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"Pearl of the South China Sea"

Labuan Tourism

Located off-coast of Sabah, East Malaysia, Labuan is a duty free island and federal territory of Malaysia. The main island of Labuan and six other small islands together make up the Federal Territory of Labuan. These six smaller islands are Daat Island, Papan Island, Burung Island, Kuraman Island (alternatively called Keraman Island), Big Rusukan Island, and Small Rusukan Island. This Pearl Of Borneo, which is known for oil and gas, is also very popular for snorkeling and diving deep but remains to be one of the lesser-explored parts of Malaysia.

A duty-free shopping haven for shopaholics, people often purchse chocolates, cigarettes, alcohol, silk, stuffed turtles, leather bags, souvenirs and a lot more at cheap discounted prices in Labuan. Given the importance of its strategic location during World War 2, it comes as no surprise that this island has an interesting past. 

Labuan has the world’s largest war grave that pays its respect to fallen soldiers of world war 2 in the form of the Labuan War Cemetery. The island is popular for its extravagance which lets you dive deep and witness four iconic shipwrecks namely the Cement wreck, the American wreck, the Australian wreck, and the Blue Water wreck. A few other memorials that give an essence of its past include the Royal Navy coaling station, the Chimney Museum, Peace Park, and the Labuan Maritime Museum. 

Another very famous attraction in Labuan are its water villages. Labuan has two water villages, Kampung Bebuloh and Kampung Patau-Patau. The houses in these water villages are built with high stilts and only woods, with wooden walkways that connect every house. These villages also have seafood restaurants and the residents are warm enough to offer you delicious local food as well. 

Activities like snorkeling at Big Rusukan Island (Pulau Rusukan Besar), watching birds at a hand's distance at the Labuan Bird Park, catching the hues of yellow, red, and orange during sunsets at Pulau Papan Island, and a laid back lifestyle makes Labuan truly worth a visit!

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How to Reach Labuan

How to Reach Overview

Labuan Island is accessible only by air and water. Reaching the island by water is the most feasible option to opt for.

How to reach Labuan by flight

The Labuan Airport (LBU) is served by airlines like AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines, and Malindo Air. The other nearest domestic airports to Labuan are  Lawas Airport (LWY),  Limbang Airport (LMN), and Kota Kinabalu International Airport (BKI). The nearby international airports include -  Brunei International Airport (BWN), and Kota Kinabalu International Airport (BKI). 

How to reach Labuan by waterways

Boats arrive regularly at the Labuan International Ferry Terminal.  Ferry services are available between Labuan Islands and  Brunei, Kota Kinabalu, Lawas, Limbang, Sipitang, and Menumbok. You can also arrive at Labuan by boat when you are travelling from Kota Kinabalu to Brunei through Labuan.

Ferries and speedboats from Labuan depart for Kota Kinabalu at 8 AM and 1 PM, for Menumbok depart at various hours from 8:15 AM until 4 PM, for Brunei at 9 AM, 1:30 PM, 3:30 PM, and 4 PM, for Sipitang at 9 AM, 12 PM, and 1 PM, for Limbang at 9:30 AM and 1;50 PM, and for Lawas at 12:30 PM.

The travel from Muara (Brunei) takes 1 and a ½ hour, from Kota Kinabalu, takes 3 and a ½ hour,  and from Menumbok, 40 minutes. The ferries hold a minimum of two trips daily for most of these locations. Express boats to Limbang will cost you RM 25, towards Lawas will cost you RM 25, and the economy class to Muara will cost you RM 27 whereas a first-class, a RM 33. 

Local transport in Labuan

Characterized as one of the most pedestrian-friendly places in Malaysia, Labuan can be explored on foot. For places that are located at a distance, you can make use of buses and taxis.

Bus: Vans like buses are available which have distinct colour depending on their routes. The bus terminal is located at the UTC Central Market that has busses which operate from 7 AM to 7 PM daily. You can easily spot these buses in colours like yellow, red, green, or pink.
  • Bus no.1 will drop you at locations like  World War II Memorial, Kelab Golf Labuan, etc.
  • Bus no.2 covers locations like Airport, Labuan Shipyard, and  Terminal Feri.
  • Bus no.3 to locations like Bus No. 3 to Labuan Hospital and Sports Complex,
  • Bus no.4 to Peace Park & Surrender Point, Layang-Layangan Beach, Sungai Lada,
  • Bus no.5 to places like Bukit Kuda Homestay, Terumbu Warisan,
  • Bus no.6 to locations like The Chimney, Manikar Beach Resort, Labuan Bird Park, etc.
  • All the buses except for bus no.1 make a stop at the airport.  
Taxis: Taxis are also available for commuting on the islands. One can easily board a taxi from prime locations like Ujana Kewangan which is Labuan’s financial park, Labuan International Ferry Terminal, and Labuan Airport. Agree on a fare before you get into a taxi since taxis here don’t make use of a meter.

Car: Renting a car is yet another option available. Driving here is easier as compared to driving in other parts of Malaysia. You will, however, need a valid international driving license to drive here.

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Boats heading for the water village in Labuan

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