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Friday, 21 July 2017, 10:40:22 AM

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Federal Territory of Labuan

North of Brunei Bay and facing the South China Sea, Labuan is an international business and financial centre, and Malaysia's only deep water anchorage. There are historical, natural and cultural experiences to be had in equal measure in Labuan, 'The Pearl of Borneo'.

1. Labuan Marine Park

Famous for four wreck diving sites, the American, Australian, Blue Water and Cement wrecks, the Labuan Marine Park consists of sun-kissed islets Kuraman, Rusukan Kecil and Rusukan Besar. Quiet pristine white beaches make this place a great spot to unwind.

Pulau Karuman

2. Botanical Garden

On this lush green escape once stood a Government House that was all but destroyed in the war. All that's left of it is a water storage tank, and two graves, believed to be the oldest on Labuan. A third, smaller grave belonged to a foxhound of M.S. MacArthur, first Resident of the Straits Settlement.

Botanical Garden

3. The Chimney (Tanjung Kubong)

A 106-feet high structure made of 23,000 English red bricks, it is somewhat shrouded in mystery as to its purpose. Some say it was a smoke stack. Others say it was a lighthouse. Some even say it was a chimney of an unfinished mansion. Whatever the case, this case might never be solved.

The Chimney

4. World War II Memorial

Malaysia's largest memorial, the World War II Memorial commemorates the 3,908 fallen heroes from Australia, Britain, India, New Zealand as well as Malaya (Malaysia prior to independence).

World War II Memorial

5. Layang-Layang Island

Better known as Swallow's Reef, this oceanic atoll drops an amazing 2,000 meters at its rim, earning it the title of 'Wall Diving Mecca of Southeast Asia' and is among the top ten diving destinations in the world.

Layang-layang

6. Sunny Beaches

Picturesque vistas and welcoming beaches can be found in Labuan's many beaches, including Layang Layangan, Pancur Hitam and Pohon Batu. These and many other beaches had received the COBSEA Clean Beach Award, a recognition given by the United Nations Environment Programme.

 

7. Labuan Museum

Housed in a pre-war colonial building, the Labuan Museum chronicles the history of Labuan, from World War II, its British Colonial days, up to its current status as a federal territory.

 

8. Water Villages

Among the last remaining water villages in the country, the quaint villages were established by Malay fisherman, and traders and sailors of Brunei. Stroll the walkways and enjoy the handicrafts and dried seafood available here.

 

9. Tax-free Shopping

Labuan island is a free-trade zone, and as such, many imported luxury items found here can be bought at bargain prices. Shop for anything and everything from chocolates to electronics free of guilt.

 

10. Island Delights

No island trip would be complete without Coconut Pudding, a treat unique to Labuan. If you've got a sweet tooth, don't forget to try Lambam, Panjung and Jelurut.