If you’d like to cross the boarders of Kota Kinabalu & Brunei, I suggest you start early. We took a taxi to Point Jesselton Ferry Terminal at around 7:00am from where we are staying at Stay Inn.
Travel tip: Be there earlier if you are traveling on a weekend as there are greater number of passengers.
Upon getting to Jesselton terminal, proceed to counter 4 for Labuan and Brunei ferry service and buy a ticket to (KK-Labuan and Labuan-Brunei) for RM60 (adult) and RM43 (children – 11 years and below). Another RM3.60 (adult) and RM1.80 (children) will be collected as terminal fee.
Go to the departure area and wait for boarding. The first ferry from KK to Labuan leaves at 8:00AM; the next and last ferry leaves at 1:30PM. The trip will cover 3-3.5 hours.
Upon reaching Labuan, you will have to pay a departure tax of RM10 at the ticketing office. You can also take your lunch while waiting for the 1:30PM trip to Brunei.The journey takes another 1 to 2 hours.
Go through immigration and customs when you reach Brunei.
Board a shuttle (color purple) bound for Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of Brunei. The shuttle costs B$1 and travel time is around 40 minutes to 1 hour.
There are no money changers available in the area when we arrived, luckily bus operators would also be willing to accept US Dollars in a $1=1BND rate. In Brunei, the currency is B$ or Brunei Dollars.
The bus stops at the terminal (the only bus terminal in the city) located at the southeast corner of the city where malls, hotels, restaurants, and fast food chains are available.
Where to Stay in Brunei
Apparently the hotel we originally booked to Brunei is situated far from the city (about 2 hours away) it’s even located in Limbang which is still part of Malaysia, so we ended up booking a new one.
Be aware though that most hotels in the city could be really expensive, almost every place ranges from 2,000Php and above per night. But we have no choice since we needed a place to stay for the night.
Luckily we met a friendly pinoy who helped us around the city, led us to a money changer since almost every shop’s closed on weekends on Brunei and also helped us find a good value hotel.
Terrace Hotel in Brunei
We ended up in Terrace Hotel, where most of the workers are also Filipinos. The rate I guess is around 3,000 Php (75 Brunei Dollars). But it’s all worth it since the hotel has complete amenities, even got a bath tub and it’s located at the city center near a bus stop.
Tip: When in Brunei, avoid taking taxis are their taxis there are not metered, and the range of a single ride cost around 25 Dollars, whereas the bus fare is only 1 Dollar no matter how long your journey is.
Also have a map in hand as well. Be free to ask from your hotel for a city map.
This travelogue is part of a travel series for my birthday trip to Kota Kinabalu & Brunei, if you haven’t read the previous posts, here’s the link http://bit.ly/KKBruneiDay2 & http://bit.ly/KKBruneiTrip