for road trippers, it is possible now to travel from Kalimantan to Brunei thru Sarawak
coaches leave both ends daily
journey takes more than 14 hrs and over 1,200kms
the coach station at bsb is next to pggmb building
There is a new Serasa Passenger Ferry Terminal that began operations on October 17th, 2009.
The terminal has plenty of ticket counters, an information counter, shops and money changers.
There are 8 ferries that service between Serasa to Labuan, and speedboats that leave when full to Kuala Lawas and Sundar in Sarawak.
The ferry we went on was full, and luggage was just chucked in the front of the boat. I couldn't complain about the trip across, it was very cheap compared to flying.
One thing to remember, is the terminal is about 25ksm from Bandar Seri Begawan
The fare in 2009 is $21
The website gives you a timetable of the crossings.....
We took Royal Brunei Airlines from Singapore. They have two daily flights (10.25am and 9.45pm) arriving just 1h 55min later in Bandar Seri Begawan. Return flights are at 7.45am and 7pm. Prices are between SGD 300 and SGD 500, depending on how early you book.
Singapore Airlines has only 5 flights per week and seems to have fixed prices at SGD 460.
Other destinations with direct flights to Brunei are Auckland (BI), Bangkok (BI, TG), Brisbane (BI), Dubai (BI), Ho Chi Minh (BI), Hong Kong (BI), Jakarta (BI), Jeddah (BI), Kota Kinabalu (MH, BI), Kuala Lumpur (MH, BI), Kuching (BI), London (BI, via Dubai), Manila (BI), Perth (BI) and Surabaya (BI).
MH = Malaysia Airlines
BI = Royal Brunei Airlines
TG = Thai Airways
This is all as of May 2009.
We hired a car for the day through the Traders Inn where we were staying. I can't remember the name of the company, but the car was a Proton, not a new one, but went quite ok. and we were happy with it. Brunei was easy to drive around, and this meant we could see a lot in one day.
Cost was $70 Brunei in 2007.
Brunei is served by most major airlines...so there's no problem getting there. I took Royal Brunei Airlines...it's actually a code share flight with the Malaysian Airlines. Flight fare...to n fro was MYR1715...that's about USD460++. The 2hrs 15min flight in the economy seat was comfortable.
Yanks and the Poms dont need visa I think, most of the ASEAN countries dont visas either, but with the exception of some favoured european states, others need visa. Australians can get visa on arrival . I strongly recommend you obtain a multiple entry visa, which costs 30 bnd rather than the usual 20 bnd. remember you may wish to go to labuan or miri and thus dont have to worry about forking out more money or being allowed to come back in to catch your air asia flight to kuala lumpur
If you are doing a side trip to Seria and KB or going on to Miri, which is usually the case, you can take the bus from BSB bus station . Leaves approximately once every hour. The charge is a meagre 6 bnd. it takes two hours of journey. the minute you leave the city, the jungle is on your right and the river is on your left and then the sea appears on your right. you will see immigrant workers who had come to brunei to shop going back to their work place. In my bus, I was the only tourist, there were workers from vietnam, china, philippines and India and an old Malay woman and chain smoking Chinese?
It is a pity the bus services stop between 6 and 7 pm. so if you arrive at the airport later than that you have to take taxi to town no other choice. but if you are departing during the day, bus is the choice. Bus numbers 36.37.38 go to the airport. I t does not go right up to the airport but close enough and it is a good walk, from the periphery of the aiport to the check in .
I was a bit surprised when they asked me for a departure tax, not that I minded. Have gotten used to richer countries including these things on the tickets, you dont pay extra taxes when leaving singapore or malaysia.. so have some bnd or sgd handy 12 to be exact. singapore dollars are on par with brunei dollars but they dont accept singapore coins.
This is a country of rich people, with brand new roads and cars. the only people without cars are immigrant workers, called Foreigners, who take the bus. so you may find yourself stranded at some part of town and without any transportation at all. Giving lift is not a Bruneian characteristic since they woudl think you are a "foreigner" and thus a guest labourer.
I found my self in such a situation, after visiting the Hossanul Bolkiah mosque. Came out of the mosque and walked to the main street. for half an hour no signs of any buses nor taxis. fortunately an australian stranded thus had a mobilephone and we were able to call for a taxi, not an easy task since there are so few taxis!
so next time you go to Brunei please take this name and number Mr Leong Chen Hin whose taxi is KM 6351 and he can be contacted at 8690796
he seemed a nice man and charged us only 5 bnd for the trip from the hossanul bolkiah mosque to downtown bus station.
Hey in case anyone needs help in Brunei either on transport, cheap accommodations, places of interest, I know this guy who helped me out when i was in Brunei. His contact number is 8772366 Brad. I told him that i would help to post his contact here since he was nice enough to help us around for a very small fee. It is pretty troublesome to travel in Brunei. Hardly any cab around. The buses are rare too. Most places of interest were hard to reach.
Anyway, do call him for making your time there more enjoyable. Have fun...
One way of exploring Bandar Seri Begawan and the rest of Brunei is by driving. There are several car rental booths (including Avis, Hertz etc) just outside the arrival terminal of the Brunei International Airport. For a normal sedan car, the price per day should be $80-120 Brunei dollars (luxury cars and 4WD SUVs will be more expensive). It is quite easy to drive around Bandar Seri Begawan and the rest of Brunei as the roads do not have much traffic, but do note the vehicles are right hand drive (following the British system). Petrol in Brunei is cheap (about 50 Brunei cents per litre). If you need to explore the rural areas, then a 4WD may be required to drive through the track roads.
The main bus terminal at Bandar Seri Begawan is at the multi-storey cark located along Jalan Cator. The buses are purple in colour (see photos) and the numbers are clearly displayed on the buses. The map brochure of Brunei has all the bus routes and most of the fares are $1 Brunei dollars. Most buses operator every 15-20 minutes daily between 6.30am to 6pm.
As for taxis, they are metered at $3 Brunei dollars for the first 1km and $1 for each additional kilometre. Do take note that the rates increase from $3 to $4.50 after 9pm (and booking a taxi will incur a charge of $3.
In general, most of the local people of Brunei have their own cars so there are not many taxis (and therefore getting one may not be so easy on the road unless you book).
Besides the speed boat trip, it is possible to explore Kampong Ayer (water village) by foot as this will bring you very close to the life and culture of the local people living there. There is a series of bridges and wooden walkways linking different parts of the water village. The main entrance to the water village is located near to the Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque and Yayasan shopping centre (ask the local people for directions if you are not sure). When walking on the bridges and wooden walkways, do be careful as underneath is the river.
The wooden speed boats are very fast and therefore it will be very windy during the ride. Please sit down during the entire trip and you can ask the boatman to slow down if you want to take photos of interesting sights along the way. The ride itself is very thrilling as the boat will go underneath bridges at the water villages. You will pay the boatman after the end of the trip and it costs about $20 Brunei Dollars if you bargain (the price may be more if there are more people on the boat).