Labuan - Malaysia's Pearl of the South China Sea




















An'nur Jamek Mosque
The An'nur Jamek Mosque, featuring futuristic architecture, is the pride of Labuan's Muslims and symbolises the progressive spirit of the people and island of Labuan.

Birds' Park
The Labuan Birds Park is located near the Chimney at Tanjung Kubong. It has three large dome-shaped cages surrounded by beautiful landscaping. The park is home to many species of Borneo birds most likely to be encountered by bird watchers. There are plans to collect a good percentage of the 580 species of birds found in Borneo's diverse habitats, from mangroves along the coast to forest in the mountains. Much bird watching can be done without any equipment in this park. Except for a notebook to jot down what you see and a pair of good binoculars. Help in identifying birds can be obtained rom the park. Entrance to the park is free.

Financial Park Complex
The Financial Park Complex was officially opened on 29 August 1996 by the Malaysian Prime Minister. It is located on 11 acres of prime land in the Labuan town Centre. It is just a walking distance from the seafront and only a few minutes drive away from the airport. The Complex is self-contained with areas for working, living, shopping, leisure and convention. It has a two-floor podium and three office towers. The podium houses 130 commercial and retail outlets, including a supermarket and department store, cineplex, boutiques and food courts. Two of the office towers are 16 storeys high while the main one is 18 storeys. The Main Office Tower is occupied mainly by companies involved in the offshore businesses, like banks, insurance and insurance-related companies, trust, accounting and legal firms and also support services companies. There are two condominium blocks in the Complex. They are the Alpha and Beta Park Tower. Residential facilities available include swimming pool, gymnasium, sauna, putting green and 24-hour security. The convention hall has facilities for 1,800 seating for convention and other events like performances and exhibition.

Labuan International Sea Sports Complex
Labuan International Sea Sports Complex is located at the waterfront area along Jalan Tanjung Purun. It is within close proximity to Labuan town center. The complex covers an area of 5.91 acres. It was a project under the 7th Malaysia plan and built at a total cost of RM25 million. Labuan International Sea Sports Complex is part of the Labuan waterfront beautification project. Its objective is to create a world-class water sports center and to develop more attractive places of interests in line with the Malaysian Prime Minister's vision to turn Labuan into a major island destination. Labuan International Sea Sports Complex opens to the public in June 2001 when it hosted the yearly Labuan Sea Challenge 2001. The improved infrastructure and facilities provided by this complex is expected to enhance Labuan's appeal to attract more tourists and investors. The modern amenities will enable the island to host more international sea sports events and championships. The Labuan International Sea Sports Complex is designed with three prominent structures connected to a main viewing plaza. Every building houses a specific activity. Each of these imposing towers is an integral part of a large modern water sports complex. The architecture offers a dramatic expression of nature, tradition and modern functionality. The complex houses the main sea sports centre, an administrative block, a marine biology museum, souvenir shops and eateries.

Marine Park
Labuan Marine Park is located 2 kilometers off the southern part of Labuan main island. Beautiful and wild, the park encompasses 10 square kilometers of pristine water and three secluded islets, namely Pulau Kuraman, Pulau Rusukan kecil and Pulau Rusukan Besar. It features long stretches of sandy beaches, reef atoll, jungle tracks and quiet tidal pools. Sea snakes, rare butterflies and a prolific bird life add to its enchantment. Snorkeling and scuba trails introduce you to an underwater world of fascinating marine life. The many secluded beach spots offer unusual privacy and natural ambience. The park has been earmarked for upgrades under the 8th Malaysia Plan (2001-2005). Facilities to be built in the park include jetties, chalets, camping sites and barbecue pits. Other public amenities such as water and electricity will also be installed.

The Chimney
Situated on a rise at Tanjung Kubong is the famous "Chimney", a 106 feet high red brick stack believed to be linked to the coal mining days of Labuan. The Chimney, 106 feet tall, was made from more than 23,000 pieces of red bricks imported from ngland. The bricks layering and works are typical of British style. The Chimney was long thought to be nothing more than a ventilation shaft. However, recent findings revealed that there were no traces of smokes or burning to suggest its use as a chimney as popularly believed. Careful digging has revealed at least 12 layers of bricks beneath the surface. The structure sits firmly on a large tract of limestone rock containing rich kaolin or porcelain clay, which provided the strong foundation. The Chimney is still very much a mystery until today. Various hypothesis has been put forward to its purpose. Some said it was an unfinished mansion. While others said it was a light house beaconing passing ships. In its heyday, a thriving settlement was built at the sea front area below the Chimney. It was then used as a bell tower to announce the arrival of ships to the residents below. It has become an intriguing riddle that fascinates locals and visitors alike.

Kampung Air (Water Village)
These traditional houses on stilts are joined by a maze of inter-connecting wooden walkways, and visitors are free to roam at their leisure. A visit to Labuan would be incomplete without a trip to this unique and intriguing place. There are two main water villages namely Kampung Bebuloh and Kampung Patau-Patau. The residents are mainly the Brunei Malay. The wooden houses are built on stilts over water and are connected to each other by numerous walkways. Almost every house has its own boat. The houses can be quite large and they all have a cool verandah in front. Some are very eye-catching with pots of brightly colored bougainvillea and orchid plants. The villages are made up of large communities with shops, mosques and other facilities.

World War II Memorial
This Memorial is situated at Jalan Tanjung Batu. 3,908 graves of soldiers who either died in battle or captivity lie here. Most of the soldiers were Australians and British with some from the Punjab Signal Corp, New Zealand as well as a few locals. In February 1945, the Japanese, apprehending an Allied landing in the Sandakan area, started to force march the prisoners to Ranau on which was what came to be known as the infamous Ranau Death March. Hundreds upon hundreds perished along the way and those who were left behind at the Sandakan POW camp also died or were killed. Many of the dead were reburied here at Labuan. On 10 June 1945, Allied troops landed at Brown beach at Tanjung Purun to begin what was to be the liberisation of Borneo from the Japanese. Prior to this, Labuan town was heavily bombed aerially to flush out the enemies. Most of the buildings were destroyed. At the place known as the Pocket fighting also took place. The remains of the Allied troops were gathered from all over Borneo to be interred at the Cemetery. The graves lie in long neat rows all bearing a plaque, mostly identified, many not, but 'known unto God'. The Labuan War Cemetery and Memorial is visited very regularly by War Veteran groups, especially from Australia who have included Labuan as an important destination on their battle-field tours circuit. On the first Sunday of November every year, a service to mark Remembrance Day is held here and is attended by locals and foreign visitors. The place was constructed, and is maintained by Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The lawns are beautiful kept and visitors will appreciate the peace and tranquility of the place as they seek to understand the senselessness of the deaths of so many brave young men.

 
 

 
 
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