Monday, August 07, 2006

Labuan, Malaysia

Labuan is a tiny island. It is part of Malaysia situated on the north of Borneo island near Sabah. It takes 2 hours and 20 minutes to fly there by Air Asia ( plane from Kuala Lumpur low cost carrier terminal (LCCT).

The reasons to come to Labuan are because it has a very beautiful and clean beaches circling the island and also because Labuan is a duty free state where chocolate and liquor prices are cheaper compared to other states in Malaysia.

Labuan is very quite so it is the best destination to get away from our hectic life to get a peace of mind, to relax and to spend time with the whole family.

Since the island is quite small, the distance from one place to another is not too far and it doesn't take long to travel around the island. From the airport to our hotel (Sheraton Labuan) which is located at the opposite of the financial park center, it took less than 10 minutes by taxi and it costs RM8.80 (you must purchase the ticket at the counter) and traffic is so smooth because not many cars on the road.

If we wanted to circle the whole island, it will take about 1 - 1.5 hours with maximum of 5 minutes stopping to take photograph at each tourist destination and it costs less than RM50 for the taxi ride.
Circling the whole island is the best way to see what Labuan can offer for your best vacation time. The view is magnificent and it is very peaceful. The people there are quite friendly and helpful.

During our visit to this island, we stayed at Sheraton Labuan Hotel which is the best hotel in Labuan. The hotel is beautiful and we were quite lucky to get a room overlooking the sea and the swimming pool. This hotel really gives the best service and a very prompt one. Sheraton Labuan can give a good internet rate if you book online. We were quite happy to stay at this hotel because in front of this hotel, there is the biggest shopping mall complex in which you can shop (buy some duty-free products), eat, play bowling or just hang out. There is Pos Malaysia there too in case you want to mail some postcards to your family and friends.

On our 1st night in Labuan, we went to Mawilla Yatch Club seafood restaurant to have dinner. This restaurant is not too far from Sheraton. It costs RM7-8 one way by taxi. The hotel will be happy to call the taxi for you. The restaurant is by the sea so you can eat while enjoying the sea breeze touches your face. We ordered steam fish kampong style and it was very delicious. You choose your own fish and they will weigh and tell you how much it costs. Other dishes were quite good too except the black pepper crab. The crab unfortunately was quite small and there was too much soy sauce instead of black pepper so it became quite sweet instead of pepper hot. (on the side: The best black pepper crabs I've ever tasted is at Hai Pa Wang Restaurant in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. This restaurant bakes the crabs first before they cook the crabs black pepper style and they only serve medium/big crabs!).

For our second day in Labuan, we went to Financial Park center to have lunch. There are many restaurants and a food court in there, including KFC and Pizza Hut. After having lunch, we went to Labuan International Sea Sport Complex and visited Labuan Marine Musium (There is NO entrance fee charged in here). For dinner, we wanted to try Labuan chinese food and our taxi driver took us to Portview Restaurant and Lounge. This restaurant is under the same management as the Mawilla but this time all the dishes we ordered were quite good especially the baked cheesy tiger prawns. It's yummy.

On our 3rd day, we went to Seri Malindo Restaurant to have lunch. Seri Malindo is near Sarah hotel about less than 10 minutes away from Sheraton. This place serves Malaysian and Indonesian style dishes. The food is cheap. After lunch, we took a taxi ride to circle the whole island. After that, my husband and I had a stroll around the Labuan Square and we had 2 big fresh coconut juices at Medan Selera food joint just behind Sheraton hotel. For our dinner, we decided to have buffet in our hotel. Sheraton serves a wonderful delicious food at their theme buffet restaurant Victoria's brasseri. After putting my son to bed, my husband and I went to Someplace Else Pub in Sheraton. This pub is quite happening. Many people visit this pub. My husband and I were having a great time together. Unfortunately, we are not accustomed to going to a pub late at night anymore, so by 11pm, both of us yawning at the same time and we decided to go back to our room and sleep.

It was a wonderful trip for our family. We hope to go back to Labuan again some other time (I hope Air Asia gives away more tickets) to buy more chocolates. :-)

If you want to visit Labuan, I suggest you check out this website: for a more complete information about all tourist attractions there.


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