Sunday, August 15, 2010


Labuan was…scorching hot! I thought KL was hot, here was even hotter! (at least during my visit there) This was my first trip to Labuan actually. A very tiny island at only 95 km2 (thanks to Zu’s Wiki!), there’s not much place to go to or things to do. And my visit coincided with the fasting month (and it was hot ), so we stayed indoors most of the time.
Note: Imsak @ 4.45am, Iftar @ 6.35pm

We stayed at the Grand Dorsett (the only decent hotel in town I believe). I did think the room rates were over priced (Executive at RM435 and Deluxe at RM 335).

And there was much confusion on the hotel’s part, i.e. I specifically mentioned a room for 2 persons, but was told that my room was for 1 person when we went down for sahur. Pagi-pagi lagi dah bikin orang emo aiseh..

Simple sahur - nasi w lauk & omellete

Also, during booking, I was told there was no Deluxe room available for the first night, so I had to stay at Executive room, and change to Deluxe only on the second day. But the hotel didn’t inform me on any room changes so I had to keep asking the reception. I guess there was a mistake on their part, so they just let me stay at my Executive room, but charged me at Deluxe rate, so that kept me shiny happy.
There was a change of room actually, but it was still an Executive room, so I did wonder why they needed to change it at the first place, i.e. I was changed from an Executive room to another Executive room.
Then there was another incident- the reception told me I needn’t change room, gave me back the original room key and I found our luggage missing. They’ve actually moved our things to another room, but it was still an Executive room. Confusing isn’t it?
OK enough of the hotel already. Labuan in general is an expensive place. I found the food here expensive. We went to the Pasar Ramadhan behind our hotel on the first day and bought nasi kerabu – for RM7 (with additional RM2 for sebiji telur masin!) I thought nasi kerabu always comes with telur masin?
We also went to Anjung Ketam @ Tg Aru, and ordered ketam masak sambal, sotong goreng tepung, ikan stim and ikan bakar and was given the biggest ever fish and crabs that we have ever seen in our entire lives (well maybe not, but they were really huge I tell you!) We thought the fish meat was really thick, it was almost like chicken meat!
That huuuge fish. Love the sambal cicah kicap though
And we were also given 2 types of sotong goreng tepung, when we ordered only one! Our mistake was that we left it to the makcik kedai makan to choose the fish/squid/crab for us– so that was why we were given the biggest and heaviest ones! Memang kena ketuk habis la.
Ketam sambal & 2 types sotong goreng tepung. Zu sapu bersih ketam!
We went there (Anjung Ketam) twice as we were not satisfied with Mawilla – another seafood restaurant nearer to the hotel (just average tasting). At both trips we were charged about RM40/person. For the same amount of dishes, one could get it cheaper in Kerteh. Now I miss Kerteh’s superb ikan bakar *drool*
Moral of the story: Please choose your own fish / crab / squid / prawn etc You don’t need the biggest ones!
We ordered from this gerai @ Anjung Ketam.
We were told later that Anjung Ketam did over charge its customers, and we were recommended another place nearby, but would have to wait for a next trip to Labuan though.
This is Mawilla seafood restaurant

Mawilla's dishes. Just average

Love the view at Anjung Ketam though

Another thing to do in Labuan – is shopping. It is a tax free island, but we found that the chocolates here are more expensive than Langkawi. Then there is the Labuan bazaar where you can buy pearls, kaftans, udang kering and ikan terubuk masin. The ikan terubuk not locally made but imported from Kuching. You’ll get it much cheaper in Kuching. Oh, if you plan to buy pearls, walk in a bit and search for Aunty’s shop. Aunty’s is much cheaper and are of better quality compared to the first shop you'll see when arriving at the bazaar. See pictures below

Bazaar Labuan. We walked there woah!

Aunty's pearl shop. Cheaper & better quality

The 1st pearl shop.

Ikan terubuk masin sold here
There was also another incident in Labuan – there was no electricity when we arrived at the lab on the last day. It was just the day before that we asked what would happen to the ongoing experiments which required the use of machines if there was suddenly a power failure? And it really did happen! Answer? They had to re-run all the experiments of course, with new samples. Maybe we shouldn’t have asked it in the first place lol!

In the dark lab. Not in some karaoke joints ok! :-p

One positive thing about a small town like Labuan though – the people are friendly. We were greeted by a pakcik when we were crossing a road. And then there was Pakcik Gapor Hj Yusop of Kg Bukit Kuda– our taxi driver who really made our day. We had been fortunate to get a taxi driver like him – so friendly, so warm, chatty (loved his stories!) and he didn’t mind to wait us for a bit. Do get him if you need to take a taxi in Labuan!
Pakcik Gapor's taxi. Shud have taken his pix meh!



Blogger zhu m said...

another great review, keep it up!

4:50 PM  
Blogger IZWAN SHAHMIN said...

Nice Post!

The room part was really confusing.. :P

Auntie Goh was superb! I've been to her shop 3 times at different year and she still remember me! And of course great discount! (She gave me her business card, her shop name is Perak Store).

Blackout during test! Now they need new sample.. Kesian plak..

12:43 PM  

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