Monday, October 11, 2010

LABUAN, MALAYSIA

Places of Interest


An'Nur Jamek Mosque

An'Nur Jamek Mosque

The 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.





Labuan Birds' Park

Birds' Park
Exotic collection of Borneo birds

The Labuan Birds Park is located near the Chimney at Tanjung Kubong. It has three large dome-shaped cages surrounded by beautiful landscaping. The park is home to many species of Borneo birds most likely to be encountered by bird watchers.

Labuan Birds' Park


There are plans to collect a good percentage of the 580 species of birds found in Borneo's diverse habitats, from mangroves along the coast to forest in the mountains. Much bird watching can be done without any equipment in this park. Except for a notebook to jot down what you see and a pair of good binoculars. Help in identifying birds can be obtained rom the park. Entrance to the park is free.





Financial Park Complex

Financial Park Complex

The Financial Park Complex was officially opened on 29 August 1996 by the Malaysian Prime Minister. It is located on 11 acres of prime land in the Labuan town Centre. It is just a walking distance from the seafront and only a few minutes drive away from the airport.

The Complex is self-contained with areas for working, living, shopping, leisure and convention. It has a two-floor podium and three office towers. The podium houses 130 commercial and retail outlets, including a supermarket and department store, cineplex, boutiques and food courts.

Two of the office towers are 16 storeys high while the main one is 18 storeys. The Main Office Tower is occupied mainly by companies involved in the offshore businesses, like banks, insurance and insurance-related companies, trust, accounting and legal firms and also support services companies. There are two condominium blocks in the Complex. They are the Alpha and Beta Park Tower. Residential facilities available include swimming pool, gymnasium, sauna, putting green and 24-hour security.

The convention hall has facilities for 1,800 seating for convention and other events like performances and exhibition.



Financial Park Complex




Labuan International Sea Sports Complex





Labuan International Sea Sports Complex

Labuan International Sea Sports Complex

World Class Water Sports Centre
Labuan International Sea Sports Complex is located at the waterfront area along Jalan Tanjung Purun. It is within close proximity to Labuan town center. The complex covers an area of 5.91 acres. It was a project under the 7th Malaysia plan and built at a total cost of RM25 million.

Labuan International Sea Sports Complex is part of the Labuan waterfront beautification project. Its objective is to create a world-class water sports center and to develop more attractive places of interests in line with the Malaysian Prime Minister's vision to turn Labuan into a major island destination.

Labuan International Sea Sports Complex opens to the public in June 2001 when it hosted the yearly Labuan Sea Challenge 2001.

The improved infrastructure and facilities provided by this complex is expected to enhance Labuan's appeal to attract more tourists and investors. The modern amenities will enable the island to host more international sea sports events and championships.

The Labuan International Sea Sports Complex is designed with three prominent structures connected to a main viewing plaza. Every building houses a specific activity. Each of these imposing towers is an integral part of a large modern water sports complex. The architecture offers a dramatic expression of nature, tradition and modern functionality. The complex houses the main sea sports centre, an administrative block, a marine biology museum, souvenir shops and eateries.

Sea Sports Centre
This is a center for major sea sports activities and a venue for carnival. There is a large boat storage area that allows direct access to the beach front. There are also facilities for changing room, rest area and general preparation. It serves as a permanent exhibition area for all type of sea sports activities. It connects to the many "leisure walks" on the beachfront.

Museum of Marine Biology
The Museum of Marine Biology is sited together with the Administrative block in a separate building. It takes the shape of a semi circle fronting the sea with an open gallery. A large part of the building space is used by the Maritime Museum. While the rest of the space is for administrative use such as meeting room and office spaces for sports bodies. The podium level contains comfortable resting room for VIP and additional gallery space for museum.

Main plaza
The main plaza is circular in shape. It is equipped with an all weather windbreaker structure to withstand any adverse weather conditions. It serves as a centre stage to launch and view all type of sea sports events.

Handicraft Center and Eateries
The handicraft centre and eateries are located on the west wing of the complex. The many fast food stall and small eateries selling local fares, plus the many souvenir and handicraft shops, make this place a hive of activities. It is a popular stopover for visiting tourists.





Labuan Square

Labuan Square

Labuan Square is a fascinating park with neat lawns and flora indigenous to Labuan. Its design reflects Labuan's status as an International Offshore Financial Center, and is a popular place to stroll or relax.

Labuan Square





Marine Park

Marine Park
Great Wreck Exploration off Labuan
 (please click)

Labuan Marine Park is located 2 kilometers off the southern part of Labuan main island. Beautiful and wild, the park encompasses 10 square kilometers of pristine water and three secluded islets, namely Pulau Kuraman, Pulau Rusukan kecil and Pulau Rusukan Besar. It features long stretches of sandy beaches, reef atoll, jungle tracks and quiet tidal pools. Sea snakes, rare butterflies and a prolific bird life add to its enchantment.

Marine Park


Snorkeling and scuba trails introduce you to an underwater world of fascinating marine life. The many secluded beach spots offer unusual privacy and natural ambience.

The park has been earmarked for upgrades under the 8th Malaysia Plan (2001-2005). Facilities to be built in the park include jetties, chalets, camping sites and barbecue pits. Other public amenities such as water and electricity will also be installed.

Banned - Fishing and anchoring
Local authority bans all form of fishing in waters around the Park. It also bans anchoring. Visiting yachts will either have to rent a mooring or tie to a dock in one of the marinas in the main island of Labuan. The only exceptions are boats under three meters in length using a stone anchor, and larger vessels having special advance authorization in writing from the authority. But you may photograph, swim, observe and study all form of marine fauna and flora. You are also allowed to scuba dive, sail, kayak and snorkel freely.



Marine Park






Peace Park

Peace Park

Peace Park at Layang-Layangan is situated close to Surrender Point, the place where the 32nd Japanese Southern Army surrendered to the 9th Australian Imperial Forces on 9 September 1945. The Japanese arrived at Labuan on 1 January 1942, less than a month after they had started their campaign in Malaya at Kota Baru and took formal possession of the island on the 3rd, after facing no resistance.

They occupied Labuan for four years, even renaming it Pulau Maida, or Maidashima after General Maida, the Chief Commander of the Japanese forces in Borneo. He was on his way to Labuan from Sarawak to open the airstrip there when he died in an air crash at Bintulu. The airstrip was built by the Japanese who found it was a good location for their operations in North Borneo. For Labuan, the end of the Japanese Occupation came abruptly with the re-taking of the island by the Allied forces. The capture of Labuan was seen as essential for recovering supplies of oil, rubber and timber from the mainland of Borneo. It would also serve as a base to help the Allies recapture Singapore.

A convoy of 100 ships were sent from Merotai. On 10 June 1945, they reached Labuan and an attack was launched by the 9th Australian Division. It was a successful attack, resulting in the surrender of the Japanese troops.

The Peace Park was built as a memorial and renunciation of the horrors of the war. It is dominated by the memorial mound which is surrounded by landscaped gardens and pavilions. Small ponds with stone bridges and park seats are all Japanese-inspired. A bronze plaque commemorating the Surrender is mounted on a stone slab near the entrance.





Tanjung Kubong Tunnels

Tanjung Kubong Tunnels

Coal mining in 18th century Labuan
The northern tip of the island is called Tanjung Kubong. An expansive network of underground tunnels and deep wells are found in this area. This is the site of coal mining, which started in 1847. The mine was operated by various British companies for 64 years. The last one, the New Central Borneo, installed an 8 mile long railway track to Victoria Port to facilitate the export of the coal. A series of mining accidents led to the closure of the mine in 1911. The area is dotted with pits and tunnels. Old bricks and pieces of rail tracks and rusted cables can still be seen strewn on the ground. One can actually enter a low tunnel with the help of a short rope and emerge from the top. Across the road next to the Chimney, is a vertical well. It is 10 feet wide and measuring some 100 feet deep. At the bottom of this well are found entrances of more tunnels, which are yet to be explored.






The Chimney
The Chimney

The Chimney
An Archeological Mystery


Situated on a rise at Tanjung Kubong is the famous "Chimney", a 106 feet high red brick stack believed to be linked to the coal mining days of Labuan. The Chimney, 106 feet tall, was made from more than 23,000 pieces of red bricks imported from ngland. The bricks layering and works are typical of British style.

The Chimney was long thought to be nothing more than a ventilation shaft. However, recent findings revealed that there were no traces of smokes or burning to suggest its use as a chimney as popularly believed. Careful digging has revealed at least 12 layers of bricks beneath the surface. The structure sits firmly on a large tract of limestone rock containing rich kaolin or porcelain clay, which provided the strong foundation.

The Chimney is still very much a mystery until today. Various hypothesis has been put forward to its purpose. Some said it was an unfinished mansion. While others said it was a light house beaconing passing ships. In its heyday, a thriving settlement was built at the sea front area below the Chimney. It was then used as a bell tower to announce the arrival of ships to the residents below. It has become an intriguing riddle that fascinates locals and visitors alike.




Kampung Air (Water Village)

Kampung Air (Water Village)

These traditional houses on stilts are joined by a maze of inter-connecting wooden walkways, and visitors are free to roam at their leisure. A visit to Labuan would be incomplete without a trip to this unique and intriguing place.

There are two main water villages namely Kampung Bebuloh and Kampung Patau-Patau. The residents are mainly the Brunei Malay. The wooden houses are built on stilts over water and are connected to each other by numerous walkways.

Almost every house has its own boat. The houses can be quite large and they all have a cool verandah in front. Some are very eye-catching with pots of brightly colored bougainvillea and orchid plants. The villages are made up of large communities with shops, mosques and other facilities.



Kampung Air (Water Village)




World War II Memorial

World War II Memorial

This Memorial is situated at Jalan Tanjung Batu. 3,908 graves of soldiers who either died in battle or captivity lie here. Most of the soldiers were Australians and British with some from the Punjab Signal Corp, New Zealand as well as a few locals.

In February 1945, the Japanese, apprehending an Allied landing in the Sandakan area, started to force march the prisoners to Ranau on which was what came to be known as the infamous Ranau Death March. Hundreds upon hundreds perished along the way and those who were left behind at the Sandakan POW camp also died or were killed. Many of the dead were reburied here at Labuan.

On 10 June 1945, Allied troops landed at Brown beach at Tanjung Purun to begin what was to be the liberisation of Borneo from the Japanese. Prior to this, Labuan town was heavily bombed aerially to flush out the enemies. Most of the buildings were destroyed. At the place known as the Pocket fighting also took place.

World War II Memorial

The remains of the Allied troops were gathered from all over Borneo to be interred at the Cemetery. The graves lie in long neat rows all bearing a plaque, mostly identified, many not, but 'known unto God'. The Labuan War Cemetery and Memorial is visited very regularly by War Veteran groups, especially from Australia who have included Labuan as an important destination on their battle-field tours circuit. On the first Sunday of November every year, a service to mark Remembrance Day is held here and is attended by locals and foreign visitors.

The place was constructed, and is maintained by Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

The lawns are beautiful kept and visitors will appreciate the peace and tranquility of the place as they seek to understand the senselessness of the deaths of so many brave young men



source: cuti.com





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