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Labuan is a duty free shopping paradise between Malaysia and Brunei also known for scuba diving at some spectacular wrecks.
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Labuan is a large island surrounded by coral reefs just north of Brunei Bay but belonging to Malaysia. It has always been a rich island, where taxes are nonexistent, attracting ships and traders throughout the world. There were many battles between the Japanese and Allied forces during World War II leaving quite a few shipwrecks behind. In the last few decennia it has become a financial center for insurances, banking and investments.
There are other interesting things to do on Labuan. You can visit the WWII Memorial where almost 4000 soldiers have been buried, go duty-free shopping at Labuan International Sea Sports Complex or visit Labuan Bird Park, Botanical Gardens or Bumbung 12 (the government house originally built in 1852). There is also a huge, purpose unknown and mysterious landmark named the Chimney that feeds speculations around the island to locals and tourists alike. The National Park consisting of the islands Kumaran, Rusukan Kecil and Rusukan Besar are often used as a divebase, camping spot or as a sunbathing paradise at one of its many pristine white beaches. Other islets well worth a visit are Daat, Papan and Burung. The houses on stilts connected with wooden pathways in the two water villages Kampung Bebuloh and Kampung Patau-Patau can be visited to experience traditional Brunei Malay life.
Although its surrounding fringing coral reefs are very colorful and filled with fish, its main attraction is diving at the four very popular wrecks named Australian Wreck, American Wreck, Cement Wreck and Blue Water Wreck. All four of them sit in waters perfect for recreational diving and offer some sort of wreck penetration. They are encrusted in corals and swarmed with huge and tiny creatures that have made the wreck their home.
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