deanhizudy
Topic Author
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:47 am

A Weekend Getaway In Labuan

Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:49 am

Few times in a year, I will travel to a destination outside of my hometown, KL city for a short, weekend getaway. And for this August 2016 trip, I decided to travel to Pulau Labuan or Labuan Island with my flag carrier, Malaysia Airlines.

Located in South China Sea, about 8km off the coast of Sabah, Labuan comprises 1 main island and 6 smaller islands, namely Pulau Burung, Pulau Daat, Pulau Kuraman, Pulau Papan, Pulau Rusukan Kecil and Pulau Rusukan Besar covering an area of 95 sq km. On 16th April 1984, Labuan was declared as the 2nd Federal Territory after Kuala Lumpur. And since 1990, Labuan was established as an offshore financial center offering international financial and business services as well as being an offshore support hub for deepwater oil and gas activities in the region. Labuan is also known as "The Pearl of Borneo".

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There were 2 main reasons why I decided to go to Labuan:
1) It is not the main holiday destination in Malaysia, not even among Malaysian (I tried to avoid crowded place)
2) I never been to Labuan before (This was the 1st time!)

Follow my journey as I discover this beauty of peaceful island by continue reading this TR....


I started my journey from KL Sentral Station where I took the ERL KLIA Transit to KLIA.

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inside ERL KLIA Transit


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views along the journey


I arrived at the airport around 7am and proceeded to the check-in counter to drop my luggage and collected my boarding pass.

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As I still got some time left, I headed to "Anjung Tinjau" or the viewing gallery to observe KLIA's planes activity from there.

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Malindo and Malaysia Airlines in Contact Pier

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Malaysia Airlines in Contact Pier and AirAsia in KLIA2

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Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia taxiing to the runway

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planes in Satellite terminal

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ANA's B787


Done with spotting session, I make my way to the gate A10 where my plane will depart.

I noticed there were long queues and a large crowd from the passport control to Contact Pier. Must be a very busy morning in KLIA.

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It was quite a long walk to reach Gate A10.

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This flight was codeshared with Malaysia Airlines' subsidiary, Firefly.

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deanhizudy
Topic Author
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:47 am

Re: A Weekend Getaway In Labuan

Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:13 am

Most of other pax were already there including the airplane that will bring us to Labuan.

Airlines: Malaysia Airlines
Flight: MH2608
Origin: Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL)
Destination: Labuan Airport (LBU)
Class: Y
Seat: 18A
ETD: 0900
ETA: 1125

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Malaysia Airlines B737-800


Soon, boarding commenced with pax travel in J class, premier Enrich members, elder citizens and parents with small kids were called up first.

Later, Y class pax were invited to board the aircraft based on their row.


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2 male cabin crew greeted every pax at the door.


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passing through the J class


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my seat, 18 A


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adequate seat pitch


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headset was provided on every seat


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boarding in progress


There were 5, all male cabin crew on this flight with 3 of them working in Y class.


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a full load in Y class


While the boarding process was still ongoing, I started to check out the seat's content and the IFE.


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Malaysia Airlines' in-flight magazine, Going Places


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safety information card


The IFE was sufficient enough for this slightly more than 2 hour flight with varieties of films, drama series, songs and games available.


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safety demo video was played


An announcement from the cockpit confirmed that the last pax had boarded the aircraft and cabin crew walked down the aisle for the final check.


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the winglet


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our aircraft started to make its way to the active runway


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Malaysia Airlines' retro jet


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the other planes in Contact Pier


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Malaysia Airlines's A380 in Satellite building


Cockpit crew informed us that our aircraft was number 7 in the line.


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AirAsia A320


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Silkair bound for Singapore


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Bangkok Airways to Koh Samui


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Srilankan following us

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And finally, it was our turn for takeoff


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airborne


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Not long after takeoff, our plane started to cross the South-China Sea leaving behind the peninsula.


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deanhizudy
Topic Author
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:47 am

Re: A Weekend Getaway In Labuan

Thu Oct 20, 2016 5:44 am

30 minutes into the flight, the meal service began from the front row.

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There were 2 choices for breakfast; Seafood Fried Rice or Chicken Murtabak with Curry.

By the time the crew reached my row, only Chicken Murtabak with Curry was still available. But I was not disappointed because the Murtabak tasted very good. I also had a cup of Apple Juice.


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the breakfast was served in a box accompanied by Malaysia Airlines' signature salted peanuts


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apple juice


Cabin crew walked down the aisle again to offer a hot beverage service with a choice of Coffee or Tea. The crew also started to collect the meal trays.


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hot tea


After the meal service, I took a nap and woke up when I heard an announcement from the cockpit that we were about to land in Labuan shortly. Cabin crew and all the pax were prepared for the landing.


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We were safely landed in Labuan Airport few minutes behind the schedule.


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touchdown


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taxiing to the terminal


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helicopters operated for oil & gas companies


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Labuan airport


After the aircraft completely stopped, as usual J class pax were allowed to disembark first and followed by the rest of Y class pax.


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pearl of Borneo


Unlike the airports in the state of Sarawak and Sabah, there is no immigration control in Labuan airport for people travel from West Malaysia.


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welcome to Federal Territory of Labuan!
 
deanhizudy
Topic Author
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:47 am

Re: A Weekend Getaway In Labuan

Fri Oct 21, 2016 4:26 am

Despite with only 1 flight arrival at that time, our luggage took quite a long time to arrive.

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After collected my luggage, I hurried to the outside of the terminal where a prearranged complimentary hotel shuttle waited for me. The driver did not bother to ask whether I was the right person but he was very friendly and helpful enough to open the door and loading my luggage into the shuttle van.

It just only a short drive from the airport to reach my hotel. Roads in Labuan are small and do not have many traffic.


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Tiara Labuan Hotel, 1 of the premier hotels and resorts in the island.


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Upon arrival at the hotel's lobby, I was welcomed and greeted by the friendly staff. As the check-in time was at 3pm, I decided to visit some of the tourist attractions first. The friendly hotel's staff helped me to keep my luggage in the lobby.

I explored all the attraction sites during the first day only by foot (and relied heavily on Waze). Of course, you can rent a car or call a cab if you want to.

From the hotel, I went to the main road, turned left and continued walking straight.


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there is a beach located across the street from Tiara Labuan Hotel


Along the way, I noticed that most houses in Labuan are huge.


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Around 6 minutes walking, I reached the 1st attraction of the island, the Labuan War Cemetery and Memorial.


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Of course, visitors are always welcome to visit this historical cemetery.


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At most historical and attraction sites in Malaysia, you will find this brown marble information plaque provided by Tourism Malaysia. Please take a moment to read it, so you can have a basic knowledge of the history and information behind every particular site.


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During the World War II, Labuan was occupied by Japan and governed as part of the Northern Borneo military unit by the Japanese 37th Army from December 1941 until June 1945. The liberation of Borneo began when the Australian Army under the command of Australian Major General launched an attack towards the Japanese on 10th June 1945 to repossess the island of Borneo. This battle was known as "Battle of North Borneo" and the casualties were laid to rest in this cemetery.

Labuan War Cemetery is the largest cemetery and memorial dedicated to the fallen heroes of World War II in Malaysia. It was constructed and well-maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC).


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Th cemetery contains 3,908 burials of which more than half were unidentified. The total number of identified burials were 1,752 which consist of 5 sailors, 1,523 soldiers, 220 airmen and 4 civilians. And from these numbers, there were 814 British, 858 Australian, 1 New Zealander, 43 Indian and 36 Malayan.

34 Indian soldiers whose the remains were cremated are commemorated on a memorial in the Indian Army plot.


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the Indian Army plot is located on the left side in this photo


There is also a memorial to commemorate the men of the Australian forces. This memorial bears more than 2,000 names of Australian soldiers and airmen who died during the operations for the recovery of Borneo.


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Each year in November, a Remembrance Day will take place in Labuan War Cemetery to honor the warriors. Held on every 11 November or the closest Sunday to it, the ceremony will be conducted in full military tradition and attended by many war veterans and family members of the fallen soldiers.


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I exited the war cemetery area and went to the other side of the street where I found another Christian cemetery. It is a civil cemetery and unrelated with the Commonwealth war cemetery. Thus, it received a completely different maintenance than the Labuan War Cemetery.


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I was not so sure if there is any new burial in this cemetery as most of the tombs that I saw were dated back in 1960s and 70s.


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some even left way earlier


Not many information I can get on this cemetery and there was nobody to ask either (I was alone in that area), so I left both cemeteries and make my way to the next attraction.
 
zulhisham7888
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2011 7:42 am

Re: A Weekend Getaway In Labuan

Fri Oct 21, 2016 9:07 am

hotmeals is back in Y class! nice to see it.
i was served a cold croissant on my flight to BKI in 2014.
 
deanhizudy
Topic Author
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:47 am

Re: A Weekend Getaway In Labuan

Mon Oct 24, 2016 12:12 am

zulhisham7888 wrote:
hotmeals is back in Y class! nice to see it.
i was served a cold croissant on my flight to BKI in 2014.


And now the taste is even better too.
 
deanhizudy
Topic Author
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:47 am

Re: A Weekend Getaway In Labuan

Mon Oct 24, 2016 8:25 am

From the cemeteries, I walked towards Labuan town where more places of interest can be found. It took me about 15 minutes to reach there.


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Situated within close proximity to city center is the Labuan Clock Tower. It is the exact replica of the original clock tower which was built in year 1906 by Straits Settlement's businessman from the state of Malacca named Mr Chee Swee Cheng. The clock tower was 1 of the 4 standing structures that survived the World War II when the whole Labuan was completely devastated after the intense naval bombardments by the Allied forces. The British administration demolished the clock tower in 1948 and it was reconstructed by Labuan Corporation in year 2002 using the fund provided by Ministry of Tourism Malaysia.


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Labuan Clock Tower


Not far from the clock tower is the Labuan International Sea Sport Complex.


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This sport complex was opened in year 2001 as the venue place for various water sport activities and events held in the island. It houses a main sea sports center, an administrative block, souvenir shops, eateries and the Labuan Marine Museum.


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Officially opened in year 2003, the Labuan Marine Museum showcases the intriguing world of marine wonders in the island of Borneo, particularly Labuan.


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Divided into 16 galleries, the exhibition ranging from the general information on marine life living in Labuan waters, expositions on the marine life's various habitats, to the research results and publications of Labuan's fishing activities.


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Apart from the rich information that Labuan Marine Museum provides, there are also lots of life specimens and preserved species of marine creatures such as sea corals, different kind of fishes, reptiles and sea plants on display.


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a mangrove swamp habitat with live creatures such as Hermit Crab


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you can dip your hand into this pool full of baby sharks


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lets we go to the next floor


The exhibition on the 2nd floor of the museum focuses on the coral reefs, habitats of sharks and rays, marine mammals, marlins, fishing & diving activities, oceanography, marine biology, molluscs and crustacean.


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The most interesting item displayed in this marine museum is probably the skeleton of the Indian Fin Whale which was found on 19 June 1892.


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This Indian Fin whale was not found in Labuan, but instead it was found stranded on the beach in Malacca


There is a nice sea view from this museum's window


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view from the museum's window


Labuan Marine Museum is open daily from 9am-6pm with a FREE admission.
 
deanhizudy
Topic Author
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:47 am

Re: A Weekend Getaway In Labuan

Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:56 am

The stretch of the beach that facing the marine museum is known as "Ramsay Point" and it was the site for 2 major historical events.On 24 December 1846, the Sultan of Brunei handed over the control of the island to the British Crown. Captain Sir Roodney Mundy from the British warship, HMS Iris, raised the British Empire flag on this beach and formally marked the beginning of British rule in Labuan. A century later, on 10 June 1945, this beach was used as the landing point by the commander of the Allied forces to liberate Labuan & the rest of Borneo from the Japanese occupation.


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Ramsey Point


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Ramsey Point Observation Tower


Labuan Port, an important area where the economic activities of the island are operated is clearly visible from the Ramsay Point. Without a doubt, the major products produced and exported through this port are oil, natural gas and petroleum.


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Labuan Port


From the beach, it just only a short walk to get to Labuan Financial Park, the island's main business center. Fortunately, there is a long covered-walkway for pedestrians to walk comfortably under Labuan's hot and dry weather.


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the colorful covered-walkway


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I walked through this soccer field as a shortcut


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Labuan Financial Park as seen from the field


Labuan Financial Park or "Ujana Kewangan" is 1 of the iconic landmarks and the main shopping place in Labuan. It houses several international offshore banks, insurance & trust companies, government departments, commercial outlets as well serviced apartments and a convention hall. The Financial Park is probably the most happening place in the island where you can see many people around.


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Financial Park building


Despite of its outdated interior, the complex features several well-known international brands such as Nike, Adidas and Skechers.


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With its status as a duty-free island, the prices of goods such as liquors, cigarettes, chocolates, perfumes, pearls and textiles in Labuan are much cheaper than many other places in Malaysia.


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1 of the duty-free stores in the Financial Park
 
crownvic
Posts: 1970
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 10:16 pm

Re: A Weekend Getaway In Labuan

Sun Nov 06, 2016 12:14 pm

very informative, and great pics too. but this is the first trip report I have ever seen with not a single person in any picture other then the airport on arrival! Where is everyone??? or where is anyone??? It is eerie seeing all those places and not a sole. Talk about a ghost town. How does anything or any business survive there???? Its as if the entire area has been evacuated????
 
deanhizudy
Topic Author
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:47 am

Re: A Weekend Getaway In Labuan

Mon Nov 07, 2016 2:20 am

crownvic wrote:
very informative, and great pics too. but this is the first trip report I have ever seen with not a single person in any picture other then the airport on arrival! Where is everyone??? or where is anyone??? It is eerie seeing all those places and not a sole. Talk about a ghost town. How does anything or any business survive there???? Its as if the entire area has been evacuated????


You will know about this later in my TR ;-)
 
deanhizudy
Topic Author
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:47 am

Re: A Weekend Getaway In Labuan

Mon Nov 07, 2016 5:56 am

From the Financial Park, I went to the Labuan Museum, which located just a few minutes walk away from there.


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Dorsett Grand Labuan, the only 5-star hotel in the island


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just like in Kota Kinabalu, the Marlin fish statue can be found all over Labuan Town


Established in year 2004, Labuan Museum (Malay:Muzium Labuan) is set up in a 2-storey Colonial Building which was built in 1950s as the administration office for the British.


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Labuan Museum


The gallery in the 1st floor showcases the chronological history of Labuan Island from prehistory, through the British Colonial era, Japanese occupation, post-war period and to the development of Labuan as a Federal Territory. Upstairs, in the 2nd floor, the gallery features the exhibition on social, cultural and economic lives of the main ethnic groups making up the island's population. There is a replica of the traditional house, a diorama of water village and colorful traditional costumes on display.


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some items on display


Since the 15th century, Labuan was a part of the Bruneian Sultanate Empire and later was acquired by the British in 1846 through the "Treaty of Labuan". The Japanese then came during World War II and occupied the island as part of the Northern Borneo Unit until 1945 when they surrendered and the island was returned to British again. Labuan was a part of Sabah when the later joined Malaysia in year 1963. And in 1984, the Federal Government decided to change the status of Labuan as a Federal Territory. The name of the island, Labuan, derives from the Malay word, "Labuhan" which means port or harbor. Other theory suggested that the word actually refers to an anchorage.


The majority ethnics in Labuan are the Bumiputras such as Malay, Kedayan, Kadazan-Dusun, Bajau and Murut along with other races such as Chinese and Indian. There are significant number of expatriates live in the island too.


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some artifacts from World War II


Labuan Museum is open everyday from 8:30am-5:00pm with ZERO admission fee.


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Located across the street from the Labuan Museum is a large field known as "Labuan Square".


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Labuan Square


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Blue Wave, 1 of the pubs and lounges in the island is located near the Labuan Square


Also known as "Dataran Labuan", it is strategically located in the middle of Labuan Town. Labuan Square is the main venue place where the island's major events such as National Day and Federal Territory parades are held. It is beautifully landscaped with variety of shrubs, fountains and waterfalls. In this square, you will find 4 replicas of "The Chimney", another major landmark of Labuan Island which located in Tanjung Kubong. There are also 4 flames and forest trees planted by the island's residents of various races to mark the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II that can be seen standing tall in the square area .


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4 replicas of The Chimney


14 flags of the 13 states and a Federal Territory that make up Malaysia flutter in a row atop tall flagpoles on the square's raised stage.


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14 flags of 13 states and a Federal Territory with Malaysian flag in the middle


Labuan Square gives you a whole view of Labuan Town. Named after the former Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Ireland, "Victoria" is the small capital city of Labuan. British General Officer, Captain Sir Rodney Mundy visited the island under the name of Queen Victoria when the then Sultan of Brunei, Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin II ceded the island to the British. But nowadays, most of Labuan's residents prefer to call their capital as "Bandar Labuan" or Labuan Town only.


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View of Labuan Town.


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Time Square, the latest shopping mall that recently built in Labuan Town


With a total population of less than 100,000, it is not surprising that Labuan is relatively quiet and empty. Besides support from the locals, most of business activities in Labuan dependent on the short stay visitors such as those who travel under company trip or leisure travelers from nearby towns in Sabah and Brunei. Due to its peaceful environment with no traffic jam and low crime rate recorded, some people suggested that Labuan could be a perfect place for retirees.
 
deanhizudy
Topic Author
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:47 am

Re: A Weekend Getaway In Labuan

Thu Nov 10, 2016 4:08 am

From Labuan Square, I returned back to my hotel with a taxi which located at the front of the Financial Park building.


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you need to purchase a coupon to ride the taxi


The RM15 taxi ride brought me to Tiara Labuan Hotel safely. I went to the reception desk for check-in, paid the full amount of RM440 (around USD105) for 2 nights and collected my room key. The friendly bellhop carried my luggage and ushered me to my room which located at the end of the 2nd floor.


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room 225


And here is my room. Fully equipped with a living room, kitchen, balcony and complimentary Wi-Fi. Not bad for the price that I paid!


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living room


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kitchen


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bedroom

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balcony


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view from the balcony


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view of my room from the balcony


After a quick shower, I went down for dinner at 1 of the hotel's cafes.


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the view from the hotel's corridor. It seems like this hotel is situated next to a "thick jungle".


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Blue Bayu Lounge, 1 of the bars in Tiara Labuan Hotel.


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The Grill cafe is the main place for dining in Tiara Labuan Hotel. This is also the same cafe where daily breakfast will be served.


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The Grill cafe


Apart from me, there was only 1 group of foreigners in that cafe.


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a big Beef Burger, so juicy and tasty.


After the nice dinner, I returned back to my room and I called it a day.


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deanhizudy
Topic Author
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:47 am

Re: A Weekend Getaway In Labuan

Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:33 am

It was my 2nd day in Labuan. After a shower, I went down to The Grill Cafe for breakfast.


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my first morning in Labuan


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that morning, I found out that the "thick jungle" next to the hotel is actually a golf course


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on my way to the cafe


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The buffet for breakfast was fairly basic, but they served something special such as Grill Lamb.


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Grill Lamb for breakfast


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Salad bar


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exactly the same table where I had my dinner on a previous night


After breakfast, I returned back to my room and watched Olympic Rio on TV.


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tv in the living room


In the afternoon, I called the Labuan Taxi and had arrangement with them to pick me up at the hotel 2 hours later. The attractions that I would like to visit on the 2nd day, Labuan Bird Park and the Chimney are located quite far from city center and almost impossible to reach by walking.

While waiting for the taxi to arrive, I went to the hotel's pool for a dip.


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this pool is so perfect for those who love to swim in a full privacy


After a great time in the pool, I returned to my room and getting myself ready to explore the rest of the island. The taxi that I called earlier had arrived and it was punctual.


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riding the Labuan Taxi


The view along the journey was amazing. We passed a military camp, an international school, green forest and the sea.


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forest


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the sea


Around 20 minutes later, we arrived at Labuan Bird Park in a place called "Tanjung Kubong" . The taxi ride cost me RM25 and if you would like to get a better price, please negotiate with the driver or ask him to follow the meter instead.


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Labuan Bird Park (Malay: Taman Burung Labuan)


This bird park is occupying an area of 6.9 hectares and it is the home to over 580 birds of various species including some rare species that can only be found in the deep jungle of Borneo.


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most of the birds are kept in 3 large geodesic domes which connected via 4 tunnels


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various kinds of Hornbills are kept in this huge cage


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Bird park in Labuan may not be as impressive as the one in KL, but it is still worth to visit especially if you have high interest on birds or travel with family. Labuan Bird Park is open everyday from 10am-5pm and the entrance fee for an adult is only RM5.


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A short walk from Labuan Bird Park is where the mysterious Chimney is located.


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A small museum is situated at the foothill of the Chimney.


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Chimney Museum (Malay:Muzium Chimney)


This museum was officially opened on 26th October 2002 and it features 2 exhibition galleries which designed based on the chronological order of history and events that took place when Tanjung Kubong was the center for coal mining activity during British administration from year 1847-1911.

The gallery in the 1st floor is divided into several segments such as the early history of Tanjung Kubong, coal mining industry and railway development in Labuan.
There is also a diorama of the coal mining tunnel.


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The gallery on the 2nd floor showcases some exhibition which related to the history of the Chimney as well as the conservation and excavation works that took place at the Chimney site.


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some of the artifacts belonged to the miners


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some of the artifacts found in the mining site


Known among the locals as "Punil", the Chimney is 1 of the unique and famous structures in Labuan island. With the height of 32.5 meter, this monument appears square shaped with thousands of bricks were used to construct it, reflecting a typical English architecture.


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Excavation works revealed that the Chimney's base comprised of at least 12 layers of bricks (approximately 1 meter) in the formation of steps.


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inside of the Chimney


Various theories have been put forward on the actual purpose and function of the Chimney. It was long thought that the Chimney was just a ventilation shaft for the underground tunnel, but the excavation work did not found any tunnel under the Chimney. In addition, the inner walls of the Chimney show no sign of burning. The other theory claimed that the Chimney was a light house beaconing the passing ships in Raffles Anchorage, an ancient port that used to exist in that area. While according to the locals, the Chimney was used as a bell tower to announce the arrival of the ships.


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inside of the Chimney


Till this date, the real reason for the creation of the Chimney remains unknown and a mystery.


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deanhizudy
Topic Author
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:47 am

Re: A Weekend Getaway In Labuan

Fri Nov 25, 2016 9:31 am

From the Chimney, I wanted to go to 1 of the famous eating places in Labuan for dinner. I called the Labuan Taxi again to bring me there.

10 minutes later, we arrived at "Anjung Ketam", which located in a small fishing village.


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Anjung Ketam


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small fishing village


A seafood restaurant such as Anjung Ketam can be found all over the island because Labuan is well-known for its fresh and cheap seafoods.


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welcome to Anjung Ketam


Anjung Ketam consists of 4 seafood stalls offering almost similar menus. This place can get very crowded from 7pm onward, thus an advance booking is advised if you would like to come around that time.


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live seafoods in the tanks



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I chose stall number 1


The list of seafoods with their styles of cooking and prices. Aren't they cheap?


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yes, the word "Ketam" means Crab in Malay


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It didnt take a long time for the foods to arrive on my table.


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Buttermilk Crab, Salted Egg Prawns & Steamed Ginger Gong-Gong (Dog Conch). The light blue-colored plastic container is for you to place the shells.


Anjung Ketam offers its guests a breathtaking view of sunset while dining.


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A low-flying military aircraft is a common sight in Labuan as the island is 1 of the most important bases for the Royal Malaysian Air Force.


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It was really a good dinner and I enjoyed every moment of it especially with the stunning view.


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I left Anjung Ketam minutes before it gets very crowded. I took the same taxi for my return ride to the hotel and I went straight to the bed.


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deanhizudy
Topic Author
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:47 am

Re: A Weekend Getaway In Labuan

Fri Dec 09, 2016 9:43 am

It was my 3rd and also the last day in Labuan. After woke up, I went down to The Grill Cafe for breakfast.


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fresh fruits & cereals


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I had the same table for the 3rd day in a row.


Finished with breakfast, I returned back to my room to pack my stuffs and watch some news on tv. Then, I went to the lobby for the early check-out. As it was still early for me to go to the airport, I decided to spend my last few hours in Labuan by going to the beach which located near the hotel. I left my luggage at the reception desk.


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This beach is known as "Tanjung Batu Beach". Just like many other places in the island, beaches in Labuan are pretty deserted too and Tanjung Batu Beach is not an exception.


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I have to admit that the beach was not really clean. But no need to worry, what you have to do is just pick the cleanest spot on the beach and settle down there. The atmosphere was really serene and peaceful but sometimes, the quietness was disturbed by the loud sound of the low-flying military aircraft.


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I spent hours on this beach to swim in the sea, sunbathing, enjoy the view and then repeat. After a great time on the beach, I returned back to the hotel to catch the complimentary shuttle to the airport.


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Tiara Labuan Hotel provides multiple daily complimentary shuttle from the hotel to the airport and vice versa to its guests


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it was just a short ride to the airport.


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Labuan Airport terminal has the similar design with many other major airports in Malaysia


Befitting its small size, Labuan Airport is served by only 3 carriers; Malaysia Airlines, Air Asia and MASwings. Other activities in the airport are mainly by the helicopter companies which transporting the Oil & Gas workers to the offshore.


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a historical plaque in the airport


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Air Asia's ticketing office


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MASwings & Malaysia Airlines's ticketing office


I proceeded to the check-in counter to collect my boarding pass and drop my luggage. Later, I went to McDonald's for lunch before make my way to the departures level which located at the 2nd floor of the terminal.


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Then, I found out that my flight to KL which scheduled to depart at 5:55pm was pushed to 6:30pm. Great!


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deanhizudy
Topic Author
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:47 am

Re: A Weekend Getaway In Labuan

Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:11 am

This delay caused me to have more time to kill. I did anything that I could to fulfill this extra time. I browsed through all of the shops, stores & outlets in the airport. I even went outside of the terminal to capture this huge Marlin statue.


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I returned inside to the terminal and saw on the FIDS screen that my departure gate is now open.


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I went through a security screening and walked towards the sole departure gate in Labuan airport. The waiting hall was packed because passengers for Air Asia and MASwings flights were there too.


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Finally, the long-awaited time had arrived. The gate agent announced that Malaysia Airlines flight to Kuala Lumpur is ready for boarding and every passengers invited to board the aircraft. As usual, family traveling with small kids were called first followed by J class and premier Enrich members. But unlike the inbound flight, the Y-class passengers were not called based on their row, thus it created a little chaos at the gate.


Airlines: Malaysia Airlines
Flight: MH2635
Origin: Labuan Airport (LBU)
Destination: Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL)
Class: Y
Seat: 8B
ETD: 1755 (Actual: 1830)
ETA: 2015 (Actual: 2115)


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MASwings ATR to Kota Kinabalu


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our aircraft


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my seat, 8B. Seat 8A is windowless, so I didn't get really upset for having a middle seat.


It was a full load on both cabins. There were 5 cabin crew on this flight, 2 stewardesses in J class and 3 stewards in Y. The boarding process was completed within 15 minutes and our aircraft make its way to the runway for take off.


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LED mood lighting of the Boeing Sky Interior


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safety demo


Around 20 minutes in the air, the meal service began. From my seat, I can hear the crew asking passengers, "Would you like Chicken Lasagna or Sweet & Sour Fish with Rice?". When the crew reached my row, I immediately said, "Chicken Lasagna!", even before the crew open his mouth to ask me. I also requested a glass of Coke for drink.


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the meal was accompanied by a pack of Mori biscuit and the airlines' signature Salted Peanuts.


The Lasagna proved to be the right decision. It was so hot, flavorful and delicious.


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another great meal by Malaysia Airlines


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watching "The Revenant" starring Leonardo DiCaprio


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Around 30 minutes later, the crew came to collect the trays and offered the 2nd round of beverages. I didn't finished watching the movie and went to sleep instead. I woke up when the aircraft was about to land in KLIA. The landing was really rough and then it was a long taxi to the gate.


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safely arrived in KL


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it took about 15 minutes for our luggage to arrive
 
rttlnsnk
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:23 pm

Re: A Weekend Getaway In Labuan

Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:20 pm

Nice review. Brought back memories on my trip to Labuan on MH last year. Another reason to visit Labuan is the availability of cheap alcohol due to it's duty free status.
 
deanhizudy
Topic Author
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:47 am

Re: A Weekend Getaway In Labuan

Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:33 am

rttlnsnk wrote:
Nice review. Brought back memories on my trip to Labuan on MH last year. Another reason to visit Labuan is the availability of cheap alcohol due to it's duty free status.


I like the island so much. So calm, quiet & peaceful.
 
deanhizudy
Topic Author
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:47 am

Re: A Weekend Getaway In Labuan

Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:03 am

After I collected my luggage, I went to level 1 of the main terminal building to ride the ERL KLIA Transit train to KL Sentral Station.

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40 minutes later, I arrived at KL Sentral, where I switched to LRT Kelana Jaya Line to return home.


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finally back in KL


The next day, it was still an off day for me, so I took that opportunity to do a sightseeing in KL.


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Kuala Lumpur in a bright, sunny afternoon


A few years ago, Kuala Lumpur Tourism Bureau has launched a free guided walking tour which consists of 4 trails. They are:

1) Free Dataran Merdeka Heritage Guided Tour (The Heritage Trail)
2) Old KL & Nature Walk
3) Jalan-Jalan At Kampong Bharu
4) Kuala Lumpur Night Walk


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Every tour will bring guests to 7-12 key landmarks & attractions complete with a knowledgeable tour guide for FREE. Let say, if you decided to stay in KL for 4-5 days, then you can join each tour on every different day. This FREE guided walking tour is such a really great bargain for any traveler in KL could get.


I was really interested to join the tour number 3, “Jalan-Jalan at Kampong Bharu”. Literally translated as “walking” or “go outing” in Kampong Bharu, this 2.5 hours (4:30pm-7:00pm) tour will bring travelers to discover the history, custom & tradition in the traditional neighborhood of Kampong Bharu. It is held on every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday with the meeting point is at the historical building of Kelab Sultan Sulaiman.


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Jalan-Jalan at Kampong Bharu guided walking tour pamphlet


Basically, you just can walk-in at the meeting point (like what I did) to join this tour, but you also can make a pre-booking by email to them at pelancongan@dbkl.gov.my or enquiries@kltourismbureau.com.my to avoid a disappointment as each tour is limit to around 25 guests only. All guests are advisable to be at the meeting point at least 15 minutes before the guided tour start.


On that day, I arrived at the Kelab Sultan Sulaiman building at 4:10pm and it seems I was the earliest person to arrive.


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Few minutes later, the tour guide, Mr Shah arrived and ushered me to a restaurant located inside the building to fill up the registration form.


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Soon, I was joined by 4 more tourists (all of them came separately) for a total of 5 guests in this tour. After we finished fill up the registration form, Mr Shah introduced himself and conducted a briefing with some other basic information about this tour. After the briefing session done, we were off to start the tour!


The first attraction that we covered in this tour was the Kelab Sultan Sulaiman building itself. Established in year 1901, the Kelab Sultan Sulaiman was formed as a social & meeting place for the Elite Malays. In 1946, the first Malay congress was held here which lead to the creation of UMNO, Malaysia’s largest political party. It was named after the then Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sir Alaedin Sulaiman Shah Ibni Almarhum Raja Muda Musa who ruled the state from year 1898 until 1938. The present Kelab Sultan Sulaiman is actually a new building that was officiated by the then deputy prime minister, the late Tun Abdul Razak on 30 April 1969.


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Mr Shah explaining to us the history of Kelab Sultan Sulaiman building


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the portrait of Sultan Sir Alaedin Sulaiman Shah in the building's lobby


Then, we walked out from the Kelab Sultan Sulaiman to go to the next attraction. While walking, Mr Shah gave us some brief history of Kampong Bharu. Kampong Bharu (commonly spelled as “Kampung Baru” among locals) was gazetted as a Malay agricultural settlement in year 1900 by the Colonial British administrators to allow the Malays to retain their village lifestyle within the city. There is not only 1 village here but instead there are 7 traditional villages located in the area between the Klang & Gombak rivers that merged to form Kampong Bharu, which means “new village” in Malay language.


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the other 4 tourists in this tour


A short walk later, we arrived at the Master Mat's House. This blue colored traditional house was built and owned by a well-respected guy named Haji Ahmad bin Mohamed who commonly known as “Master Mat” among the local residents. He was the former headmaster of an English school located in Setapak, KL.


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Designed in Malay-Palladian style, Master Mat’s House is raised on stone pillars with concrete balustrade staircase while its local-style gable roof is covered with clay tiles. Today, this beautiful house is still occupied by Master Mat's 3rd generation. Here, Mr Shah explained to us about the house's architecture, the functions of its designs and also introduced to us some traditional herbs and plants that can be found in the Master Mat's garden.


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From Master Mat's House, we walked to the right side of the road where this classical white building is standing. It is the Kelab Sultan Sulaiman Gallery.


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Unsurprisingly also known as the “White House”, Kelab Sultan Sulaiman Gallery is actually a replica to the original building of Kelab Sultan Sulaiman which was demolished in year 1967. It was recreated in year 2007 to remember the once iconic structure for the whole residence of Kampong Bharu.


After explaining to us about the Kelab Sultan Sulaiman Gallery, Mr Shah shared some interesting facts about these huge trees that located near the gallery's gate which known as "Pokok Pukul 5" or 5 O'Clock Tree. Why they were named as 5 O'Clock Tree? Well, this is because their leaves will automatically open at 5 O'Clock everyday. Mr Shah also told us that these trees are not natives of Malaysia but instead, they were brought to this land by the British from South American continent.


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deanhizudy
Topic Author
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:47 am

Re: A Weekend Getaway In Labuan

Fri Feb 10, 2017 9:27 am

From the Kelab Sultan Sulaiman Gallery, we walked a bit further, crossed a busy road to get to the other side of Kampong Bharu and finally we arrived at 1 of the most famous Malay food stalls in Kampong Bharu.


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a mural painting on the wall that we met along the way



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This kind of Malay food stall can be found everywhere all over Malaysia and normally it get packed with customers during the lunch hour. Here, Mr Shah introduced to us some of the typical foods available in a Malay food stall and how they are normally served (buffet style) particularly during the lunch hour. He also taught us the correct way to order and pay our foods. All the other guests who are foreigners definitely learned many new things from this tour =).



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1 of the common foods that you will find in a Malay food stall is the "Ikan Bakar" or Grilled Fish



From foods, we moved to learn on traditional Malay herbs and medicines. Located outside of the food stall is a small stall owned by a middle aged Malay man selling various kinds of Malaysian herbal and wild plants. Here, the seller himself (instead of Mr Shah) gave us all the necessary information related to the products and items available in his stall.



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We learned about the names, species, origins and the functions for most of the traditional herbs and plants. They are commonly used as a medicine for some ailments, serious diseases and even for cosmetic purposes by the Malay community since the ancient times. There are also some traditional herbs that used as a Testosterone booster such as the "Tongkat Ali" ;-)



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The seller said that he will be here at his stall until midnight, so anyone who interested to buy his products can come find him at the exact spot after the tour ended. We waved goodbye to him and continued our tour. After we left the herbal stall, we met with many other Malay food stalls located at both sides of the street that we were walking.



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This street called "Jalan Raja Muda Musa" is already well-known as Malay Foods Street among the locals and 1 of the famous eateries that you can find here is the "Nasi Lemak Antarabangsa".



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this stall looks pretty deserted now but it will get very crowded later from late evening until midnight



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Located at the same street is Rumah Limas, 1 of the main landmarks inside this tour. Rumah Limas or "Limas House" is a traditional house originally from South Sumatra, Indonesia. In Malaysia, Rumah Limas is commonly found in the states of Selangor, Johor & Terengganu.



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This Rumah Limas in Kampong Bharu was constructed in year 1931 and subsequently rebuilt in 1949 after it got damaged in the World War II. Some parts of the house were renovated but its unique roof plan and architectural style are maintained in their original conditions. Today, just like Master Mat’s House, Rumah Limas is occupied by the 3rd generation of its original owner. All of us including Mr Shah took a group selfie with this beautiful traditional house as a background.



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Rumah Limas appeared on the cover of Jalan-Jalan at Kampong Bharu's pamphlet



Our group then dropped by at 1 of the many stalls on the street because all 5 of us (especially those foreigners in this tour) wanted to purchase some local evening snacks and taste new things. Mr Shah as an excellent tour guide, did not hesitate in helping all the foreign guests during the buying process.



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Kuih-Muih (local snacks and sweet stuffs)



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Later, we continued our walk until we reached at the former site of Saturday night market. This area was the first & oldest Malay trading hub in KL dated back in the 1930s. During the modern era, there was a huge night market took place in this site on every Saturday night. But since few years ago, the site for the night market was relocated to a new location that will be visited by us later in this tour. Today, this former Saturday night market site is still busy with business activities mainly from shops that sell clothing, shoes & accessories.



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We visited 1 Malay tailor shop where Mr Shah shared with us some interesting information on the history, meaning, custom and etiquette behind the traditional Malay attire. Later, Mr Shah did a demo on how to wear a "Kain Samping", a piece of cloth that normally made up by Songket and commonly worn by a Malay man with a "Baju Melayu". Mr Shah explained that if a man is wearing the Kain Samping higher than his knees, it indicates that the man is still single and if the Kain Samping is wearing lower than his knees, it means that the man is married. But if a married man is wearing the Kain Samping higher or exactly the same level with his knees, that indicates the married man is looking for a 2nd wife =) . Of course, this kind of practice shouldnt be taken too seriously by our modern society.



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moby147
Posts: 94
Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:30 am

Re: A Weekend Getaway In Labuan

Fri Feb 10, 2017 9:42 pm

A super report on a little known island, with a nice bit of info on KL

Thank you for taking the time

Moby147
 
deanhizudy
Topic Author
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:47 am

Re: A Weekend Getaway In Labuan

Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:45 am

moby147 wrote:
A super report on a little known island, with a nice bit of info on KL

Thank you for taking the time

Moby147


Not a prob!

My pleasure ;-)
 
deanhizudy
Topic Author
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:47 am

Re: A Weekend Getaway In Labuan

Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:36 am

After learning some interesting info and facts about traditional Malay textiles & clothing, we left the tailor shop and headed to our next attraction which located a bit far from there. We also need to be careful with our walk as the traffic in Kampong Bharu started to gets heavy during evening with cars and bikes roaming on the streets.



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1 of the many traditional houses in Kampong Bharu



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Bagasta boutique hotel



About 6 minutes later, we arrived at the front of this striking-looking mosque. Kampong Bharu Jamek Mosque or "Masjid Jamek Kampong Bharu" is 1 of the many Jamek mosques that you can find in Malaysia. It has functioned as a community center in this area for over hundred years since its founding in 1920s. This mosque incorporates Mughal & Malay elements in its architecture with exquisite mosaics adorning the archway to the main prayer hall building.



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Unlike many other famous mosques in KL, the Kampong Bharu Jamek Mosque doesn’t has a dedicated period of time for the non-Muslim visitors to pay a visit (at present), so they just can view this mosque only from the outside. During the holy month of Ramadhan, this mosque will distribute a special type of rice porridge called “Bubur Lambuk” to the public, a tradition that has been practiced since 1950s.



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And located across the road from the mosque is a long stretch of street known as "Jalan Raja Alang". By the evening, this street will be transformed into a very vibrant and bustling place as the area is full with many street hawkers selling various fresh produces ranging from fruits, vegetables, snacks, foods, meats to even plants and flowers. Many folks from both locals and outsiders love to come here to buy their necessities on a daily basis.



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Jalan Raja Alang or "Raja Alang Street"



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shops selling traditional healthcare & beauty products



In this street, we visited several fruit stalls where Mr Shah suggested to us some of the best local Malaysian fruits that we should try including the famous "Musang King Durian".



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at the fruit stall selling Durians
 
deanhizudy
Topic Author
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:47 am

Re: A Weekend Getaway In Labuan

Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:55 am

From the street bazaar area, we reached to the final attraction in our tour, the “Gurdwara Tatt Khalsa”. It was built in year 1922 and believed to be the largest Sikh Temple in South-East Asia. Till this date, it remains as 1 of the main places of worship & religious schools for the Sikh community in Kuala Lumpur. Visitors of all religions are welcomed to visit this temple and they may have a chance to experience a complimentary Vegetarian lunch held at its large dining area on every Sunday.


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Why there is a really huge Sikh temple in this Muslim-majority neighborhood? Mr Shah told us that the land where this Sikh temple is standing is actually bordering with "Chow Kit", a more multiracial area.


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Around 7:50pm, our tour eventually came towards the end. We went to the lobby of the Regency Hotel which located nearby where we filled up a feedback form, thanked Mr Shah and waved the final goodbye. After the tour, I explored Kampong Bharu on my own to search the best eating place for my dinner.


In the evening, the whole area of Kampong Bharu turns very happening & lively with many food stalls, cafes and restaurants open up until late night.


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Besides traditional Malaysian, there are also some Thai & Middle Eastern restaurants as well as few steakhouses in Kampong Bharu. Regardless of which restaurant or eating place that you decided to dine in, most of the foods here shared something in common; their prices are incredibly cheap!


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some sweet stuffs


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more sweet stuffs


I had my dinner at "Suraya Seafood" which located very close to the Kampong Bharu Jamek Mosque. This restaurant was very pack and crowded but luckily I managed to find a place to seat.


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fresh seafoods


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noodle with seafoods & salads


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grilled seafoods & sausages on skewers


Kampong Bharu is also famous among travelers who are looking for an affordable place to stay in KL. There are different types of accommodations available for you to choose from boutique & budget hotels to the comfortable homestays. Earlier this year, Kampong Bharu is listed as 1 of the world's trendiest neighborhood by Airbnb. This traditional village is well-connected with other parts of the city via efficient public transportation with the closest stations are "Kampung Baru" (LRT-Kelana Jaya Line) & "Chow Kit" (KL Monorail Line).


With great foods, authentic cultures and friendly neighborhood, a visit to Kampong Bharu will certainly give you a unique & exciting experiences.


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Thank you for reading my TR, feel free to view my very first baby TR right here:

http://www.airliners.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=979733


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