Labuan Bloglogs #4: The Gallivantings

It was my first weekend at Labuan, and after being locked up in a hotel room and had been working (hardly) during the weekdays, I took this opportunity to paint the town red. Well, not literally of course, as the hotel provided me free shuttle van services to town, so it was a chance to roam like an animal free from its restraining leashes. So what surprises were in store for this KLite that is still fresh from his arrival to an island far from his native surroundings? Well, read on dear friends!!!

I began my gallivanting by visiting a WWII memorial park that was not far from my hotel. I have to say that the place is maintained tremendously well and visitors will feel very welcomed and peaceful once they step foot into the area. Rows after rows of plaque donning the names of WWII soldiers that perished in the war. I noticed that most of them are from Australia, Britain, New Zealand and a few Punjab origins as well as a few locals. There were gathered from areas around Borneo and laid to rest here in Labuan. Apparently, on the first Sunday of every November, a Remembrance Day is held to pay tribute to the heroes that lost their lives in Borneo, with visitors from abroad as well as locals. Tranquil, serene and convivial, this WWII Memorial Park will help anyone to learn and appreciate the sacrifices made and help understand the senselessness of wars.

Hopping back into my hotel van, I proceed straight down to town. Along the way, I spotted a few spots of interest:

This is the Labuan International Sea Sports Complex. Any major sea sports recreational activities will be held here. It’s an remarkable building, with a Marine Museum in it to boot. Mighty impressive, but I find something rather odd: where are the major sea sports activities? Rather quiet for a so-called “International Sea Sports Complex”. Hhhmmmmm…Accordingly to my van driver, it was built for a whopping RM25 million bucks. Nice to know our taxes are very well spent.

Next up, I reached town and the van dropped me off at the Financial Park center. Here, it houses Labuan’s ONLY shopping complex. Well, after exploring the place thoroughly and I have to admit that this is for sure isn’t 1 Utama or Mid Valley, but it has Giant, Parkson, Pizza Hut, KFC and a few other interesting stores in it so I guess the basic stuff are there.

But I’m here not for the mall, so out straight I went and into the streets of Labuan town:

Found a Chinese temple that seemed popular among the locals as it was quite packed.

Nice landscaped walkways grace the town at almost every turn. Not bad!!!

Rows after rows of shop lots…

And lo and behold, my first encounter with a cinema in Labuan!!! RM8 bucks for one movie!!! WTF!!! KL is RM10 and I can get comfy seats in THX surroundings. RM8 bucks for a small place like this??!! It’s daylight robbery dammit!!!

I took a U-turn from the cinema and bumped into Labuan Square. Impressive place that can almost rival Merdeka Square, this is where all the concerts, political rallies and major outdoor events are held.

Nearby was the very eco-friendly Public Library...

Exhausted, I took a break in a typical coffee shop nearby…

Some new and interesting food are available in Labuan. Roti Bollywood anyone? It will make you go dancing around trees, dude…

But highlight of the town can only be one thing: DUTY FREE SHOPS!!! They are almost everywhere in town, and alcohol, cigarettes and CHOCOLATES are even duty free!!! Well ok, the taxes on chocolates are not that high to begin with but the thing is, here I found that there is more variety, I just can’t help it and bought 2 chocos entirely for myself. YUMMY!!!

An 18-year-old bottle of Chivas for only RM 230, it even comes with a free bag. Interested anyone?

Well it was already getting late by the time I finished visiting these few places. I’m sure there are a lot more to Labuan then this, i.e. the Chimney, Bird Park, Peace Park, Surrender Point, Botanical Garden and many more. I’ll be there, I’m sure of that so until then…

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