A long lost friend was recently found after he read my blog about my schooldays. When he saw the email of one of us he recognized he began writing email to him. On my side I saw his email address when he commented on my blogsite. Now we are connected again though we have yet to meet since we last parted ways 40 years ago after we finished schooling in Sultan Ibrahim School Pasir Mas, Kelantan in 1968. Now my friend resides in London and is a national of the United Kingdom.
The 'bas mini' filling up behind my bike is another convenient transportation around Labuan. Fares from Taman Mutiara to Labuan town a distance of 16 km used to cost RM0.60 one way before the price of fuel shot up. I guess the fare remains for now.
On the way to town I saw this beautiful building which turned out to be the Syariah Court.
Next to it is the Mesjid Jameq Annur. A beautiful piece of architecture.
Going through this entrance I saw this beautifully landscaped planter box with colorful flowers at the base of the flagpoles flying the Malaysian flag and the various state flags making up Malaysia.
Right across the road to Labuan Square is the former Hotel Labuan stood. Due to some reasons this hotel ceased operation some ten years ago. It once belonged to Datok Haris Salleh, the former Chief Minister of Sabah. Soon the hotel will be renovated and refurbished to provide much needed rooms to the visitors to Labuan. Suhaimi Jaafar hopefully you will come back to Labuan one day. This was where you met our junior in school by the name of Sharifah Hamizah while she was working for the hotel during those time.
Komplex Ujana Kewangan with the Beta Service Apartment beside it (Brown building).
Komplek Ujana Kewangan is a shopping complex with most of the government offices within it.
The Post Office with The TIC/ Tourism Malaysia office beside it.
The TIC Manager of Labuan.
After a brief introduction and recollection of the fair that happened two years ago, I informed Leona of what I am doing lately emphasising on blogging as my main activity.
According to her there are about 70,000 people living on the island and many residents come to work here. So just like its sister city of KL, the population of Labuan fluctuates immensely when these workers return home for the festivals.
According to their pamphlets Labuan is made up of Labuan Island and six other islets of Rusukan Kechil, Rusukan Besar, Kuraman, Daat, Papan and Burung. 15 places of interest on the island are listed on the pamphlet.Labuan town was once known as Victoria.
According to my blogger friend Nightwing you can drive around the island within an hour. That must be without seeing any of the places of interest. But yet he has never done that before.
Leona told me about a trip to Pulau Papan some ten minutes boat ride from the ferry terminal which is being organized by Perbadanan Labuan who manages the resort island of Pulau Papan. The island belongs to The mInistry of Fedarl Territory and has some accomodation facilities which was recently refurbished.The trip was planned for the next day and she suggested that I tag along if I am free. Never passing off such a an opportuinity, I promised to call her up later to confirm if I can get Lokman to nanny Balqis on Saturday while I visit Pulau Papan. (I did go to Pulau Papan that Saturday and will blog about it soon).
Upon leaving Leona's office I saw the museum directly in front of her office. To know and understand more about a place you must first visit their museum if there is one around.I went over to have a look. The entrance is free. And it is open from 9.00 AM to 5 PM everyday and is only closed on Hari Raya.
Leaving the museum I walked around looking for a place to have lunch. Surprise of surprise I saw this reataurant. It was here that I had meals with my wife when we visited Labuan ten years ago. The reason being the eating place was located right behind our hotel and the food then was OK.
I had rice with lots of vegetables for lunch and a piece of tenggiri curry. It cost me RM7.50 with a glass of sirap bandung.
Upon finishing lunch I walked over to the front of the building near the restaurant. This building was where The Federal Hotel was before.
The Federal Hotel that I stayed in before is no more there now. With the change of ownership, the hotel was refurbished and now is called Klasik Hotel and it is one of the three hotels in the stable of Ambassador Hotels. The others are named Ambassador Hotel 1 and Ambassador Hotel 2. The hotel now it is totally refurbished and fitted with a lift. I remember lugging my suitcase up the stairs to the second floor room ten years ago.The town of Labuan is clean. The streets have trees that provide cooling shades. Seats are also provided to rest those tired legs after walking around.
The above picture shows a former cinema being converted to a billiard parlour.
Victoria hotel is another old hotel and another old landmark of Labuan. Remember the old name for Labuan was Victoria and if you were to use Google Earth, Victoria is clearly indicated on it.
This is the bus stand in town. Only minibus plies the roads in Labuan. Taxis are available too.
You will see many people wearing coverall in Labuan. These are provided by their employers. Most are made of Fire Retarding Compound material for their safety especially for those involved in the oil and gas industry.
Hotel Pulau Labuan is another chain of hotels in Labuan. Below is another of their new hotel being built.
I will have to continue my rediscovery of Labuan another time as I had promised Lokman that I would be home early to go to Layang Layangan to enjoy the delicious satey there.
It had rained earlier so there were not many patrons. We managed to get our order soon after we placed it.Here are some pictures of Lokman, Balqis and me enjoying ourselves at the Layang Layangan satey joint.
The satey man and his helpers.
We ordered 15 sticks and I ended up eating 10 of them and Lokman had to order chicken wings to make up for the imbalance to his share of the satey.
A piece of chicken wing cost RM1.60 inclusive of all the cholesterol.
Balqis was ecstatic when I fed her with the flesh of a young coconut. Even young Balqis knows when something is good to eat.
I will kiss her cheek for Daphne Ling after I have cleaned up the remnants of the cocnut flesh on her cheek.
OK folks, we will see more of Labuan in the next post.