Monday, August 27, 2012

Backpacking Malaysia: Around the Small Island of Labuan

We arrived at Labuan Island at around 4 in the afternoon. The sun us still up high and we are waiting at the port for Gladys, my friend's friend, to come and fetch us. We waited at the ferry terminal and were tempted to buy all the chocolates they have at stores since they are all pretty cheap as Labuan Island products are duty free.

We are fetched at around 4:30 in the afternoon and off we went to get around the nice spots in this small island. We went to the different areas in Labuan such as Patau-Patau Water VillageAn'Nur Jamek MosquePeace Park, and the Chimney. It was a bit late but thankfully, we have a car, and so, we can get to many places in little time.

Patau Patau Water Village

Our first stop was the Patau-Patau Water Village. This place is generally on water. This place is one of the few remaining water villages in Malaysia. The houses here are built on top of waters. They are brightly colored and some are really striking. Their whole place is surrounded by water and you need to cross wooden bridges to cross each house. They have a nice waste disposal system and you can easily spot their toilet as all looked similar. At the far end of the village, the industrial area of Labuan Island is your scenery. It is quite nice living there, though, I don't really like the smell of water everyday. It is peaceful and serene there. Since we do not know anyone there, we cannot get in the houses. We just roam around and after a while, we went back to the car to get to other places there.

Bright colored stilt houses

everything is on top of the water

their toilets

As we went around the small town to our next destination, we passed by a nice looking mosque. It was called An'Nur Jamek Mosque, and it looked like a rocket ship with its futuristic design. This mosque is the only Muslim Mosque in the island.

An'Nur Jamek Mosque

As we beat the rush hour traffic, we arrive at the Peace Park just before the sun sets completely. The park was built in honor of those who perished during the second world war. It is just adjacent to the surrender point where the Japanese surrendered the island to the Australian. It also became the memento of friendship of the Malaysians and the Japanese people. The whole place has a nice landscape and we were like kids playing around there. We roamed the entire garden and walked to the nearby beach as the sun slowly sets.

Peace Park

the large monument

the other side

lake in the park

sunset on the beach

After walking around the beach area, it was getting dark and we decided to go to our last destination before heading to our friend's house for dinner. We wend to the Chimney. This is a very mysterious structure as none of the people there know its real function. It stands a hundred feet tall built with red bricks on top of a hill. It was named as a chimney since it dated back from the coal mining era in the island but there are no traces of smoke inside the structure. Some say it was a light house or a part of an unfinished mansion, but whatever it is, no one really knows. You can actually go inside it but at that time, it was already closed. We just took pictures and stayed for a while. It was really creepy there especially it was already dark. The Chimney remains an attraction in the island that you surely shouldn't miss.

The Mysterious Chimney at night

when there was still a bit of light

After going around, we went to our friend's house for dinner. We had steam boat. After some drinks and a nice talk with her dad about his visit in Manila a few years ago, we headed back to the commercial district of the town where the night life is alive. And yes, I was under dressed because I didn't plan to go out clubbing in this trip, but I met a lot of nice people and was really wasted that night. Labuan is a nice and welcoming place. I wish we had more time staying and going around here. It was really nice and we need to head to Brunei the following day.

Labuan Island

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