Labuan: 19 September 2009

I flew in to Kota Kinabalu by Air Asia last night. The flight was full. My seat was right at the back end of the plane where the toilet was so you can imagine the human traffic at my seat. But I was the second to get off the plane so I didn't have to queue too long at immigration. I recall putting my pen into my bag but I just couldn't find it. So I simply queued up, and borrowed a pen from the immigration officer when I got to the front of the queue. The flight crew said they didn't have enough immigration forms to give out. I didn't even see them giving out ANY.

I took the taxi to town for Rm 30. I find it expensive for such a short ride (10 minutes). Spent the night at Hotel Traveller. (Shoplot 27 & 28. Jalan Tugu, Kg Air. Tel: 088-256195, 256196. Email: A room with no window costs Rm 68 per night.

Room in Hotel Traveller

The 5-min taxi ride from the hotel to the Jesselton Ferry Terminal cost Rm 12 - expensive too.

Taxi stand outside Hotel Traveller

This morning I caught the 8am ferry to Pulau Labuan for Rm 34.

Ferry to Labuan

It was awfully cold on the ferry. I don't bring sweaters on my trips. At times, an irritating guy was playing some music on his radio for everyone to hear. They played 2 Hollywood movies during the ride.

On the ferry to Labuan

Labuan ferry terminal

I was glad to arrive on time 3 hours after departure from KK. I've never been here before, didn't research anything, don't have a map, and didn't book a hotel (I prefer to see what I'm getting. Pictures on the Internet always look better than the real thing). There were no maps at the ferry terminal. I managed to obtain a map from a travel agent after walking around for a while. The town is just around the Labuan International Ferry Terminal and the town is small. There's really not much to do in Labuan. Shopping here is duty-free but I seldom buy branded goods.

Buy cheap booze is widely available from shops like these.

There are many money changers in town.

Public library.

In case you're craving for Singapore chicken rice.

Not San Francisco but Labuan Fisherman's Wharf restaurant.

Furniture wholesale

Sale at a fabric shop.

Sale at a fabric shop.

I thought it looked like Bangkok's Chatuchak market but it's nothing like Chatuchak.

Fruit market

Wet market

People getting their last minute haircut and shave before the holidays.

Yes, you can buy Toto in Malaysia too.

I viewed the room in this hotel but I wasn't impressed. Only the outside of the building is new. The cheapest room is Rm98.
Hotel Ambassador Branch 2

I checked into a Rm 98 per night budget hotel - Pulau Labuan Inn. There are cheaper hotels available but I chose to pay a little more for a nicer room. Wifi is available but I don't have a Wifi device. The receptionist showed me a room on the first floor about 10 steps away from the reception counter. I didn't want that room because the radio at the reception was blasted very loudly. I took the room on the second floor.

The small road in front of the hotel.

Behind the hotel are pubs, eateries and a gaming LAN shop.

The gaming LAN shop that I went to.

Youths vandalising the wall outside the LAN shop.

At night, there are many patrons at the restaurants behind the hotel.

After I shower, I headed towards to the Sea Sports Complex to look for the dive shops. On my way there, I walked pass the "Financial Park" and noticed many people walking in and out. It's a Saturday, so why are they going to the Financial Park? I went in to take a look and it turned out that the first 2 levels consist of shops. I can't buy any clothes here because they aren't fashionable at all but I saw nice bags and shoes. Maybe I'll buy them after I return from Brunei.

Kingfisher spotted on the way to the Seasports Center. Click to enlarge.

Kingfisher spotted on the way to the Seasports Center. Click to enlarge.

Houses near the Seasports Center.

The clock tower that doesn't work.

I was sad to find the dive centers closed for the holidays. I didn't get to dive the wrecks. I had to make do with taking pictures at the Marine Museum instead. Entry to the museum is free. I even took a picture with a security guard. That was free too :)

Picture with security guard.

Anyway, I already had a back-up plan in mind. I'll be going to Brunei tomorrow by ferry. It's only a 1 hour 15 min ride away. I may spend the night at Brunei and return to Labuan on Monday or Tuesday. I have a Labuan-Miri flight booked for Tuesday afternoon so I'll need to be back in Labuan by Tuesday morning at the latest. Hopefully the weather and conditions at Miri will be good for diving. In the meantime, the only marine life I'll get to see is in the museum.

Lobster. Yummy.

Poisonous stonefish.

Anemone fish. Btw, tt's a transsexual.

A morey eel can bite your finger off. It's a transsexual too.

Real carcass of a whale

I'll update this post with pictures when I return to Singapore. Hopefully I can get Internet access in Brunei and Miri so that I can blog.

---Updated 19 Sep---
I went back to my room and found 4 small cockroaches. Managed to kill 3.
There's really nothing to do here and it's only 8.30pm. I'm researching Brunei at a gaming LAN shop and the Internet speed is great though it's very noisy here! The speed at the "normal" type of Internet cafe which I went to just now was horribly slow.

---Updated 27 Sep---
There were more cockroaches when I returned to the room after blogging! I told the guy at the reception and he brought insecticide but I asked him to get me changed to another room. How was I supposed to sleep there with the smell of insecticide? He obliged and fortunately the other room on the third floor did not have any cockroaches.

Pictures added.
Airfare from Singapore to KK on AirAsia: SGD134
Taxi from airport to town: Rm30
Accommodation in KK: Rm68
Taxi from hotel to ferry terminal: Rm12
Ferry to Labuan: Rm34
Accommodation in Labuan: Rm98


Mouse said...

I live opposite sea sport complex for years, nv know there's a dive shop there. lol.. i think u have to make appointment few days prior. Financial park is the only place to "shop" on the island unfortunately.. there's some nice bbq chicken wing at sungai keling. they usually sold out in 2hrs. starts 430pm, most days!! :)

Yu-Kym said...

Mouse, there are 3 or 4 dive shops there. Thanks for the tip about the BBQ wings. I'll try to get them if I can.

andrewcha said...

i thought you're going to hiking? anyway do update more on Labuan and Brunei as well, if i got the chance next year April will follow my friends to hike mt. Kinabalu again, in the meantime will try to get more days to go around Sabah too.....

Yu-Kym said...

Hi Andrew, my friend couldn't make it for the Mt Kinabalu climb. I don't want to climb alone and I can't cancel my air ticket so I changed the itinerary.

I just blogged about my Brunei trip.

Shaun said...

Lesson learn : Get a wifi device..haha

Yu-Kym said...

Shaun, expensive leh. No sponsor. Haha

bathmate said...

This is wonderful posting. Thank you.


Anonymous said...

If you know where to go in Labuan, you can get some really fresh and yummy seafood.

Yu-Kym said...

Where's good for seafood? I'll go back next time to dive the wrecks.

Anonymous said...

pulau labuan inn~ near city area?
got any room's pictures?

Yu-Kym said...

Pulau labuan inn has cockroaches. You want to stay there?? The city is small. It's about 10 mins' walk to the ferry terminal.