Trip To Labuan? Here Are The Best Things You Can Do!

Best things to do in Labuan
By: Cherelle Lim
August 25, 2023

Ever thought of visiting Labuan but have no idea what to do? Glitz has got you covered! Labuan is best known as a duty-free shopping heaven for chocolate lovers and liquor collectors. Although most visitors drop by this small island to do business trades, a handful of tourists can always be spotted stuffing their bags with chocolate! And for the adventurous souls and history buffs, Labuan is the best place to discover hidden secrets of history. So, here are the best things you can do in Labuan.

Best Things To Do In Labuan

Shipwreck Diving

Thrill-seekers should really go shipwreck diving in Labuan. There are up to 4 shipwrecks you can explore and there are tours to show you around too! If you love the ocean, swimming with a ton of fishes in a clear blue sea is the ideal vacation. Check out all four shipwrecks such as Australian, Blue Water, American Wrecks and Cement. Discover their stories and find out how each one ended up off the coast of Labuan for eternity. 

Duty-Free Shopping

One of the best things you can do in Labuan is to go shopping! Who said you could only get duty-free shopping at airports? Labuan is the shopping paradise everyone loves. From chocolate to liquor, Labuan is the place to stock up on some goodies! Thanks to its tax-free status, bargain hunters can always be seen trying to get a good price. Shop from designer bags to all the latest fashion!

Discover Hidden Beaches

Of course when you’re in East Malaysia, you can’t miss going to the beach! Especially in Sabah, there are a ton of beaches for you to explore. The island of Labuan is also rich with secret beaches waiting for you to discover. Ten minutes away from Labuan port is several untouched stretches of sand. These undeveloped beaches run along the northern and western coastline of Labuan. So if you want to get away from the touristy beaches and find a sandy haven of your own, check out these gorgeous beaches! Truly one of the best things to do in Labuan. 

Reconnect with Nature at the Botanical Gardens

If you have time to spare, be sure to get a second of serenity at a tropical paradise. The tropical splendour of Labuan’s Botanical Gardens is only a short distance from Labuan Town. Hundreds of plants, vibrant blooms, and shady areas can be found in the public park. Inside the grounds was the British Government House in the middle of the 19th century. During WW2, it was totally destroyed. Explore the park’s walkways to find miniature gardens, uncommon palm species, and the remnants of Government House. Keep a lookout for Labuan’s oldest cemetery, which was established back in 1847!

Visit the Marine Museum 

If you love the sea with a sprinkle of history, the best thing you can do in Labuan is visit the Marine Museum! The history of Labuan is inextricably entwined with the water. A little portion of Labuan Town’s vibrant marine past is on display at the Marine Museum to the east. A wonderful variety of artefacts recovered from Labuan’s four shipwrecks are displayed. An aquarium with starfish, corals, and sea cucumbers is among the additional parts. Inside the International Sea Sports Complex is the museum itself. And if you’re planning on diving down to the shipwrecks, this is the perfect pitstop!

Take a Trip to the Bird Park

One of the best things to do in Labuan that is also family-friendly is visiting the Bird Park! More than 580 birds are kept in semi-wild enclosures at Labuan Bird Park. Meet dozens of species inside, such as cockatoos, kingfishers, and hornbills. Other areas of the Bird Park are home to ostriches, eagles, and mynas. Discover the countless bird species that call Borneo’s ancient jungles home! The average visitor to one of the most family-friendly attractions typically spends one to two hours here.

Discover Labuan’s Origins

If you love learning about Malaysian history, then you’ll love visiting the Labuan Museum! Discover the island’s long culture, traditions and history right here. Read all about how the British colonists utilised Labuan to expand their influence into Borneo. Or, greet the earliest inhabitants of Labuan dating back thousands of years! You’ll also get a history lesson on Labuan’s crucial role during WW2. Learn about the coal mining industry and admire the colonial building of the Labuan Museum. If you happen to spot a small square of trees outside, they were actually planted in honour of Queen Elizabeth II coronation in 1953!

Step Into the Majestic Sikh Temple

Get ready to be awed by the majestic Gurdwara Sahib Sikh Temple! The Sikh community moved to Labuan in the 1860s and it has definitely left a mark. The Gurdwara Sahib is also an amazing example of Sikh architecture in Labuan. Covering up to 2-storeys high, this white-washed structure is the largest temple on the island. 

Travel Back in Time to the Largest War Memorial in Malaysia 

History buffs will love to visit the largest war memorial in Malaysia! At Labuan Island’s WW2 Memorial, a total of 3,908 soldiers rest. Here lies not only the Malaysian soldiers that laid their life for the war, but also soldiers from New Zealand, Australia, India and Britain. Moreover, this WW2 Memorial is located a few kilometres north of Labuan Tower. It also contains rows and rows of spectacular graves stretching endlessly to the horizons.