Top 15 Things to Do in Labuan, Malaysia

Top Tourist Spots in Labuan

Labuan Bajo photo by Aruka Death via Unsplash

Bucket List: 15 Best Places to Visit in Labuan, Malaysia

Labuan Bajo photo by Aruka Death via Unsplash
Labuan Bajo photo by Aruka Death via Unsplash

Labuan is one of those underrated destinations often shadowed by its more popular neighboring cities, but don’t be fooled by this because Labuan is just as equally stunning. One of the three Federal Territories of Malaysia, Labuan is rich in historic shipwrecks, World War II artifacts, and stunning beaches. Labuan is a great weekend getaway destination, especially for visitors from Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, and Miri.

1. Labuan Marine Museum (Muzium Marin Labuan)

Muzium Marin Labuan photo via FB Page
Muzium Marin Labuan photo via FB Page

The Labuan Marine Museum is housed in a building designed like a naval ship with galleries that feature the rich marine heritage of the waters of Labuan. The museum officially opened to the public in 2003 and was the first museum of its kind in Malaysia. The galleries showcase live and preserved marine creatures and plants and artifacts from the shipwrecks covering the territory’s waters. The galleries are divided into four sections that display the aquatic life in Labuan and Borneo, including a 42-foot skeleton of a whale over 100 years old found in Malacca.

Location: Jabatan Muzium Malaysia Wilayah Labuan, Kompleks Sukan Air Antarabangsa Labuan, Jalan Tanjung Purun, Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan, Malaysia
Visiting Hours: 9AM to 5PM, Daily; Closed on the first Monday of each month, on the first two days of Raya Aidil Fitri and the first day of Raya Aidil Adha
Entrance Rates: FREE
Socials: facebook.com/Halaman-Muzium-Marin-Labuan-106660724436060
Website: jmm.gov.my/en/museum/labuan-marine-museum

2. Wreck Diving

Wreck Diving in Labuan photo via Dive Labuan FB Page
Wreck Diving in Labuan photo via Dive Labuan FB Page

Scuba diving, or in Labuan’s case, Wreck diving, is a popular activity amongst divers when in Labuan. The territory is littered with ships that sank during World War II, such as vessels from Australia and the United States of America. Four wreck diving sites are within Labuan Marine Park, consisting of three islands, Pulau Rusukan Besar, Rusukan Kecil, and Pulau Kuraman. The shipwrecks found within the marine park are the Australian Wreck (SS De Klerk) which lies 30 meters underwater; American Wreck (USS Salute), which is broken in two pieces 30 meters underwater; Cement Wreck (MV Tung Hwuang) with its top covered by a coral garden, and the Blue Water Wreck (Mabini Padre) that has become home to the thriving marine life of Labuan.

Location: Km 4, Jalan Patau-patau, Peti Surat, Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan, Malaysia
Visiting Hours: 9AM to 5PM, Daily

3. Labuan Beach

Labuan Beach Sunset by @shuttershuk via Flickr CC
Labuan Beach Sunset by @shuttershuk via Flickr CC

Labuan Beach, also known as Tanjung Batu Beach, is the most popular beach within the territory amongst locals and foreigners. Labuan Beach is the closest to Labuan Town, located on the outskirts of the town. The sandy beach is often crowded on the weekends but tends to be quite deserted in the early hours of a weekday.

4. Labuan International Sea Sports Complex (Kompleks Sukan Laut Antarabangsa Labuan)

The Labuan International Sea Sports Complex is home to the Labuan Marine Museum, the annual Malaysia Water Festival, and the Labuan International Sea Challenge. Watersports lovers should not miss visiting the complex during the scheduled games, such as beach volleyball, sandcastle competition, treasure hunting, and beach tug-of-war. The Labuan International Fishing Tournament, Round Island Kayak Challenge, and the Jetski Championship are other featured events held in the complex.

Location: Kompleks Sukan Laut Antarabangsa Labuan, Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan, Malaysia

5. Ramsey Point

Ramsey Point is a historic landmark where two major events occurred; the first event was when the Sultan of Brunei gave Labuan up to the British Crown, which marked the beginning of the British rule in Labuan, and the second event was when the Allied Forces, led by General Douglas MacArthur, landed to liberate Labuan and Borneo from the Imperial Japanese Army. Ramsey Point serves as a commemoration of these events. Today, locals visit Ramsey Point for family gatherings and stunning sea views.

Location: Ramsey Point, Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan, Malaysia
Visiting Hours: 12PM to 10PM, Daily

6. The Chimney Museum

Labuan, Chimney Museum at the Colliery Fields by CEphoto Uwe Aranas via Wikimedia cc
Labuan, Chimney Museum at the Colliery Fields By Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas, CC BY-SA 3.0, cc

Formerly known as the Chimney Information Centre, the Chimney Museum highlights the history of coal mining in Labuan. The museum exhibits the island’s early history as one of the largest coal producers in the country and serves as an educational institution that documents, conserves, preserves, and raises public awareness of local heritage and history. Its collections include artifacts procured from archaeological excavations, such as coal mining equipment, remains of locomotive trains powered by coals, and personal effects from coal miners. The museum also features the mysterious Chimney, a landmark whose purpose remains unknown. Theories and rumors about the structure have been made on its origins, like its history as a bell tower, lighthouse or ventilation shaft.

Location: Chimney Museum Kg Lubok Temiang, Jalan Tanjung Kubong, Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan, Malaysia
Visiting Hours: 9AM to 5PM, Daily; Closed on the first Monday of each month, on the first two days of Raya Aidil Fitri and the first day of Raya Aidil Adha
Entrance Rates: FREE
Socials: facebook.com/muziumchimney.labuan.1
Website: jmm.gov.my/en/museum/chimney-museum

7. Labuan Museum

Labuan Museum
Labuan Museum

Before Labuan Museum opened to the public in 2004, the building was first used as the British Administration Office in the 1950s, then became the Labuan District Office in 1963, and then repurposed as the Labuan Municipal Council Office in 1980. The museum was established to preserve the heritage of Labuan, both historical and cultural, through its galleries. The exhibits display the transitional periods of Labuan, from the Pre-historic Era, through the British Colonial Era and the independence of the State of Sabah, and the development of Labuan as a Federal Territory. The museum also shows the socio-cultural history of Labuan, such as prominent figures in history and the history of migration in the territory.

Location: Jabatan Muzium Malaysia Wilayah Labuan, Kompleks Sukan Air Antarabangsa Labuan, Jalan Tanjung Purun, Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan, Malaysia
Visiting Hours: 9AM to 5PM, Daily; Closed on the first Monday of each month, on the first two days of Raya Aidil Fitri and the first day of Raya Aidil Adha
Entrance Rates: FREE
Socials: facebook.com/jabatan.wilayahlabuan

8. Peace Park (Taman Damai)

Peace Park was constructed to honor the fallen soldiers of World War II through the collaboration between the Labuan Corporation, Sabah State, the Malaysian Government, and the Japanese Government. The Japanese government funded the construction and even today’s park maintenance. The landscaped grounds of the park feature gazebos, Japanese-themed gardens, a metal plaque that tells the story of Labuan’s role in World War II, and a large rock inscribed with “Peace is the best,” renouncing the war which occurred.

9. Surrender Point

Surrender Point is located right next to Peace Park. The site of Surrender Point is where Lieutenant General Masao Baba, the Supreme Japanese Commander in Borneo and Commander of the 37th Japanese Army of the Southern Area, surrendered to Australian Major General George Wootten in 1945. Around the park are metal plaques that provide the details of the Japanese Army’s surrender and Labuan’s involvement in World War II.

10. Pohon Batu Beach

Peaceful and laid-back, Pohon Batu Beach is a great alternative to Labuan Beach’s crowded location. Several stalls stand near the beach selling food, drinks, and fresh seafood.

11. UMS Beach

UMS Beach is ideal for those looking for complete peace and quietness. There aren’t many shops in the area, but there are plenty of shaded areas to shelter. The beach does get crowded in the dusk because of the stunning sunset views from the shores.

12. Water Villages

The Water Villages on Labuan offer interesting accommodations for visitors. These villages built on top of the water have become the region’s common housing, meaning businesses and religious structures have also been built. Visitors can arrange for accommodations in the Water Village and gain a deeper insight into the life of Labuan locals.

Location: Kampung Bebuloh Laut, Labuan, Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan, Malaysia

13. Taman Muhibbah

Labuan’s premier recreation and entertainment district, Taman Muhibbah, is a lovely park ideal for unwinding and relaxing. The park has several benches and huts to accommodate visitors. At nighttime, Taman Muhibbah is lit up by a mini neon forest of lights that locals and visitors take advantage of for picture-taking.

Location: Bandar Labuan, Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan, Malaysia
Visiting Hours: 24/7

14. Labuan Botanical Garden (Taman Botani Labuan)

Labuan Botanical Garden photo via FB Page
Labuan Botanical Garden photo via FB Page

Labuan Botanical Garden used to be an estate of the former Government House. The estate served as the official residence of the Governors of Labuan and a guesthouse to visiting dignitaries, including the late King Edward VIII. In 1945, sections of the estate were destroyed in World War II. The estate, now a recreational park, was redeveloped in 2001 and now features scenic landscapes, trees that were said to be planted by Sir Hugh Low, a manmade lake, a children’s play area, boardwalks, and nature paths for its visitors. Different sections of the park feature tropical plants, like bougainvillea, orchids, lilies, and hibiscus.

Location: Labuan, Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan, Malaysia
Visiting Hours: 8AM to 6PM, Daily
Entrance Rates: FREE

15. Labuan Bird Park (Taman Burung Labuan)

Labuan Bird Park
Labuan Bird Park

A center of knowledge on the tropical birds found in Labuan and across Borneo, the Labuan Bird Park is home to over 600 birds in geodesic domes. The park occupies almost seven hectares of land, surrounded by rich flora and fauna, manicured landscape, and nature paths. Among the protected birds in the park are Hornbills, Storks, Peacocks, and Sun conures.

Location: Taman Burung Labuan, Jalan Tanjung Kubong, Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan, Malaysia
Visiting Hours: 10AM to 4:30PM, Saturdays to Thursdays; Closed on Fridays
Entrance Rates: RM 5, Foreigners; RM 3, Adults; RM 2, Students and Senior Citizens; RM 1, Children; FREE for children below 6 years

How to get there

Labuan is known for being a small territory with a relaxing and calming atmosphere. There aren’t a lot of thrilling activities to do here, but the tranquility and off-the-grid location attract visitors. Labuan is easily accessible from Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, and Miri via commercial flights covered by Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, and MASWings, and ferries and speed boats from Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal in Sabah and Serasa Ferry Terminal in Brunei to Labuan International Ferry Terminal.

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Check out our list of cheap Khao Lak hotels, and resorts via Agoda, Booking, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.

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