“Pearl of the South China Sea”, “deserted island”, “cheap booze heaven” and many more! Those are but a few of the names given to this little island situated off the land of Borneo. Though lacking in terms of entertainment activities as compared to Kota Kinabalu, Labuan makes up for what it lacks, with its relaxing yet entertaining vibe. Visits are strongly recommended , but don’t blame me if your visit turns into a permanent stay.
No matter where we are, security is one of the main things that we care about. Living and growing up in Labuan, I am delighted to share that people here still can leave their car keys in the ignition, through the night, with the main gate widely opened. I had friends come back for Chinese New Year a few years ago who freaked out when they saw my car key still inside the ignition, guess staying in big cities like KL does take a toll on ones feelings. As compared to neighbouring cities (KK, Miri), crime rates at public areas are still pretty close to zero, meaning having a night walk at Labuan Square (Dataran Labuan) would still be pretty safe thing to do.
Tax Free Items
Cheap booze! If alcohol is your thing then Labuan is surely your place to be. Being a tax fee island makes a few items far cheaper than other parts of our country, items such as alcoholic drinks, tobacco products , chocolate and fragrance are much cheaper here in Labuan. Coupled with the fact that GST is also not imposed here, lets just say that for the same amount of enjoyment, the hole in your wallet wont be as big. Duty free shops that offer various range of chocolate and drinks can also be found here where people normally got to for souvenirs or their own weekend “stock”.
Labuan is a pretty small island, we used to say it only takes half a day to make a full driving tour of the whole island. But its this small size that makes it unique for visitors, as in there is no rush in getting from point A to point . With the elimination of the rush, visitors can be at a more relaxed state while they check out the different tourist attractions around the island. I remember my own small family trip to Malacca last year where we missed the bus on a few occasions (toddlers and babies tend to not care about bus schedules), such incidents most likely wont happen due to having GRAB services in Labuan which enables flexible movement at all times of the day.
Places of interest
Labuan might be small, but places of interest are anything but none. Efforts from both the government and locals are the reason behind Labuan’s ever evolving landscape. Places of memorial like the Labuan War Cemetery and Peace Park gives one the chance to soak in the effort of how our little island has flourished after many years. Labuan has yet to have a shopping mall (though there is one opening this year), but the two floor retail area of our Financial Park has served both tourists and locals at a satisfactory level . The various museums around the island are also recommended spots to visit as they give the chance for tourist to know more about Labuan.
There is only that much that one can express in an article, but do pack those bags and give Labuan a visit. Who knows what else you can find here.