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The Best Things To Do In Labuan


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Quentin Scruggs



Welcome to Labuan, a small but vibrant island located off the coast of East Malaysia. Labuan is known for its beautiful beaches, clear blue waters, and rich cultural heritage. Whether you’re a nature lover, history enthusiast, or simply seeking a relaxing getaway, Labuan has something to offer for everyone.


Labuan is often regarded as a duty-free island, making it an attractive destination for shoppers looking for great deals on a wide range of products. But beyond the shopping opportunities, Labuan boasts a host of exciting activities and attractions that are sure to captivate your senses.


In this article, we will delve into the best things to do in Labuan, ensuring that you make the most of your visit to this picturesque island. From exploring stunning natural landscapes to experiencing the island’s rich history and culture, Labuan offers a unique and rewarding experience for all.


So, pack your bags and get ready to embark on a journey through the best that Labuan has to offer!


Labuan Botanical Gardens

Nestled amidst lush greenery, Labuan Botanical Gardens is a tranquil oasis that offers a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. The gardens span over 200 acres and feature a diverse range of plant species, including exotic tropical flowers, towering trees, and rare orchids.


As you stroll along the well-manicured paths, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of vibrant blooms and vibrant greenery. The gardens are meticulously maintained, creating a serene and harmonious atmosphere that is perfect for relaxation and rejuvenation.


One of the highlights of the Labuan Botanical Gardens is the Orchid Garden, which showcases a stunning collection of over 50 species of orchids. The colors and fragrances of these delicate flowers will leave you mesmerized. Additionally, the Garden also features a Sunken Garden, a Fernery, and a Herb Garden, all adding to the diversity and beauty of the space.


For nature enthusiasts, the Botanical Gardens also offer the opportunity for birdwatching. Keep your eyes peeled for various bird species that call the gardens their home. It’s not uncommon to spot hornbills, kingfishers, and other avian wonders in their natural habitat.


In addition to its natural beauty, the Labuan Botanical Gardens also have recreational facilities for visitors to enjoy. There are picnic areas where you can relax and savor a packed meal amidst the serene surroundings. There is also a children’s playground, providing entertainment for young visitors.


Whether you’re a nature lover, a photography enthusiast, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, a visit to Labuan Botanical Gardens is a must. Immerse yourself in the serenity and beauty of this natural oasis while exploring the diverse flora and fauna that Labuan has to offer.


Labuan International Sea Sports Complex

If you’re a thrill-seeker or a water sports enthusiast, the Labuan International Sea Sports Complex is the perfect destination for you. Located along the pristine shores of Labuan, this state-of-the-art complex offers a wide range of exciting water activities that will get your adrenaline pumping.


One of the most popular activities at the complex is jet skiing. Hop on a jet ski and zoom across the crystal-clear waters, feeling the exhilarating rush as you navigate through waves. The complex provides jet ski rental services, making it convenient for visitors to enjoy this thrilling experience.


For those looking to explore the underwater wonders of Labuan, scuba diving and snorkeling are available at the complex. Dive into the depths of the ocean and discover a colorful array of marine life, coral reefs, and even sunken shipwrecks. The sea around Labuan is teeming with fascinating underwater treasures, offering an unforgettable diving experience.


Other popular activities at the complex include kayaking, windsurfing, and banana boat rides. Whether you prefer a leisurely paddle along the coastline or the thrill of being towed behind a speedboat, there’s something for everyone at the Labuan International Sea Sports Complex.


Besides the water activities, the complex also offers facilities for beach volleyball, beach soccer, and beach frisbee. Gather your friends or join in on a game with fellow visitors and enjoy some friendly competition under the sun.


If you’re new to water sports or wish to enhance your skills, the Labuan International Sea Sports Complex also offers training and classes. Expert instructors are available to guide you through the basics and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.


With its stunning beachfront location and an array of thrilling water activities, the Labuan International Sea Sports Complex promises endless fun and excitement for visitors of all ages. So, get ready to dive in and make unforgettable memories at this exciting water sports haven in Labuan.


Labuan War Cemetery

The Labuan War Cemetery is a solemn and poignant memorial that pays tribute to the servicemen who lost their lives during World War II. Located on the island of Labuan, the cemetery serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by those who fought for freedom and peace.


The cemetery, beautifully maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, is the final resting place for over 3,900 Allied soldiers. The neatly lined graves, made of white marble headstones, create a somber atmosphere that invites reflection and contemplation.


As you wander through the rows of graves, each marked with the names, ranks, and regiments of the fallen soldiers, you can’t help but feel a sense of reverence and gratitude. The peacefulness of the cemetery provides a space for visitors to pay tribute and offer their respects to those who gave their lives for their countries.


One notable feature of the Labuan War Cemetery is the Cross of Sacrifice, a tall memorial cross that stands at the center of the grounds. It serves as a focal point for remembrance and acts as a symbol of the sacrifices made by the soldiers buried in the cemetery.


Visiting the Labuan War Cemetery offers an opportunity to learn more about the historical context of World War II. Information panels and plaques provide insights into the major battles and events that took place in this region, allowing visitors to gain a deeper understanding of the war and its impact on Labuan and the surrounding areas.


It is not uncommon to see visitors leaving flowers or wreaths at the graves, a gesture of respect and remembrance. There is also a peaceful memorial garden within the cemetery where visitors can take a moment of quiet reflection and contemplate the significance of the lives lost.


Whether you have a personal connection to the war or simply want to pay your respects to the fallen soldiers, a visit to the Labuan War Cemetery is a humbling and meaningful experience. It serves as a reminder of the bravery and sacrifice of those who fought for the freedoms we enjoy today.


Labuan Bird Park

For nature enthusiasts and bird lovers, a visit to the Labuan Bird Park is a must. Nestled in a lush tropical setting, this sprawling avian paradise is home to a diverse range of bird species from Malaysia and around the world.


The Labuan Bird Park boasts spacious aviaries that provide a natural and safe habitat for the birds. As you stroll through the park, you’ll be greeted by the melodious songs and vibrant colors of various bird species, creating a truly immersive experience.


One of the highlights of the park is the walk-in aviary, where you can get up close and personal with the birds. Step inside and find yourself surrounded by parrots, hornbills, and a myriad of other colorful feathered creatures. It’s a unique opportunity to observe these beautiful birds in their natural habitat and even feed them under the supervision of park staff.


The park’s collection includes both indigenous Malaysian birds and exotic species from countries like Australia, Africa, and South America. From majestic peacocks to playful lorikeets, there’s a wide variety of birds to marvel at and learn about.


The Labuan Bird Park also provides educational experiences for visitors. You can join guided tours and learn interesting facts about the different bird species and their behaviors. The park is committed to conservation efforts, and through informative displays and interactive exhibits, they aim to create awareness about the importance of protecting these marvelous creatures and their habitats.


Visitors can also enjoy the serene surroundings of the park, with well-maintained walking paths and beautifully landscaped gardens. The park provides a peaceful and enjoyable environment for families, nature enthusiasts, and photographers looking to capture stunning bird photographs.


Whether you’re a birdwatching enthusiast, an animal lover, or simply looking for a unique experience, a visit to the Labuan Bird Park is sure to be a delight. Immerse yourself in the beauty and wonder of these magnificent creatures as you explore this tropical haven for birds.


Labuan Marine Park

Discover the breathtaking underwater world of Labuan by visiting the Labuan Marine Park, a stunning marine conservation area located off the coast of the island. Comprising of four idyllic islands – Pulau Kuraman, Pulau Rusukan Besar, Pulau Rusukan Kecil, and Pulau Papan, this marine park offers abundant marine life, vibrant coral reefs, and pristine beaches.


The Labuan Marine Park is a haven for both snorkelers and scuba divers. Dive beneath the surface of the crystal-clear waters to witness the vibrant coral gardens teeming with colorful tropical fish and other fascinating marine creatures. The variety of marine life here is awe-inspiring, with sightings of turtles, rays, barracudas, and even reef sharks being a common occurrence.


For those who prefer to stay at the water’s surface, snorkeling in the Labuan Marine Park is equally rewarding. Grab your mask, snorkel, and fins, and explore the shallow reefs where you’ll be greeted by an array of colorful fish darting in and out of the coral formations. The calm and clear waters make it an ideal spot for beginners to experience the wonders of snorkeling.


The Labuan Marine Park not only offers incredible underwater experiences but also boasts stunning beaches where you can relax, sunbathe, and enjoy the tranquility of the surrounding nature. Take a leisurely stroll along the white sandy shores, soak up the sun, and marvel at the panoramic views of the surrounding islands and turquoise waters.


As a conservation area, the Labuan Marine Park is dedicated to preserving and protecting its precious ecosystem. It is important to follow responsible tourism practices such as not touching or damaging the corals, taking back all your trash, and respecting the marine life and their habitats to ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy the beauty of the marine park.


The Labuan Marine Park can be accessed by hiring a boat from Labuan Island, and you can either join a guided tour or explore the park independently. There are facilities available on the islands, including picnic areas and basic amenities, allowing you to spend a full day immersed in the natural wonders of the marine park.


Whether you’re an avid diver, a snorkeling enthusiast, or a nature lover in search of a pristine marine environment, the Labuan Marine Park will leave you mesmerized with its breathtaking beauty and abundant marine biodiversity. Prepare to be captivated by the wonders that lie beneath the surface as you explore this remarkable marine sanctuary.


Labuan Square

Labuan Square, also known as Dataran Labuan, is a bustling hub in the heart of Labuan town. This lively public space is a popular gathering spot for locals and visitors alike, offering a range of activities and attractions.


The square is dominated by a picturesque fountain surrounded by lush greenery, creating a welcoming and vibrant atmosphere. It serves as a central meeting point and a venue for various events and performances throughout the year.


One of the main attractions at Labuan Square is the Labuan Financial Park Complex. This iconic building houses various financial institutions, including banks and insurance companies. Its striking architecture and modern design make it a prominent landmark in the area.


Labuan Square is also a great place for shopping and dining. The surrounding streets are lined with shops selling a variety of goods, including clothing, accessories, handicrafts, and local souvenirs. Explore the bustling market stalls and stores to find unique treasures and immerse yourself in the local shopping experience.


If you’re a food lover, Labuan Square offers a range of dining options to satisfy your cravings. From traditional Malaysian cuisine to international flavors, you’ll find restaurants, cafés, and food stalls serving up a diverse range of delicious dishes. Don’t miss the opportunity to try Labuan’s famous seafood delicacies, freshly caught from the surrounding waters.


Labuan Square is not just a shopping and dining destination, but also a cultural hub. Throughout the year, the square hosts cultural festivals, musical performances, and other events that showcase the rich heritage of Labuan. Experience vibrant traditional dance performances, music concerts, and even art exhibitions that highlight the local talent and creativity.


As the sun sets and the lights illuminate Labuan Square, the atmosphere transforms into a lively and vibrant scene. The square becomes a gathering place for families, friends, and tourists to enjoy the evening breeze and soak in the energetic ambiance.


So whether you’re looking for shopping, dining, entertainment, or a glimpse into the local culture, Labuan Square is the place to be. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of this bustling public space and experience the unique charm of Labuan town.


Chimney Museum

The Chimney Museum in Labuan is a fascinating historical site that offers a unique glimpse into the island’s industrial past. Located near Tanjung Kubong, the museum is housed within a massive chimney stack that once served as a landmark for the coal mining industry in Labuan.


The chimney stack, standing at an impressive 106 feet tall, is a testament to Labuan’s rich mining history. It is the last remaining structure of the Labuan Coal Mines, which were in operation from the late 19th century to the mid-20th century.


Inside the museum, visitors can explore the various exhibits and displays that chronicle the story of the coal mining industry in Labuan. Learn about the laborious process of extracting coal, the challenges faced by the miners, and the impact of the industry on the development of the island.


One of the highlights of the Chimney Museum is the interactive displays, allowing visitors to experience the sights and sounds of a working coal mine. Step into the shoes of a miner as you navigate through a simulated tunnel, complete with sound effects and machinery that were once used in the mining process.


The museum also provides insights into the cultural and social aspects of the coal mining era. Discover the lives of the miners, their living conditions, and the tight-knit community that developed around the industry. Photographs, artifacts, and personal stories help paint a vivid picture of the people and their experiences.


Outside the museum, visitors can explore the surrounding area and witness the remnants of the coal mines. Take a walk along the heritage trail, which leads to other historical sites such as the underground tunnels and mining equipment used in the past. The scenic views of the coast and the chimney stack standing tall against the sky create a captivating setting.


The Chimney Museum serves as a reminder of Labuan’s industrial heritage and the hard work of the people who built the foundation of the island’s development. It offers a valuable educational experience for visitors of all ages, allowing them to gain a deeper understanding of Labuan’s history and pay homage to its coal mining past.


So, make sure to include a visit to the Chimney Museum in your itinerary while exploring Labuan. Immerse yourself in the intriguing world of the coal mining industry and uncover the stories that lie within the towering chimney stack.


Labuan Museum

The Labuan Museum is a treasure trove of history and culture, providing a captivating insight into the heritage of Labuan. Housed within a colonial-style building, the museum showcases a collection of artifacts, exhibits, and interactive displays that bring the island’s rich past to life.


The museum’s exhibits cover a wide range of topics, including the early history of Labuan, the colonial era, World War II, and the diverse cultural heritage of the island. As you explore the different sections of the museum, you’ll embark on a journey through time, immersing yourself in Labuan’s fascinating past.


One of the highlights of the Labuan Museum is the display of archaeological artifacts, offering a glimpse into the prehistoric era of the island. Discover ancient tools, pottery, and remnants of early settlements that provide insights into the early human habitation of Labuan.


The museum also pays homage to the colonial history of Labuan, showcasing a variety of objects and memorabilia from the British era. Colonial-era furniture, documents, and photographs transport you back in time, painting a vivid picture of life under British rule.


Another significant section of the museum is dedicated to World War II, during which Labuan was occupied by the Japanese forces. Learn about the impact of the war on the island and the important role it played as a strategic location in the region.


The Labuan Museum also celebrates the cultural diversity of the island through exhibits that highlight the traditions, customs, and arts of the local communities. Discover the unique heritage of the Malay, Chinese, and indigenous tribes through traditional costumes, handicrafts, musical instruments, and other cultural artifacts.


Aside from its fascinating exhibits, the Labuan Museum also hosts temporary exhibitions and special events throughout the year, providing visitors with even more opportunities to engage with the culture and history of the island.


Visiting the Labuan Museum is an enriching and educational experience, offering a deeper understanding of the island’s heritage and the people who have shaped its identity. The museum provides a comprehensive overview of Labuan’s past, making it a must-visit attraction for history enthusiasts and curious travelers.


So, step into the Labuan Museum and embark on a captivating journey through time, where stories of the past come to life through the artifacts and displays that fill its halls.


Surrender Point

Surrender Point, also known as Tanjung Surrender, is a historically significant site located on the northeastern coast of Labuan. This tranquil spot holds great importance as it marks the site of the official surrender of the Japanese forces to the Allied forces at the end of World War II.


On 9th September 1945, General Masao Baba, the commanding officer of the Japanese army in Borneo, formally surrendered to the Australian 9th Division troops at Surrender Point. This surrender marked the end of the Japanese occupation of Labuan and Borneo.


The Surrender Point memorial serves as a reminder of the significance of this historical event. The site features a memorial obelisk surrounded by well-manicured gardens, creating a serene and reflective atmosphere.


Visitors to Surrender Point can take a moment to pay their respects and reflect on the impact of World War II on the region and the sacrifices made by those involved. The memorial provides an opportunity for contemplation and remembrance, allowing visitors to honor the memory of those who fought and lost their lives during the war.


From Surrender Point, you can also enjoy picturesque views of the adjacent beach and the surrounding turquoise waters. Take a stroll along the sandy shores or simply sit and marvel at the beautiful coastal scenery.


For history enthusiasts, Surrender Point offers valuable insights into the events that transpired during the war and the aftermath of the Japanese surrender. Information boards onsite provide a brief historical account of the significance of Surrender Point, enhancing the visitor’s understanding of the site.


Visiting Surrender Point is not only an opportunity to pay tribute to the past but also a chance to appreciate the natural beauty of Labuan’s coastline. The combination of history and scenic views makes Surrender Point a memorable destination for both locals and tourists seeking a deeper connection with the island’s past.


So, take a moment to visit Surrender Point during your time in Labuan and reflect on the historical significance of this site as an enduring symbol of peace and reconciliation.


Labuan Shipwreck

Beneath the waters surrounding Labuan lies a fascinating and mysterious world of shipwrecks that have become an attraction for divers and history enthusiasts. Labuan is renowned for its underwater treasures, particularly the shipwrecks that date back to World War II.


The shipwrecks in the waters of Labuan serve as enduring reminders of the island’s strategic location during the war. Labuan was an important naval base and was heavily targeted by Allied forces during the Pacific Campaign. Today, these wrecks have become havens for marine life and popular dive sites.


One notable shipwreck in Labuan is the American wreck, a cargo vessel that was sunk during an air raid. With its remains sitting at a depth of approximately 30 meters, this shipwreck offers divers the chance to explore its corroded structure and witness the marine life that has taken residence in and around it.


Another significant wreck is the Cement wreck. As the name suggests, this ship was carrying a cargo of cement when it was sunk, resulting in a debris field that now provides divers with an eerie and captivating experience. Explore the remnants of the ship, adorned with colorful coral and inhabited by a variety of marine species.


Diving in the Labuan Shipwreck Park offers a unique opportunity to uncover history while being surrounded by an underwater world teeming with marine biodiversity. Many of the wrecks are adorned with vibrant corals, sponges, and anemones, providing a stunning contrast to the decaying metal structures.


As you explore the shipwrecks, you may come across schools of fish, turtles, barracudas, and even friendly reef sharks. The wrecks have become artificial reefs, attracting a wide variety of marine life, making each dive an unforgettable experience.


For diving enthusiasts, Labuan offers dive operators that provide guided tours to the shipwrecks, ensuring a safe and enriching experience. Whether you’re an experienced diver or a beginner, there are options available to suit different skill levels.


It’s important to note that diving in the shipwrecks requires proper certification and adherence to responsible diving practices. The wrecks are protected and considered historical artifacts, so divers should take care not to disturb or damage the wrecks or the marine life surrounding them.


The Labuan Shipwreck Park is a must-visit for divers and history enthusiasts alike. Immerse yourself in the captivating world of underwater history, where the remnants of war have transformed into vibrant reefs, providing a glimpse into the past and a unique diving experience.


Labuan Duty-Free Shopping

Labuan is renowned as a duty-free island, making it a shopper’s paradise for those looking for great bargains and a wide range of products. Whether you’re a fashion enthusiast, a tech-savvy individual, or seeking local specialties, Labuan’s duty-free status ensures that you can enjoy tax-free shopping and attractive prices.


Labuan’s duty-free shopping scene offers a diverse selection of products to cater to various needs and preferences. One of the main shopping hotspots is the Labuan Duty-Free Complex, a bustling shopping center that houses a multitude of retail outlets.


From international fashion brands to local boutiques, you’ll find a wide range of clothing options at duty-free prices. Whether you’re searching for trendy apparel, stylish accessories, or even traditional Malaysian garments, Labuan’s duty-free shops have it all.


In addition to fashion, Labuan is also a hub for electronics and gadgets. Whether you’re looking for the latest smartphones, cameras, or laptops, you’ll find a plethora of options, often at prices lower than in neighboring countries.


Labuan’s duty-free status extends to a wide variety of products beyond fashion and electronics. The island is known for its extensive range of chocolates, liquor, and tobacco products. Pick up your favorite spirits, indulge in premium chocolates, or stock up on cigarettes and tobacco at attractive duty-free prices.


For those seeking local specialties and souvenirs, Labuan’s duty-free shops offer an array of unique products. From traditional handicrafts and textiles to locally produced food items, you’ll find a wide selection of souvenirs that reflect the culture and heritage of Labuan.


Shopping is not just limited to traditional retail outlets in Labuan. The island also hosts regular weekend markets and bazaars, providing visitors with an opportunity to explore local vendors and artisans selling a variety of goods. These markets offer a lively and vibrant atmosphere, perfect for immersing yourself in the local shopping culture.


It’s worth mentioning that Labuan’s duty-free shopping isn’t just restricted to physical stores. Online duty-free shopping platforms are also available, allowing you to enjoy the convenience of shopping from the comfort of your own home or hotel room.


So, whether you’re a shopaholic or simply looking to indulge in some retail therapy, Labuan’s duty-free shopping scene is sure to satisfy your desires. Take advantage of the attractive prices, wide range of products, and the unique shopping experience that this duty-free island has to offer.


Labuan Seafood Restaurants

As an island surrounded by abundant waters, Labuan is renowned for its fresh and delicious seafood. From succulent prawns to exotic fish, Labuan offers a wide variety of delectable seafood dishes that will tantalize your taste buds. Explore the island’s seafood restaurants and indulge in a culinary adventure like no other.


Labuan Seafood Restaurant is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Known for its wide selection of seafood, the restaurant offers a range of cooking styles to suit every preference. Whether you prefer your seafood steamed, grilled, fried, or in a flavorful curry, Labuan Seafood Restaurant has it all. Don’t miss out on their signature dishes like butter prawns, chili crab, and sweet and sour fish.


Another popular seafood spot is Anjung Ketam Seafood Village, a floating restaurant located on Labuan’s waterfront. This unique dining experience allows you to savor your meal while enjoying the picturesque views of the sea. The restaurant specializes in crab dishes, serving them in a variety of flavors, including black pepper, salted egg, and chili crab. Pair your crab feast with other seafood delights such as grilled squid and butter prawns for a truly satisfying meal.


If you’re looking for a more casual dining experience, head to Pasar Malam or the Night Market in Labuan. Here, you’ll find a plethora of stalls offering an array of freshly cooked seafood dishes. From grilled fish to spicy tiger prawns, these street food stalls serve up mouthwatering seafood at affordable prices. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the night market as you indulge in a seafood feast.


For those seeking a taste of local flavors, Bunga Pudak Seafood Restaurant is a must-visit. This restaurant combines Labuan’s seafood with traditional Malaysian recipes, creating unique and flavorful dishes. From the popular seafood curry to stir-fried butter prawns, each dish at Bunga Pudak is crafted with care and attention to detail, ensuring a memorable dining experience.


Labuan’s seafood restaurants not only excel in their culinary creations but also offer a warm and welcoming ambiance. The friendly staff, coupled with the coastal setting, creates a dining experience that is both memorable and enjoyable.


Whether you’re a seafood aficionado or simply appreciate fresh and delicious food, Labuan’s seafood restaurants are sure to satisfy your cravings. Indulge in the island’s bountiful seafood offerings and discover why Labuan is a haven for seafood lovers.



Labuan, with its stunning natural landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture, offers a plethora of experiences that cater to all types of travelers. From exploring the depths of the sea to immersing in the island’s captivating history, Labuan provides a diverse range of attractions and activities that will leave you amazed and enchanted.


Whether you’re a nature lover, history enthusiast, adventure seeker, or simply looking for a relaxing getaway, Labuan has something for everyone. Explore the Labuan Botanical Gardens and be mesmerized by the beauty of its diverse flora. Dive into the underwater wonderland of the Labuan Marine Park and discover the vibrant marine life that calls it home. Pay your respects at the Labuan War Cemetery and reflect on the sacrifices made during World War II.


Labuan’s duty-free shopping scene is a treat for shopaholics, offering a wide range of products at attractive prices. From fashion to electronics, chocolates to locally made souvenirs, Labuan’s duty-free shops have it all. Indulge in a culinary journey at Labuan’s seafood restaurants, savoring the freshest and most delicious seafood dishes the island has to offer.


The warm hospitality and friendly smiles of the locals further enhance the experience of visiting Labuan. Immerse yourself in the island’s unique culture, witness traditional dances, and visit the museums that showcase the rich heritage of Labuan.


As you bid farewell to Labuan, take with you memories of stunning sunsets, pristine beaches, and the warm embrace of an island that offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a cultural journey, Labuan is a destination that will leave a lasting impression.


So, pack your bags and get ready to discover the best of Labuan. From its natural wonders to its historical sites, Labuan invites you to create unforgettable memories in this enchanting Malaysian paradise.