau, etc.
I love the design at this rooftop bar at our hotel.
The price of the drinks was cheap. The rooftop is opened to the public as well, you will get to have a meal or drink here even if you are not staying at this hotel.
This is the last day of Labuan.
We have decided to book a short and quick tour to Pulau Papan @9am (for an hour visit) before rushing back to the airport to catch the flight at 12 pm.
From the town to Pulau Papan, it just took about 15 minutes speed boat ride.
It was a private tour for both of us along with a tour guide to introduce us about the island.
We get to know more about this island and took some nice pictures then heading back to the town and checked out of the hotel.
Our last mission was to try out the coconut pudding at Labuan.
After booking a grab car, the driver stopped us at the restaurant and take away the pudding then sending us to the airport for departure.
While on the way, she shared with us if we have known her earlier, she would have recommended us to try out another seafood restaurant in Labuan.
- Pulau Rusukan
This is another island to explore but we did not get a chance to visit that time. If you love diving, I believe this would be another paradise to you.
Ferry to Brunei
I would definitely consider taking a ferry trip to Brunei from Labuan terminal for my next visit.
Where did we stay?
Hotel Labuan Point
Despite it was not situated in the middle of the downtown, this hotel provides a quiet place to stay. As long as you are using Grab Car or renting a car at Labuan, it is not a big issue for you to go everywhere.
An affordable price for two persons. The rooftop bar design for nice to hang out with friends or for couple dating.
How did I feel about Labuan?
Overall I like about Labuan how everyone living in a peaceful and harmonious life together. The driving pace is in slow motion and it is a close community where everyone seems to know each other.
One of the highlights is the daytime temperature was super high as compare in KL. There was no joke and according to travel wiki, apparently, daytime temperatures may be slightly higher than other parts of Malaysia.
Despite the hot sun, there are many things you get to explore in Labuan. Furthermore, there are a lot of FREE things you could do here. Throughout the 3 days 2 nights trip, we did not even pay a single fee for parking or any museum admission.
The overall expenses here were cheap and affordable.
The whole trip we were just spending around RM500 inclusive flight tickets for 3 days 2 nights trip.
If there is a chance, I do not mind to visit Labuan again to visit Pulau Rusukan and taking a ferry trip to Brunei.
Rough expenses breakdown (per person):
Return Tickets: RM128
Boat fare to Pulau Papan: RM30-RM50
Total: Around RM400-RM500 for 3 Days 2 nights trip
Check out more Labuan travel: click here
Labuan Tourism: click here
Sydney Itineraries: click here