It is possible to make your own way from BSB to Kota Kinabalu in a day.
From the main bus terminal in BSB, catch the express bus that leaves at around 7.15am bound for Muara which is the port and customs town for Brunei. The bus will cost you BD2
At Muara, purchase a ticket for Labuan, which is the port and customs town for Sabah. The ticket will cost BD15 and the ride will take one hour. A departure tax of BD2 is also payable before boarding.
Upon arrival at Labuan, after passing through customs, prucahse your boat ticket for Kota Kinabalu which is MYR34 and the trip is about 3 hours.
While waiting for your boat to depart, there is a baggage check in area where you can store your bags instead of carrying them all around with you - a large back pack will cost MYR3 per pack.
You will arrive in Kota Kinabalu at approx 4pm.
To ensure that you can make the trip in a day, you must catch the first boat out of Muara!
Getting to Brunei by bus from Miri in Sarawak might sound really daunting, simply because its a short journey but you change buses about three times and you even have to take one boat. In spite of all this, I'll definitely recommend this form of transport. Everything was extremely efficient and I never had to wait for any of the buses for more than 30 minutes. The buses leave from outside the Tourist information office in Miri and arrive at the central bus station in Bandar seri begawan. Everything in between is done for you, so a very effectice way to get to brunei indeed.
Brunei is the opposite to a public transport heaven. To get around most of the country you'll have to rent a car (or get a taxi which will be expensive). In Bandar Seri Begawan you can use bus though which leave from the central bus station. Buses go to the boat terminal every half an hour and several buses go around the city ( to for instance the sultan's house). The bus drivers are usually nice and the fares are cheap (less than a dollar).
Rent a cars are expensive in Brunei.
With taxes expect to pay close to A$100 per day for the cheapest model. If you're only planning on staying in Brunei for several days, as a stopover en route to another destination, do yourself a favour and use a taxi.
The only downside to this tip, is that approx 30 taxis service Bandar which has a population of approx 300,000. Surprisingly, we never waited more than 10 minutes for a taxi but keep in mind you can't just hail one off the streets. Go to a hotel to book one.
Airport facilities are quite basic and most public payphones don't work.
When you book your accommodation make sure you have arranged a hotel shuttle bus service as the airport taxi fee is a flat B$25.
I picked up a jeep in Kuala Belait and shared with others going to Miri, Sarawak. It was not unduly expensive, but schedules were so-so, basically depending on the tides. The route went along the beach; the jungle of Borneo being inpenetrable and wet tidal sands being the only road. The border crossing was a simple affair, and getting into Malaysia a breeze. Returning a few days later was the same story of suspicion - individual traveler? Why here?
I flew to Brunei from Bangkok by Royal Brunei Airlines. I departed by Singapore Airlines directly to Singapore. Both ways were easy and comfortable, and the Brunei airport was sparkling new, easy and oversized to the actual traffic at the time.
Take the purple buses - they are cheap and go everywhere. Taxi's always cost a bomb anywhere and the buss station is right in the middle of Bandar (it's a small place remember). Just find your way to the bus station (ask a local, it's easy to find), all the buses seem to leave from here so it's thronging with locals (avoid the toilets, oh man....).
Look out for this black guy with a lot of pens in his pocket (cant remember his name), anyway he may approach you... he is very friendly and a WEALTH of tourist information, bloody fantastic guy!
By international standards, Royal Brunei Airlines is a fairly young airline. The first flight, from Brunei to Singapore, was in 1975. From 45000 passengers in its first year of operation, the airline has steadily expanded and now carries more than a million passengers a year on its longhaul Boeing 767 and shorthaul Airbus aircraft to destinations across three continents, ranging from London to Shanghai to Auckland. Don't be surprised if you find the Sultan at the controls: he has a pilot's licence.
Although there is a fixed price list post right outside the airport arrival hall, the taxi divers collide together and do not follow the prices being set. It is quite disppointed that a rich and muslim country like Brunei can tolerate such non-ethnical behaviours.
The standard price from airport to Capital Hotel is set as $16, but all divers waiting at airport will move on for $25. What a country!!!
From the city, it should cost you $15 to get to the airport. Don't let them overcharge you.
The main minibus and bus terminal is located in the city center Jalan Cator. It is the cheapest way to get around, but a bit crowded as you can see. People rushed to get on the bus even before the arriving passengers get off. The cost per trip is $1. Every min-bus is numbered and there a a clear route sign for each bus route. You can go to all major sights, like Istana, museum by this mini bus. It is also a cheap means to go outside Banda or to Muara. Good for visitors.
The national flag airlines of Brunei, Royal Brunei Airlines provides good services for passengers. As for short haul flights, they use small 737 aircrafts which do not have many entertainment on board. The flight is blessed before it flies. Of course beverages on board are non-alocholic.
Boats, of course; taxi boats for short trips, bigger speedboats if you go to Temburong (the pier for these boats is located 500 m East (left if you look at the river from downtown) of the Kiangeh market (on the border od the small Kiangeh river, bordering the East side of Bandar Seri Begawan downtown) ; 10 departures per day.
Ferry Boats go 5 times per day to Labuan and to Sabah (Malaysia), departing from Muara port.
6 regular lines are operated for public transportation; they reach the main places in Brunei and Muara district (downtown bus terminal, Muara, Jerudong, airport, Berakas); reliable, and rather frequent (every 15-20 mn on the airport line); you recognise them at their violet colour. The bus terminal downtown is located underground, and having a close look, there even might be some underground activity there; mainly poor Brunean and migrant workers use the bus, but these are clean and safe. At the terminal you may hear 5-6 different languages in the same time, and it is very lively at rush hours.
I did not see a lot in Bandar Seri Begawan. . . . . you find them at the airport, near the main bus station, the Yayasan , but elsewhere. . . . . Do not wait for a taxi if you are late for an appointment or for the plane at the airport, or let the staff at the hotel manage to get one.
Beware, this is no Schipol or Changi airport! Or at least it wasn't the last time I was there. Eat well before you get off the plans and don't expect a duty-free bonanza! Brunei is a great country with a lot of disposable cash, you'd think they would do somethign about one of the "gateways" to the country!
Fly in please!! only 2 airlines fly here regularly, Royal Brunei Airline and SIngapore Airlines.
RBA is ok, and its alot cheaper and you can stop-over brunei for a few days on your way to singapore, australia, hongkong, etc.
I suggest you get around by car...... trust me, don't wait for the bus unless you fancy waiting for an hour. In fact, I was surpised to hear that they run. Besides, everybody uses the car here.
If you are here for more than 1 day, i STRONGLY recommend you rent a car at the airport for the entire trip. You see, taxis are not common. You can't just flag one off the street. And public transport is almost non-existent.
More Regions in Brunei