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Monday, 20 January 2020

Malaysia: Labuan, the Pearl of Borneo

Malaysia: Labuan, the Pearl of Borneo - Ramble and Wander

Labuan, Malaysia’s Federal Territory in the Borneo part of the country, is not exactly a “stranger” to me. Well, at least not in name. At one point in my life, a CEO of an offshore financial company had asked me if I’d like to go work in Labuan. I went, “What? Labuan? So far away and what’s there anyway?” “Cheap cars and chocolates,” was the common answer at the time, which was not enough for me to consider visiting, let alone to move there.

Fast forward to more than a decade later, I finally had the opportunity to #ExploreLabuan for myself. And boy, oh boy! I came away wishing that I hadn’t brushed off the offer so quickly! That I should’ve at least given it more thoughts and gone there first to see what it’s really like before making any decision.

Because Labuan really has surprised me.

And I’ve fallen in love with it.

I love how for such a small island, it has a long, rich history – Japanese Surrender Point, Peace Park, War Memorial and the mysterious Labuan Chimney. And the museums – Labuan Museum, Marine Museum & Chimney Museum – although small, are all well-curated.

I love how easy it is to escape the crowd and enjoy nature, whether at Kina Benuwa or Tanjung Kubong or at one of the nearby islands like Pulau Papan. And talking about islands, I can’t help but feel envious that Kuraman, Rusukan Besar and Rusukan Kecil - which make up Labuan Marine Park - are just a short boat ride from the town, perfect for some snorkelling, diving or just chilling about whenever one feels like it.

In short, I’ve come to learn and appreciate that Labuan is not just about cheap cars and chocolates. That it has got a lot more.

And that it really is the Pearl of Borneo.


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Island Destinations

Malaysia: Labuan, the Pearl of Borneo - Ramble and Wander


Malaysia: Labuan, the Pearl of Borneo - Ramble and Wander


Malaysia: Labuan, the Pearl of Borneo - Ramble and Wander


Malaysia: Labuan, the Pearl of Borneo - Ramble and Wander


Malaysia: Labuan, the Pearl of Borneo - Ramble and Wander


Malaysia: Labuan, the Pearl of Borneo - Ramble and Wander


Malaysia: Labuan, the Pearl of Borneo - Ramble and Wander

Parahu Larai

Malaysia: Labuan, the Pearl of Borneo - Ramble and Wander

Parahu Larai

Main Attractions


Malaysia: Labuan, the Pearl of Borneo - Ramble and Wander


Malaysia: Labuan, the Pearl of Borneo - Ramble and Wander


Malaysia: Labuan, the Pearl of Borneo - Ramble and Wander


Malaysia: Labuan, the Pearl of Borneo - Ramble and Wander


Malaysia: Labuan, the Pearl of Borneo - Ramble and Wander

Malaysia: Labuan, the Pearl of Borneo - Ramble and Wander


Malaysia: Labuan, the Pearl of Borneo - Ramble and Wander


Malaysia: Labuan, the Pearl of Borneo - Ramble and Wander


Malaysia: Labuan, the Pearl of Borneo - Ramble and Wander


Other Activities


Malaysia: Labuan, the Pearl of Borneo - Ramble and Wander


Malaysia: Labuan, the Pearl of Borneo - Ramble and Wander


Malaysia: Labuan, the Pearl of Borneo - Ramble and Wander


Special Attraction


Malaysia: Labuan, the Pearl of Borneo - Ramble and Wander


Malaysia: Labuan, the Pearl of Borneo - Ramble and Wander


Malaysia: Labuan, the Pearl of Borneo - Ramble and Wander


Malaysia: Labuan, the Pearl of Borneo - Ramble and Wander

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Footnotes
1. The short post (minus all the photos) above was originally written as an offline submission to #MyLabuanStory contest that was conducted by Labuan Corporation back in Dec 2018. The 300-word essay was subsequently announced as the winning entry in the Best Write-up category. To find out more about attractions in Labuan, you may read Top Things to Do and See in Labuan.

2. Every year, on Sunday nearest to 11th November, Labuan hosts Remembrance Day at its War Memorial, the largest war cemetery in Malaysia. To find out more about the event, you may read Remembrance Day 100th Anniversary at Labuan Memorial Park.


A Thank You and Disclosure Note
My trip to Labuan was at the invitation of Labuan Corporation and Gaya Travel Magazine for the #ExploreLabuan programme. All photos shared in this blog post were taken using Olympus Tough TG5, a handy, tough and waterproof compact camera that was given on loan by Olympus Malaysia for the purpose of this trip. To see more underwater photos taken using the camera, check out A Getaway to Lang Tengah Island with Olympus Malaysia.


Malaysia: Labuan, the Pearl of Borneo - Ramble and Wander

Malaysia: Labuan, the Pearl of Borneo - Ramble and Wander

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For other blog entries on Malaysia, click here.



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