While in Labuan, I made it a point to visit the birds' park even though Labuan local told me that there are not so many species of birds there. Last time it was free entrance but now they charge RM 3 for adults, RM 2 for senior citizens and RM 1 for school children.Ticketing booth:
Nice playground for kids:
Free range bird:
Show off bird:
We also stopped by the remnants of Japanese Coal Mining Station also called the Chimney.
It is situated very close to the Birds' Park at Tanjung Kubong, It is believed to have been built during the time when Labuan was used as a coaling station for ships sailing in the Far East area, and the mined coal was transported by single rail track to Victoria Port.
This Chimney was said to be made from more than 23,000 pieces of red bricks that was imported all the way from England. The bricks layering and works are typical of British style.
For a long time, the Chimney was thought to be nothing more than the ventilation shaft typical of a chimney structure. However, recent findings revealed that there were no traces of smokes or burning on the inside of the structure which might suggest its use as a chimney.
Careful excavation has revealed that there are 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 function of the Chimney remains very much a mystery today. Many have put forward theories with regards to its purpose. Some say it was part of an unfinished mansion, while others say 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. but to date, the Chimney stands as an intriguing riddle that continues to fascinate locals and visitors alike.