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JPN Labuan

Labuan is a federal territory in East Malaysia. It is an island off the coast of the state of Sabah. Labuan's capital is Victoria and is best known as an offshore financial centre offering international financial and business services via Labuan IBFC since 1990 as well as being an offshore support hub for deepwater oil and gas activities in the region. It is also a tourist destination for nearby Bruneians and scuba divers. The name Labuan derives from the Malay word labuhan meaning anchorage.

The Federal Territory of Labuan comprises Labuan Island (75 km²) and six other smaller islands (Pulau Burung, Pulau Daat, Pulau Kuraman, Pulau Papan, Pulau Rusukan Kecil, and Pulau Rusukan Besar), which have a combined total area of 91 km². Labuan Island is mainly flat and undulating and the highest point is only 85 meters. Over 70% of the island is still covered with vegetation. Victoria, also Bandar Labuan in Malay, is the major town and faces Brunei Bay; access is via ferry service to Brunei and Kota Kinabalu, as well as Labuan Airport.

Labuan is only 8 km or twenty minute boat ride from Menumbok, a small fishing town in Sabah. High speed air-conditioned ferries ply daily to Labuan from Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei. The trip from Kota Kinabalu, capital of Sabah takes about 3 hours and about an hour from Negara Brunei Darussalam. It is roughly equidistant from Bangkok, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Manila and Singapore. There are direct flights from Kuala Lumpur as well as from Brunei.

There are several attractions and places of interest on Labuan.

The military cemetery contains various war graves and memorials to the fallen of World War II. This includes British, Australian, Indian, Sarawakian, Bruneian, North Borneo and Empire troops. There is also a memorial celebrating the surrender of the Japanese to the Australian Forces in 1945. There are also remnants of Labuan's history as a Royal Navy Coaling station, including 'the chimney', a well known local landmark. There is also a Labuan Maritime Museum.

Labuan is also the base for diving on four popular wreck dives: the Cement wreck, the American wreck, (the first USS Salute), the Australian wreck and the Blue Water wreck.

Labuan has many schools. However, it has only one international school, Labuan International School. Other places of interest include the Labuan International Sea Sport Complex. Newly proposed is the Marina centre and Labuan Square project which are expected to be completed in next two years from 2008.

Labuan's own institution of higher education is Universiti Malaysia Sabah Labuan International Campus, a branch of Universiti Malaysia Sabah in Sepanggar Bay, Kota Kinabalu. Labuan also has a matriculation college, Kolej Matrikulasi Labuan, the only matriculation college in East Malaysia. Thus, all pre-university students from Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan will take their courses here.

Labuan has a tropical climate with two annual monsoon seasons - the South West monsoon from April to June and the North East monsoon from September to December. It is free from hurricanes and typhoons and enjoys good climate all year round. Daily temperatures average between 28 to 32 degrees Celsius.

 
   

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