Ferry from Kota Kinabalu to Brunei and Back

(Ferry to Labuan)

Just like any other first timers, I have to researched a lot in order to get  from Kota Kinabalu to Brunei on a budget or discount travel rates.  I was looking for the best way to travel which in my language means cheap, tolerable comfort (cheap doesn’t really match with comfort), quickest possible time because I’m flashpacking in Malaysia and Brunei and not slow travelling.  I found out that ferry somewhat fits in to that category.

Kota Kinabalu to Brunei

Head to Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal at 7am to get the ticket for 8:00am trip; Arrival time in Labuan is 12:15PM.  The ticket costs 63.60RM (PHP 954), just unfortunately increased last January 2012 from 58RM.  Ticket includes the fare from Kota Kinabalu(KK)-Labuan, then Labuan-Bandar Seri Begawan (Brunei’s Capital City) but you still have to pay terminal fee of 5RM(PHP75) in Labuan.

TIP: Bring snacks on board and sweet candies.  Snacks for your gut and candies for motion sickness.

Ferry departs to Labuan at 1:30PM so you have time to get something to eat. There are few restaurants around that serves 3-5RM for a meal. Arrival time in Brunei is 3:15PM.

From Terminal to the City (Bandar Seri Begawan)

There is express shuttle buses there waiting, B$2 is the minimum fare. You can also take a taxi which is a little bit expensive.

          (Filipino Bus Driver, ‘Kuya’ Allan)

Brunei to Kota Kinabalu

Going back is somehow the same.  You have to be at the bus terminal at 6:30am to figure out what options you have.  We were lucky to have a Filipino bus driver named Allan going to the city and gave me several options for my return that helped a lot.

(Interior of the ferry)

Bus Option 1

You can take the express bus again which travels straight to the ferry terminal for B$2 (PHP70), however it arrives at 7:30am at the terminal (which is impossible to catch the first trip of 8:00am), although I found out that there’s another ferry company that leaves 9:15am which you can take if you missed the 8:00am trip.

Option 2

Take buses 37, 38, or 39 at 6:30am for B$1 (PHP35) and ask the driver to drop you off at the terminal where you can transfer to bus number 33.  You won’t have to pay again, just keep your ticket and get it stamped at the terminal.

(Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal)

Ferry from Brunei to Kota Kinabalu

It’s almost the same price as going there, only, you need to buy tickets separately.  Brunei to Labuan is B$17 (PHP595) and 34RM(PHP510) from Labuan to Kota Kinabalu.

(Bandar Seri Begawan Ferry Terminal)

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Lyndsay is the mind behind this fashion blog, she also blogs about her travels on Discount Travel Blogger giving tips on how to explore the world as cheap as possible. She has earned units in Masters in Psychology, designs websites and graphics, online marketer, YouTuberand a singer by heart.

22 comments

  1. Hi Lyndsay, is there a ferry trip from Brunei to KK at night or before day break? [edited. originally posted in Tagalog]

    1. Hi JIen,

      There’s none, but I think there is for ferry going to Labuan by taking that you will have to spend a night in Labuan. But I don’t think it would work out on your itinerary if you have short period of travel time. Most people going to Brunei from KK is taking this schedule though, so I suggest you do the same. It’s way better because its hard to travel around Brunei, you better be there while the sun is up. just a tip.

  2. hello lyndsay, is there a visa going to brunei? thanks! =)

    1. If you are an ASEAN passport holder (Philippines, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma, Malaysia, Indonesia), then you don’t need a visa to Brunei. All you need is your passport and other travel documents you might need, upon entering Brunei.

      Have a safe trip!

  3. Hi Lyndsay!

    I’m also planning a trip with my friend from KK to Brunei. You’ve posted the departure and arrival time from KK to Brunei. I just wanted to know the timing from Brunei to KK as it’s not mentioned in the post. Our schedule is quite tight so we need to plan our timings well to catch our flight back in KK to Johor Bahru.

    Thanks a lot!

    -Fred

    1. You should be at the Bus Terminal (Bandar Seri Begawan) at 6.30am or earlier (just in case you don’t catch an English speaking local to help you out on what bus to hop on) to catch the 8.30am Ferry to KK. Locals are really helpful, just ask people around.

  4. Thanks for the info, Lyndsay! That’d help a lot in the planning. 🙂

    1. No problem. Anytime if I could help. 🙂

  5. Thanks Lyndsay, can you recommend any cheap accommodation in KK and in Brunei for 10 pax me and my office mates are booked for KK next year. It would be a great help. Thanks again kababayan!

    1. In KK, there are a lot of hostels but I recommend that you look at around the Jesselton Point area (Ferry Terminal), its cheaper and easier to find food and all around that area. You can check out the post about hostels and lodging post I wrote about KK, HERE.

      In Brunei, there’s only one cheapest hostel there which is Pusat Belia, the youth hostel which is 10 Brunei dollars a night. Hope that info can help! Thanks!

  6. Hi lindsay,do the banks there accepting atm cards?how many minutes will take from airport to backpackers?for my accomodation…are they speak english?tnks kababayan.

    1. I don’t remember anymore, but it shouldn’t be far. Yes they do, there are a lot of Filipinos there so most of them speaks Malay or Tagalog. No problem. Anytime.

  7. I mean metro bank or BPI,are they accepting,?

    1. As long as you have Visa or Mastercard ATM, you’ll be fine. You can also check out my post: http://www.discounttravelblogger.com/banking-tips-for-travelers/.

  8. How many hours will take from kota kinabalu to brunie darussalam,via ferry and bus?and how much did you spend overall?so that I know and will prepare for my kota trip on march 11,2013…salamat

    1. I spent Php 7000 for 8 days on that KK-Brunei Trip exclusive of return airfare, I got a promo return ticket for Php 3000, you can do the math. 🙂

  9. Ah ok,,I got my ticket also via cebu pacific,2,800 for my back & forth,its on promo.Because its going to be my first time,I don’t have any idea and what i should do there,hehe…I checked malaysian airlines but pretty expensive from kota to brunei,and i dont have credit card for paying…since i dont have credit card,I can use my ATM cardsfor my future expenses there? thanks lyndsay for being helpful,God bless:-)

    1. Yes. No problem, anytime.

  10. Hello Lyndsay,
    Very informative post, I was just thinking about travelling to Brunei when i head back to Sabah during the Christmas break.

    -Yun Qing

    1. I’m sure you enjoy the trip, I did enjoy mine to the max so no reason for you not to! 🙂

  11. arie andrasyah isa

    Hi Lindsay,
    I am going to KK next year and plan to go to Bandar Seri Begawan (BSB) after arriving in KK. According to your travelling story, if I visit BSB, I have to stay one night in BSB, before going back to KK? Thank you.

    1. You can stay as long as your visa permits you. I just have 7 days off work so I only did a day. I wished I stay a day more or two though… 🙂

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