Posted by: James Shannon | April 15, 2011

Labuan (Labawhat?) … Scenes From An Island Off The Beaten Track

After catching wind of a cheap airfare back to the Malaysian peninsula from the island territory of Labuan, I bought my ferry ticket at the Jesselton pier in Kota Kinabalu, and boarded the boat where…

… they were playing an in-cruise movie … what was the film on offer?  Wait for it … TITANIC!  You can’t make this stuff up!

Arrival at the Labuan ferry terminal … Labuan is a federal territory of Malaysia, meaning it is ruled dirctly from Kuala Lumpur.  Also, it is a duty-free jurisdiction, meaning no taxes on a variety of goods, including alcohol and chocolate, among other things!

Wanna know how much these bad boys cost?  Around 5RM ($1.67CDN) … TOTAL 🙂

The peaceful, serene streets of Labuan … felt relaxing just wandering about the place

After getting settled at my guesthouse, I went out to a Filipino resturant for some pork satays and rice … it would become my defacto restaurant for the week, as I was situated in the middle of the island, well away from the main commercial area of the island

View of Labuan’s Financial District … touted as an alternative to pricy Singapore, Labuan has been set up by the Malaysian Government as a duty-free haven for businesses seeking to reduce their tax burdens.

Not its real name obviously, but the Spaceship Mosque is one of the best recognizable features of this place … can’t wait to see it blast off one of these days!

Labuan Watersports Centre and Marine Museum from the outside

Two lovely gals who wanted to pose for a pic … friendly folk here!

The futuristic interior of the marine museum …

One of several types of fish on display in tanks throughout the museum

During the time I was staying in Labuan, Chinese New Year celebrations were in full swing … these guys from the local Chinese Buddhist temple were driving around from house to house, drums and cymbals playing at max volume…

… while dragon dancers head into one such house to perform for a donation to the temple

When I got back to the guesthouse where I was staying, the dragon dancers had already been there — and left behind oranges arranged in shape of the Chinese symbol for prosperity … cool!

Speaking of the guesthouse, here is the living area of the place … most of the guests were Malay/Chinese during my stay, but ran into two fellow foreigners near the end of my week long stay.

The daughter of the woman who was running the guesthouse took me out on a tour of the far-flung attractions of Labuan island on an intermittently rainy day…

War memorial cementary, filled with the bodies of the Allied defenders of this territory in Borneo, who fell when the Japanese attacked 60 years ago…

The infamous chimney … no one exactly for sure what its purpose was, but the leading theory is that it was a ventilation shaft for the coal mines that were in operation starting in 1865, when the British found seams of it in the northern part of the island

Surrender Point, where the Allies forced the Japanese to lay down their arms and give up Borneo in 1945

The beach across the street from Surrender Point … too bad the weather was disagreeable, looked like a place you could bliss out with nary a fellow traveller in sight!

I apologize for the crappy formatting and pacing of this post, but my mind is mush this evening, yet I need to start getting content out again after arriving back in Canada, so here we are!

New video coming in a couple of days, stay tuned.




  1. The Marine museum looks very interesting. As for the formatting, don’t worry about it. It’s still JET LAG.

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