It’s Monday and I am finally on my own. After having breakfast at the hotel, I head to the bus stop just across the place where I was staying. I took Bus No. 55 to Bandar (1 dollar) where I took Bus No. 39 to Muara. At the port in Muara, transfer to Bus No. 33 going to Pantai Muara (Muara bridge).Be very patient in waiting for a bus. It took me 20 minutes to wait for Bus No. 55 in Gadong and it took me an hour to travel to Muara.
I waited for an hour for a bus going back to the port. It took me another 30 minutes to wait for a bus going to Bandar.
I arrived at Bandar bus station at around 4pm. I waited another 20 minutes to wait for Bus No. 57 going to the Empire Hotel.
We flew with Royal Brunei for the first time and have no complaints. The flight from Dubai left a little late but arrived on time. No alcohol, BTW, but I don't think that's a problem on flights - in fact it can be a problem when passengers have too much!.
A Boeing 777 runs daily between Brunei and London Heathrow with a stop in Dubai. Going, the flight was almost empty so it was quite comfortable. The return flight was completely full and the ride was bumpy - not the airline's fault of course.
Both were night flights so after the meal the lights were turned low and everyone slept (or tried to in my case, I have problems sleeping on aircraft).
Cabin crew brought drinks around regularly and the food was no better nor worse than most other airlines.
Overall I'd say I could recommend them.
Flying is the obvious way to reach Brunei, which has a small international airport in the capital Banda Seri Begawan, and its own national airline, Royal Brunei.
We flew on Royal Brunei from Dubai, a Boeing 777 which flies London Heathrow-Dubai-Brunei.
With an Aussie passport I got an automatic 14 day visa, for B$20, on arrival. Some passports need no visa while others need to arrange a visa in advance so you need to check what applies to your passport.
It's a small and not busy airport so formalities are quick, luggage comes quickly and it's a stress-free experience.
If you need a meal before your flight out you should have it before you go through to the passengers only area. Inside there's only one eatery, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, while in the main public area there's a choice of about five. It's not a great choice but at least it's a choice.
Renting a car is the way to achieve independence in a place with relatively expensive tours and taxi service. The rental itself is not a rock bottom bargain but it is definitely worth it. It offers the possibility to go to the most remote longhouses that happen to be on stable ground. This is a double edged sword of course because a superficial examination shows that the “jungle” people live urban lifestyles with cars parked neatly under the bellies of the houses. Part of the “package” may include areas of the Bandar itself that are too far flung for visits on foot such as the Jerundong Park and the vicinity of the sultan’s palace. Bear in mind that only Bruneians may have a glimpse at the palace itself and only during certain dates. Meticulously manicured causeway is the only section prone to infidel eyes.
The ferry terminal in Brunei is at Muara, the Serasa Ferry Terminal. There are several ferries daily to Labuan, with thr early ones you can connect on the same day to Kota Kinabalu. There is a public bus going from the bus terminal in Bandar Seri Begawan.
We flew fromBrunei to Kota Kinbalu with Royal Brunei Airlines. We booked using our credit card online and were able to check in online as well.It was a short comfortable flight The plane was pretty dinghy however ,my seat was taped together with duck tape!!....makes you wonder how wellit was maintained mechanically. The no alcohol policy would be difficult on a long flight..
Express bus to Serasa Ferry Terminal is operated by PHLS Sdn Bhd. The fare is $2 and the express bus is painted slightly different from the purple buses, and the stand is located towards the exit of the bus terminal.
PHLS also operate the purple buses Eastern Lines, fare to everywhere is a flat $1.
They also have a large number of coaches for hire across border ie to Sabah n Sarawak, and operate the daily service between BSB-Miri.
Main depot is next to Setia Ali Mosque in Kg Sabun, Mukim Serasa, Muara.
Contact in BSB is Shajith on 8720338, and Ricky is the on-site controller.
PHLS main line is 2771668. Also listed in tel directory are numbers 2770338, 2771188, 2773338, 2773828, 2773818, 27700038......
If all else fails, call 2772888.
There are many money changers and an ATM at the airport.( lots of ATM's in town too).We knew it would be expensive here ,as the 11km ride from the airport was $25.00. There was little information available on arrival . Although there were lots of buses ,we had no idea how long the wait for one.
From Brunei International Airport.
Take purple Bus and this bus will stop at the bus terminal centre in Bandar Seri Begawan. Bandar Seri Begawan is the capital city of Brunei. The trip cost you around BND$1.5.
From Bus Terminal Centre.
From this centre you can go anyway you like. For example outside Brunei , if you want to go Limbang, Serawak Malaysia, just use the purple bus. You can also go to miri by catching the bus that stated BSB to Belait. From Beliat you can go to miri by catching Beliat -miri bus. Just remember this, LImbang and MIri is not part of Brunei. They are belong to malaysia.
The price index in Brunei is comparable to that of Australia. Around 3 times the expenses of Hong Kong. I am paying HK$ 25 for MacDonald meal in HK but have to spend equivalent to HK$ 70 for the same in Australia.
20 minutes trip from the Brunei airport to city centre takes about 35 USD. If you want to save pocket money, you may choose to walk 5-10 min to the main road outside the airport for the public van that will cost you less than one USD single trip. Once reaching the van/bus terminal at city centre neighbouring to the water village, there are numerous vans same price to take you to final destination. Brunei is small. Most hotels can be reached in 30 min from city centre. Whether to spend 2 USD and 45 min on van (plus minute waiting time) or 20min taxi at the fee of about 35USD to reach same destination is your choice.
Taxis are very few even in the city of Darussalam. It was less than 50 as I was told by our Tour guide. Good thing we were on a package tour and didn't have any problems since we are to be fetched & dropped off by a service. At night, there are no more buses because most of the citizens have their own vehicles.
You can get a much cheaper price to go around the water village if you know someone who is living in the water village itself. Actually the cost of transportation only cost you around B$0.50 per person. :)
Public transport is a funny thing in Brunei Darussalam - there is not too much of it. During the day there are several "Line" buses which can take you to various areas around Bandar Seri Begawan or within the region, these are cheap and you get to see lots of local areas.
Beware however that these buses stop at 6.00pm. So, if you are out of town it could cost you a fortune to get back - especially as a solo traveller - a group of you won't be so bad.
Taxi's are generally hard to find after 6pm too. I was at the night market and had to get a hotel to call a taxi for me as there were no taxi's to be seen anywhere, I only needed to go about 5 K's but it cost over $20.00.
The driver told me it was his night off but he came out because he heard I was a solo female. He also then made himself available to me for the rest of the trip and that was handy.
Australians can obtain visa on arrival at Brunei Airport. it is valid for one month. the charge is 20 BD. for another 10 BD extra, they will stamp multiple entries so that you can come and go as you like for one month, which i think is a good deal. They were very pleasant about i all.
Welcome to Brunei.
this would come in handy if you are planning to visit Labuan or Miri and return to Brunei.
The easiest entry into Brunei is by international flights.
Royal Brunei flies to 20 destinations. Other major airlines are Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, Philippines Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Dragonair.
Brunei International airport is near Bandar Seri Begawan and about B$10-20 using airport limousine taxi to get to your hotel.
Royal Brunei Air flight code = BI
Brunei International Airport code = BWN
More Regions in Brunei