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Semoga Bahagia Selalu,Sihat dan Kaya. Ameen ya Rabbal Alameen.Sayang Shikin ....

Friday, April 29, 2011

Labuan Places Of Interest...meh le jalan-jalan kat sini








Labuan Revisited - Part 3 Places Of Interest

In the late eighties a young man in his twenties arrived in Labuan to look for a job. The island of Labuan is a new Wilayah Persekutuan. Thanks to Datuk Harris Salleh the then Chief Minister of Sabah who gave it to The Fedral Government so that Labuan will one day be developed. Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed (Now Tun) was the Prime Minister of Malaysia at that time. The young man Feisal found job at Asean Supply Base opposite the town of Labuan along Jalan Patau-patau.

Life was hard then and renting a terrace house in Taman Layang-layangan not far from the Peace Park or The Surrender Point next to it.

Feisal had to commute daily by bus to his place on the other side of the island. He barely made enough to save money even for fares to get back home to in Selangor. Even Hari Raya was spent in Labuan due to the expensive airfare back then. Remember AirAsia wasn't around yet back then. Through sheer hardwork Feisal now has moved up the ladder in the Oil and Gas Industry earning him a much better pay now. He works on a drilling barge in the swamps of Kalimantan trying to pump out as much oil as possible when the price of oil is hovering around USD140 to the barrel, a price never heard of even a few years back. On this barge Feisal will live and work for 3 long months before he can take a break to be with his loved ones in Petaling Jaya. To many of us, Feisal is known as Mat Salo with the blog Borneo Blues. Borneo Blues has a collection of stories which I found to be very interesting to read and Mat Salo has his own way of telling stories of his past. To Feisal aka Mat Salo, I dedicate to you this blog Labuan Revisited Part 3 as a token of our friendship. We have met once and InsyaAllah we will be meeting again sometimes in the near future.

There are several ways you can get to Labuan. Flying in via MAS or AirAsia is of course one of them. This is the new Airport of Labuan.

Another way is by ferry from four points. Kota Kinabalu, Sipitang and Menumbuk are all from Sabah while Brunei Darul Salam is the only international point. You can also drive a car to Labuan from Borneo. Drive a car over the ocean? Yes via a ferry from Menumbuk. The car ferry. Many passengers to Sabah use the car ferry to take advantage of the lower fare of only RM5.00 and upon arrival at Menumbuk, they will take a bus to anywhere they want to go. They dont mind the slower ride as the amount of saving is substantial to them.
Cars entering the ferry for a ride across the strait.
A speed boat from Menumbuk will take about 20 minutes cost you RM15.00. If you bring your car in, the ferry carrying the car will take one and half hour and cost you RM54 one way inclusive of landing tax and for every passenger another RM5.00.Make sure you buy your car pass early as a walk in may prove to be a futile effort as the ferry is usually fully booked in advance. No phone booking is accepted as the booking must be paid up in advance. The locals will take a bus to Menumbuk and pay RM5.00 per head which is cheaper compared to the fares of other ferries.

From Kota Kinabalu it will take you 3hrs 15 minutes and the fare starts from RM28 for students and Orang Kurang Upaya (OKU). Adults fare is RM34. for economy class and business class is RM39.00. There are childs fare at RM21 for economy class and business class is RM26.

From Brunei the adult fare for econy is RM35.00 while business class is RM40.00.
Get the full list of the ferry schedules and fares at the ferry terminals.

So what is there to see in Labuan?
Tourism Malaysia brochures will tell you there are 15 places of interest on the island. I have given some glimpse of them in my previous blogs but for those who are reading my blog for the firs time these are the full list of them taken from their brochure.
I will try to explore the areas around the places of interest so that you will know of anything interesting things to be found and see at those places. Click on the topic and you can read more about the subject.
1. The Chimney and the tunnel.
2. Labuan Bird Park

Although I wanted very much to go to the above two places, time and transport constrain didn't allow me to see them. Taking photographs of the birds at the bird park will definitely satiate my lust for taking pictures of this beautiful creatures.
3. Labuan International Sea Sports Complex.
This is the main building but sad to say I didn't explore the whole place.

This is the lawn bowl arena. Lawn bowl must be a serious game in Labuan.

Peace Park is located in Layang-layangan and very close to the Surrender Point but they are two different attractions. The most delicious beef satay I have tasted is found near to Peace Park at stall no.1. The coconut tasted the same at any of the stalls. They are served whole with no sugar or ice.

The entrance from Surrender Point side.

The monument as seen from the front. The writing on the plaque reads:


View as seen from another perpective.
A boulder with the words Peace Is The Best etched into it. I guess those letters in Kanji means the same.
A beautiful arch bridge over the lake.

Wisma Kosan near Peace Park has lost its glory. It is in a very dilapidated state. A sigboard says it is open to rental by any interested party. Another building across the road to it is in similar condition. Could they be buildings belonging to Datuk Haris Salleh that seems to suffer such fates like the Hotel Labuan?

Perumahan Taman Layang-layangan.

House No 12 on row no 2 from Peace Park used to be lived by Feisal aka Mat Salo. This 2 rooms terrace is being rented out at RM700 a month now and any vacancy will be snapped up immediately. My son in law failed to rent one because he was second in the queue.

Not far from the Peace Park is the Telekom Teleport. Thanks to it, Labuan is connected to the world. Infact even this blog is being uploaded via this teleport.
When eveing comes, this is the sight that can be seen from where Mat Salo used to live. Provided the clouds are there to reflect the light of the sunset.
With thousands of Allied Forces being buried here during World War II and this monument being erected as a respect to them, the descendants and relatives of the dead will visit Labuan year in and year out to pay respect to the deceased. This is the single most important attraction to people from Australia. New Zealand and Britain which never fail to bring repeat visitors to Labuan.

The maintainence of the Memorial is immaculate. If only we could say the same about our other tourist attractions in Malaysia, kudos to the authority who did this magnificient job.

Neat rows upon rows of the name plaque in membrance to them.

This Australian soldier is unknown.

The Surrender Point is located very close to Peace Park.
A circular fencing surrounds the point.

A pair of brother and sister was playing on a fallen tree trunk while the mother sweeps the beach. Beach maintainence is serious business in Labuan and you can see people doing cleaning up all form of trashes and dead woods washed up ashore. Even the sea algae which were washed ashore are removed.
This is a RM5,000,000.00 9th Malaysia project is being constructed next to Surrender Point. I think it is a rural clinic for the people of Lyang-layangan and its vicinity.
Maybe there was a Gerakan Desa Wawasan competition going on and the villages around this area was spick and span. This one was taken from Kampung Sungai Labu near to Peace Park/Surrender Point.

The botanical Garden is very well maintained and a popular jogging area. Rosdi, how do you find this picture?

8. Water Villages.

The main ones are Kampung Bebuluh Laut and the nearest to the town is Patau-Patau.

This is Kampung Bebuluh Laut. Upon entering the village it dawned upon me that I have visited this village some 10 years ago with my wife when I first visited Labuan. Azril and his friend asked me to take their picture. While I was groping for a pen in my camera bag, the contents of the bag spilled out at a point behind those two boys. My extra lens, handphone, wallet and house keys fell out but luckily only the house keys managed to slip down between the gaps on the boardwalk. I had to comeback later to get the key from Kak Maimunah who lives near there after she promised to ask some boys to look for them when low tide occurs at 4 PM. I came at 6.00 PM and gave her RM5.00 to offer to the boy who searched for the key in the mud. A small price to pay for something so important.

Four Astro disks in a row. The occupants of this house must have wanted the freedom to choose their own individual channel.

A family was preparing for a feast on the day that I arrived at Kampung Bebeuluh Laut. With their permission they allowed me to take pictures of them.

Ekin a contestant of Akedemi Fantasia comes from this village hence the support from the village folks.
Patau-patau is the other Kampung Air in Labuan and it is nearer to the town. In fact it is visible from the waterfront of Labuan.

What a lovely sight I saw outside of Kampung Bebuluh Laut.

9. Labuan Square.

Labuan Square as seen from the Post Office side.

The museum is located near the Post Office and close to Tourism Malaysia's office.

The cannons are the first item that will greet you upon entry to the museum. Entrance to this museum is free.

Remnants of WW II killing weapons. These are depth charges that are used to fight a submarine.
A window to the picture of a damaged building as a result of the war.

It is a component of the Labuan Sea Sport Complex.
12. Labuan Weekend Tamu
The Tamu is held every Saturday and Sunday on Jalan OKK Awang Besar. I didn't get to see the tamu as I was over in Kota Kinabalu for the weekend.
Located 14 kms to the south of Labuan Island, the park is comprised of Pulau Rusukan Besar, Rusukan Kecil and Pulau Kuraman and reputed to be a world class fishing destination.

14. Duty Free Shopping.
The whole island of Labuan is a duty free area but the only discernible items with a price difference are ciggarettes, liqour and motorcars. You will have to pay tax if these items are to be brought out of Labuan.

Is that cheap enough for you?
Labuan is the place for recreational fishing. Kayaking are available on many beaches. I saw some kayaks on Pulau Papan and on the beach infront of University Malaysia Sabah branch. In some places some corals may still be seen.

If I were to add to the list I would like to add the following places or subjetcts of interest:
16. Pulau Papan
I think the island belongs to the Ministry of Federal Territory and Labuan Corporation is managing the resort on the island. It is about 15 minutes boat ride from Labuan town. A return trip to the island cost about RM15. The boat will send you there and fetch you later when you feel like coming back. (Wait for my blog on it)
For use of the chalets please contact Labuan Corporation. A 3 bedroom chalet with a furnished kitchen costs RM350 a night. Electricity is generated from a generator.

17. The Beaches of Panchor Hitam, Pohon Batu and Pantai Manikar

Go to any of the beaches and they are well maintained.

Waited for an hour for these shots.

Ujana Kewangan Komplex.

Gold Plated Crystals anyone?

Queen of the House will shop till she drops here.
Bowling for the energetic.
Take note of the numbers if you need to rent a car in Labuan.

19. Houses of Worships

a. An'Nur Jameq MosqueThe An'nur Jamek Mosque, featuring futuristic architecture, is the pride of Labuan's Muslims and symbolises the progressive spirit of the people and island of Labuan. Cuti.com.my

b. The Sikh Temple

I was on my way to te Botanical Garden when I saw this building.At first sight I thought it was a mosque. Upon closer look I found it was a Sikh Temple.
This Gurduwara temple was designed after the famous Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, the Labuan Sikh temple built in 1998 is said to be the largest in Malaysia- Visitors Guide To Malaysia .

c. The Chinese Temples
This temple is located quite close to Taman Mutiara when I am staying with my son inlaw. It was earlier quite small but when the road infront of it was constructed much higher than the temple, the committee decided to build a taller one to exceed the height of the road.

The above temple is nearer to town
This Chinese temple is one of the many Chinese “Tao” temples on the island. Most of them are built by the Hokkien community. Every year in March, the Hokkien community conducts a diety procession with devotees dress in colourful costumes displaying their various dieties- http://www.labuantourism.com.my/

20. The People

Met a number of people especially those who are doing retail businesses at the fish market, the Bazaar Labuan and those who were waiting to go back to Pulau Daat after a day shopping at the pasar. They are friendly people. Those waiting to go back to Pulau Daat even invited me to go to their homes on the island, which is a very tempting proposition. Gay Leona cautioned me against such trips because of safety. as these people are mostly Filipinos.

This lady sells bananas in the market and was game for a photograph.

The above picture is of Tuan Haji Simion Longee, 83 yrs of age and married to a Johorean and thus the name Store Johor on his stall selling handicrafts at Bazaar Labuan.

He was one of the 25 Ketua Kampung who signed the handing over of Labuan to the Federal Government at Hotel labuan during the time of Datok Haris Salleh, the then Chief Minister of Sabah when Sabah was under Berjaya.
He lamented that there were many more industries during Datuk Harris Salleh's reign than now. Many had moved out he said. I beg to differ as I saw many more sprouted up.
Auntie Goh as she is known around the Bazaar Labuan will accept orders for pearl necklace to be made to order. I ordered a special one for my son who is giving it to his wife Ijjah. My son called Auntie Goh to do him a good one and Auntie Goh was impressed by my son's fluent Manadarin.
The name of her shop is Perak Stor. The family must have hailed from Perak. Auntie Goh has a son in Kuala Lumpur and if Tony Chong were to read this blog, you have a great mum.

This teenager helps around at a stall in the bazaar. She posed twice before she was happy with her picture. She smiled too much for the first pose that her eyes were reduced to a slit.

Soon Bazaar Labuan which I first visited about 10 years ago will be demolished to make way for a better building. The present structures are definitely an eyesore and doesn't add to the charm of Labuan.

These peoples were returning to Pulau Daat. We struck a conversation when I requested permission to take their pictures.

21. Off The Beaten Track

You will never see anything unless you are willing to go off the beaten track. Look what I found.

a. Large mansion.
I saw this huge mansion along Pantai Manikar. I asked the guards as to who owned the mansion. He mentioned the name of a Chinese Tan Sri. Well some people are rich.

b. The Pasar

Where ever I tavel to I never miss visiting their pasar. The pasar will reflect the life of the people. If the price of things are expensive, it may show the buying power of the people.

Leaf from pisang abu is used for making of cakes or wrapping of nasi lemak. In Kelantan only the pisang tenggala is used. Unlike pisang abu, pisang tenggala is solely cultivated for their leaves as the fruit is full of seeds and not suitable for eating when ripe.

Ikan aji-aji is quite a large fish. The one in the picture is almost 2 feet long. I cooked it in curry and the flesh tasted fine.

The baby lobster is full of eggs. They should have been released so that they can breed further. I missed the lobsters as they are very sougt after in Labuan.
This large tiger prawns cost a whopping RM75 per kg.

They call this ikan uji rashid. Can you discern the semblance?

Near to the pasar there is a public toilet that is pretty well decorated. At the time of my visit the toilet didn't smell much but a ciggarette butt was found on the floor. How insensible some people can be.

c. Deep Sea Fishing Boats

The fishing boats are quite a site to see. They are located quite close to the fish market.

d. Small Fishing Boat Jetty
At KM 1 to Sungai Bunton, there is a small fishing boat jetty with boardwalks extending deep into the mangrove forest. The place will be crowded on a Sunday morning as many people with boats there will go out to sea to fish.

On the day that I went I saw one boat coming home with some catch of ikan merah. They are sold at RM15.00 per kg. at the jetty while the price at the fish market is RM18.00. Furthermore they are fresh.

f. Labuan Nightlife

Labuan used to be a dull place at night. Well not anymore. If you love singing, drinking and a good company, head for the KTV joints. At the last count there are over 35 such joints in this comparatively small town with a total island population of 70,000 people.

The above pictures show how the place look during the day time. Look how the place is transformed at night.

Uncleawang, do I need to say more? Hey I went there to shoot photographs and enjoy the sunset while having dinner with my son daughter, her hubby and daughter. Anyway I was the only one in the whole area who seemed to enjoy the sunset.
To the ladies, if your husband is going to Labuan for a business trip, do tag along for some shopping. He might get lost in the darkness of Labuan.

g. I went over to Kiamsam and saw the ghost like housing area for Tentera Laut DiRaja Malaysia. The place is deserted now since TLDM is moving to Sabah. What are they going to do with these homes? Renting them out to civilians will of course bring in some revenues.

h. At the end of the road in Kiamsam I saw the depot for Shell and Petronas sharing a common gate i. Backtracking I found Petronas Carigali.

j. On Pulau Enoe next to Asian Supply Base I saw Petronas Methanol Labuan a gargantuan plant to produce methanol.

While trying to finish this post AirAsia sent a SMS to inform me that my flight back to KL tomorrow morning is cancelled and I will be put on the evening flight meaning I will miss the onward flight to Kota Bharu which will depart at 8.20 PM long before I reach KL. The flight to Kota Bharu will be moved to the next day. Lucky thing I have a son staying in Enstek Labu which is about 20 minutes drive away. What if I don't have any place to stay?

Now you know why AirAsia will never have to pay out the guarantee that they will pay RM300 for a delay exceeding 3 hours from the scheduled time. They will inform you of any delay and cancellation. Flying half a plane load of people with the price of jetfuel reaching sky high is just not in.
Wait till you read about my stay at Tune Hotel at One Borneo, Kota Kinabalu and you will know why Tune Group of Companies will survive no matter how hard times are to other airlines.
:)sayangi diri anda...salam sayang..sayang selalu....Shikin berkongsi bukan untuk dinilai atau dikeji...ikhlas luahan hati Sayang Shikin
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Ya Allah ...makhbulkanlah impianku.

Ya Allah ...makhbulkanlah impianku.
Ya Allah Kurniakanlah kerinduan untuk bertemu dengan Mu dan kenikmatan memandang wajahMU. Pandanglah aku hambaMu yang hina ini. Ya ArhamarrRohim.Amin Ya Robbal Alamin..in