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6 Places to Go in Labuan That Are NOT Museums


Labuan, the duty-free island and a federal territory in Borneo, has always made me curious enough to visit. Maybe because it’s the nearest duty-free place in Borneo as Langkawi is too far away.

Labuan is rich in history influenced by rulers of various empires and has resulted in many museums, monuments, and historical sites. If you’re an avid diver, you might want to check out their wreck dive sites.

Unless you’re a history buff who gets excited over ancient artefacts and relics, you may find Labuan tad boring. But I was still able to enjoy Labuan with these noteworthy attractions that are not museums!



1. Get your alcohol fix at duty-free liquor stores


One of the many reasons to visit Labuan is to enjoy the duty-free benefits. Alcohol is probably the cheapest thing in Labuan because even meals are more expensive than a bottle of beer. 
Sadly, I did not get much bargain for chocolates and perfume. There wasn’t much variety of chocolates compared to Langkawi and the price is not very different from normal retail stores. And perfumes look like they came from an old batch of stocks.
 I was satisfied with my liquor hauls! I got a bottle of Baileys chocolate liquor so I can make grown up chocolate desserts at home. It’s advisable to survey the prices of the duty-free liquor shops as they offer different prices. Most of them are located at downtown Labuan opposite the ferry terminal.



2. Refresh yourself with drinks from the legendary Cincau Ah Ming


After walking around downtown Labuan on a hot sunny afternoon, we decided to quench our thirst with chilly drinks from the iconic Cincau Ah Ming. 
I found out about this quaint little drink stall on Instagram, which sparks nostalgia among locals as Cincau Ah Ming has been in business for more than 50 years. Be sure to pay a visit to Uncle Ah Ming whenever you’re at Labuan!

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/j8p2JMSsAZz8PmKw5


3. Take a stroll at Peace Park & stop by at Surrender Point


Surrender Point holds a historical significance where it is a World War II memorial spot where the Japanese officially surrendered to the Australian forces on 1945. Since it’s located right next to Peace Park and nearby Layang-Layangan Beach, we thought we’d just stop by.
We took a stroll at Peace Park while waiting for the golden hour. Peace Park is also known as Taman Damai, was built by the Japanese. It acts as a promise to peace and mankind post war and also a symbol of the bond between Japan and Malaysia. That explains why the Peace Park resembles certain elements of a Japanese garden, although it looked poorly maintained.



4. Catch sunset at Layang-Layangan Beach


Layang-layangan Beach is a popular spot for sunsets. The weather was perfect on the day we went.
There are other sunset spots options such as UMS beach, Pantai Pancur Hitam, and Pantai Pohon Batu, to name a few. Pantai Layang-Layangan was just within walking distance from Peace Park thus, it was convenient for our itinerary.




5. Walk the Tanjung Kubong Chimney Trail


This is probably the only historical site I visited in Labuan apart from Surrender Point. Instead of visiting the Chimney Museum, we took a scenic route to reach another popular World War II historical site overlooking the sea.
 The Chimney walking trail began at a path right next to the Chimney Museum. It was relatively an easy trail and took half an hour to reach Gedung Ubat, an ammunition storage place for artillery and explosives used by the Japanese. 
Nearby is the sunrise point located at the tip of Tanjung Kubong which gives an amazing view of the sea. You can complete the whole Labuan Chimney walking trail and you may find many interesting stops along the way such as coal formations and sea cave.


        Location: Google Map

 

6. Chill at Theobroma Bake Lab


This cafĂ© serves the best croissant and coffee in town! It’s an ideal place to just chill and take a break from the afternoon heat.
It has a nice ambience and cosy environment to relax and recharge.  


    Location: Google Map


How to Get to Labuan?


We drove to Menumbok and parked the car overnight and took a ferry to Labuan. Alternatively, you can transport your vehicle to Labuan via ferry from Menumbok or Muara if you’re coming from Brunei. Bookings can be made through labuanferry.com

Meanwhile, the passenger ferry service from Kota Kinabalu to Labuan only operates every Friday and Sunday (as of May 2022). The fastest and most comfortable journey will be by taking a flight to Labuan.


I guess that is Labuan in a nutshell for me! As for someone who gets bored with museums, I think this is what Labuan has to offer. Do you have any suggestions for Labuan attractions? I will probably be back for my next duty-free hauls!





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