Borneo by road- Labuan Part 1

My first road trip to Labuan, from Kota Kinabalu by car, was in June 2013 which was outdated. But I still keep this story because that’s how I started. Recently, in April 2019, I was back to blogging again and had added this trip as Part 1 because the Part 2 will be my updated journey in July 2019. So follow my blog to continue the story on this date.

Labuan comes from a Malay word ‘labohan’ (meaning port) has recorded various historical events since centuries ago.

It was 18th June 2013, when we drove our car, Betsy to Labuan for the first time, via a car ferry from Menumbok and stayed 2 nights at Siang Guest House. It only took one and half hour on the car ferry to reach Labuan from Menumbok. Labuan, also known as Pearl of Borneo is a paradise, with the cheapest booze in the world and cigarettes are cheap too compared to Kota Kinabalu. 

This is our Shopping spree in Labuan

Smirnoff vodkha- The giant bottle ( 3 litres) only cost us Rm 75! The red smirnoff  vodkha of 750ml  was Rm 28.

A cartoon of Dunhill cigarettes cost Rm 62 & Carlsberg beer Rm 48.

M&M of 430g is Rm 27.50

Cadbury chocolate 220g, Rm 8.50 and Kit Kat chocolates Rm38

We set off our road adventure around 8 am on a Tuesday. It was a sunny day. We took our sweet time driving while enjoying the scenery. It only took us about three hours to reach Meumbok Ferry Terminal. We arrived around 11 am and the ferry was scheduled to leave only at 1 pm. While waiting, we ordered something to eat and something cool to quench our thirst at the coffee shop as its a hot day. Meumbok town was a simple town with only one or 2 shops next to the ferry terminal. It was easy to drive to Menumbok from Kota Kinabalu. There were ample signboards every way for directions.

A brief map of driving routes from Kota Kinabalu to Menumbok and from Menumbok crossing the South China Sea by car ferry to Labuan.
Junction from main road: Turn right from here to lead you to the road to Menumbok. Look for road signboard written Kuala Penyu and Menumbok with arrow pointing right
Road to Menumbok
Menumbok town next to car ferry terminal. It’s a small fishing village with only 2-3 stalls. I would advised you to have your breakfast before you arrive or wait till you reach Labuan.

Car ferry tickets were sold inside this yellow building after booking was made via phone.

Our car, Betsy fare was only Rm 40 with driver included and extra passenger of Rm 2.50 each.

Contact Marianah +6088-257199 or +60168347542

This is Marianah at Kimanis 1 ferry ticket counter. She was very helpful with any information about car ferry to and from Labuan.
There was 2 companies operating this services: Wawasan Perdana and Kimanis 1. It’s advisable to book early to avoid disappointment because it’s always full especially on weekends and holidays .

Kimanis1 leaves Menumbok every 8 am and 1 pm, and returns from Labuan at 10.30am and 3.30pm. We were advised to arrive at least a hour before departure.

Arrived at Labuan Terminal @ 2.30pm
Siang Home Stay in Labuan runs by Mr & Mrs Kok
Family room for 5 person with ensuite bathroom @150 per night
Whether it’s single or double room, its still RM60 per night
Dorm type for 5 person @ 30 per person
Twin bedroom, our favourite@ Rm60 per night. Very clean and comfortable beds that guarantee a good night sleep.
Comfortable spacious sitting hall
Spacious dinning hall with a sink and refrigerator

Labuan is a very clean and peaceful state in Malaysia. We drove round the island which is approximately only 48 km. One thing I like about Labuan, is the lifestyle, people there were so simple and in slow pace. Even driving is a pleasure. A great change compare to our busy buzzing city lifestyle in Kota Kinabalu. 

                     People here are very friendly and always smiles at you even at the coffee shops. Here,the air is so fresh and unpolluted even though its very hot. An ideal place for retired couple like us strolling down the beach in our own pace. We looked like roasted lobster by the time we returned home to Kota Kinabalu. 

                    Siang Home-Stay was a good choice of stay but you need a car. The place is spotless clean. The bed is comfortable with clean fresh bed sheets. The shared bathroom  is also very clean. Anyone who stayed here must try the shower, it’s heaven! We really enjoyed our stay at Siang Home-stay and would like to come back again for a longer stay, at least for 5-7 nights.

Picture the left : Gaya Street, Kota Kinabalu Picture on the right : Labuan town. Look at the present roof and the buildings- they are from the colonial days.

Tourism Info center. Get your free post cards here! Post office is next door, only 50 sen stamp to international countries and 30 sens within Malaysia

In front of the Tourism information center is the Museum which opens daily from 8.30 am to 5 pm except on Eid or Haj holidays. Admission : free

According to history, Labuan was owned by England in 1890 and governed by Singapore. (information from the Museum) .

Botanic garden, as once the residence of the Island’s Governor built in 1852 before it was destroyed in World War II . Admission : Free

The Chimney is the place where story of Coal Mine begun. Opens daily from 8.30 am to 5 pm except on Eid and Haj holidays. Admission : Free


Bird Park is just a few steps from the Chimney Museum. Opens daily from 10 am-4.30 pm but closes on Friday, Eid or the month of Ramadan.

Admission Fee: Adult: Rm 3.50; Student/retiree/senior citizen: Rm 2 ; Disabled/children 6 + yrs : Rm 1 ;

Children below 5 yrs: free; Foreigner: Rm 5

University and college students lining up to buy tickets at the counter.                     

Look at ‘Mr handsome’! He walks proud with his head held high, chest out, back straight and his butt out. Mr handsome is so full of confidence! Partly because there were a few female species in front of him…Hahaha…..

One of the United Nation Beaches. Clean and unspoiled beach of ‘Pohon Batu’.

Palm Beach Resort, sometimes the hotel offers BBQ dinner from 6.30pm -10.30pm at Rm 48.80+ per person. Call 087-418700 for details.

There are esplanades in all United Nation Beaches-

Batu Manikar, Pohon Batu, Pancur Hitam, Layang2 ,Sg Labu, Sg Pagar and Sg Miri. You can walk right to the end of the esplanade and feel the breeze blowing on your face, the smell of sea and the sound of sea splashing against the rocks can make you feel   so good and relax. Picture taken here was about 6pm at Pohon Batu beach.

Peace Park adjacent to Surrender Point , both at Layang2 beach.


An’Nur Jamek Mosque- a unique shaped Mosque. 

Ha! Ha! Had a good meal at Mc Donald in the airport before we drove back to Siang Homestay which is only 5 minutes drive away!

Then out again to unwind at Blue Wave Pub. It was a good and enjoyable night. We had a good table outdoor, listening to the band music going on inside the pub while having our cold beer and watching the moon shinning brightly with the stars twinkling away in the dark sky.Lovely!

At  Labuan Ferry Terminal before boarding the ferry. Bye Labuan but we will be back! Have no doubt about it!

Our car, Betsy snuggled comfortably in the ferry.

Time to depart for Menumbok at 3.30 pm 

Arriving at Kota Kinabalu at 7.30 pm 

Home at last with all our goodies!

Looking forward for our next Borneo Road Adventure!!!!!!!

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