There are four (4) water villages in Labuan namely Kampung Patau-Patau 1, Kampung Patau-Patau 2, Kampung Bebuloh Laut and Kampung Rancha-Rancha Laut. The residents are mostly Brunei Malays who make up about half of Labuan’s Muslim population. The wooden houses are built on stilts over water and are connected to each other by numerous walkways.
The amenities include streetlights, water taxi jetty, telephone, shops, handicraft shops, clinics, schools and surau (a place of worship for muslims which is smaller than a mosque). Most of the houses have their own boat. The houses can be quite large and most of it have a verandah at the front and some are very eye-catching with pots of brightly colored bougainvillea and orchid plants. The villages are made up of large communities with shops, mosques and other facilities.
Kampung Patau-Patau 1 is gazetted as one of the tourist destination in Labuan. The walkways in this village have been upgraded to the concrete walkways which also carry the village water pipes, electricity and telephone lines.
While Kampung Patau-Patau 2 is one of the homestay village in Labuan and it is one of the last remaining traditional water villages in Malaysia. Traditionally, the water villagers were fishermen, sailors and traders from the neighboring country, Brunei.
They continued their traditional lifestyle of living in stilt houses over the sea, speak a distinctive Brunei-Malay dialect and observe the elaborate Brunei adat-adat (traditions) in their daily lives.
The ‘Chimney’ - An Archeological Mystery
Situated on a rise at Tanjung Kubong is the famous ‘Chimney’, a 106 feet high red brick stack believed to be linked to the coal mining days of Labuan. The Chimney, 106 feet tall, was made from more than 23,000 pieces of red bricks imported from England. The bricks layering and works are typical of British style.
The ‘Chimney’ was long thought to be nothing more than a ventilation shaft. However, recent findings revealed that there were no traces of smokes or burning to suggest its use as a chimney as popularly believed. Careful digging has revealed at least 12 layers of bricks beneath the surface.
The structure sits firmly on a large tract of limestone rock containing rich kaolin or porcelain clay, which provided the strong foundation.
The ‘Chimney’ is still very much a mystery until today. Various hypothesis has been put forward to its purpose. Some said it was an unfinished mansion. While others said it was a light house beaconing passing ships. In its heyday, a thriving settlement was built at the sea front area below the Chimney. It was then used as a bell tower to announce the arrival of ships to the residents below. It has become an intriguing riddle that fascinates locals and visitors alike.
Location : Situated on a rise at Tanjung Kubong. About 20 minutes drive from Labuan town
Getting There : Taxi fares range from RM____per trip and Bus fares at RM____ per trip from Labuan town
Contact : Chimney Historical Complex, Malaysia Museum Department
Jalan Tanjung Kubong, Labuan FT
(T) 087 463 603 (F) 087 414 462
Chimney Historical Complex
The Chimney Information Centre is situated at Tanjung Kubong. It was officially opened on 26 October 2002. The complex comprises of two (2) components at the Chimney Historical site, the Chimney Information Centre and the Chimney Tower. The information centre exhibits the history of coal mining in Tanjung Kubong since 1847 and other related history such a the construction of the railways, tunnels and the history of the Chimney.
While the Chimney Tower features the historical remains at the Tanjung Kubong which situated about 12km North from the town centre. The Chimney is very popular and a unique historical landmarks for Labuan. In Malaysian history, Tanjung Kubong in Labuan Island was the first coal mining activities between the year 1847 - 1911 (sources from the Chimney Historical Complex).