How to Get From Kota Kinabalu to Brunei in 1 Day

It’s quite an easy process to travel from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia, to Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei in a single day.  I recently took the journey completely hassle free, comfortable, and arrived safely.

Kota Kinabalu to Bruneir Ferry

Kota Kinabalu to Brunei in 1 Day

  1. Get to Jesselton Point Ferry Pier in Kota Kinabalu the afternoon before departure in order to purchase a ferry ticket for the next morning
  2. You have to take 2 different ferries to Brunei, 1st to Labuan riding the Labuan Express Tiga vessel (duty free port in Malaysia), 2nd to Serasa Ferry Terminal, Muara, in Brunei riding the Seri Anna vessel
  3. Purchase both ferry tickets at Jesselton Point, Kota Kinabalu, for a package deal costing 56 Malaysian Ringgits
  4. The ferry boat will leave Kota Kinabalu at 8 am so arrive at the jetty around 7.30 am
  5. You will watch some shoot-em up horrible film on the ferry and soon after arrive in Labuan at about 11 am
  6. The next ferry to Brunei will leave at 1:30 pm, so you have a bit of time to mess around, shop for duty free chocolate, alcohol, etc. (Note: If you leave the ferry terminal, you will be charged an extra 5 Ringgits for ferry terminal tax)
  7. The ferry to Serasa Ferry Terminal in Brunei will take a little over 1 hour and you will arrive about 3 pm
  8. From the terminal dock, Bardar Seri Begawan is still 30 km away.  You have 3 options,
  • Take a taxi- B $20
  • Wait for a bus (could take an hour or more)- B $2
  • Take a taxi to the small bus terminal in Muara 5 minutes away- B $5, and then take the bus to city center- B $1

Note: Confirm all time and prices as they do tend to fluctuate.

You will arrive at the central bus station in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei around 4 pm. From there, most things of interest, including great hotels to stay at, are within easy walking distance.

Brunei to Kota Kinabalu in 1 Day

  1. Get to the central bus terminal dock in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei by about 6:30 am in order to catch the bus (B $2) to the Serasa Ferry Terminal (bus will be market to ferry terminal)
  2. The bus should leave anywhere from 6:45 am to 7 am depending on demand and arrive at the ferry terminal close to 7:45 am
  3. Buy the ferry ticket to Labuan which will cost B $17 and leave at about 8:30 am
  4. When you arrive in Labuan at about 10 am, immediately go through immigration, then exit the terminal, and head to the ticket counter to buy a ticket to Kota Kinabalu at 1 pm (34 Malaysian Ringgits)
  5. You will have about 3 hours to mosey around, eat, and shop
  6. The ferry to Kota Kinabalu will depart at 1 pm and arrive about 3 hours later

When I visited Brunei, I stayed at the YMCA, but there are many other places to stay within the city. Don’t forget to indulge ambuyat when you’re in Brunei!

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  1. Cathy Hadfield says

    Hi is this still going? Is this the only way or there was a direct ferry from Bandar earlier in the year but can’t seem to find the time table anymore. Does anyone know?

    • says

      Hi Cathy, I believe this is still going. When I went to Bandar, I couldn’t find a direct ferry from KK, so that’s why we ended up taking 2 ferries. The journey is easy to do and the connections easily line up if you plan a little. Good luck on your trip!

  2. Lea Devey says

    Hi, Is this still real and existing today? I will be going to Kota kinabalu for 5 days so I really wanted to visit Brunei as well.. Hoping for your answer. Thanks

    • says

      Hey Lea,
      I was in KK in July and the ferry combination to Brunei was all running smoothly. I can’t say for certain, because I was there about 5 months ago, but I think it will be the same. Good luck with your travels!

  3. Christine Evans says

    Hiya (december 2010) just to let everyone know they have attempted to start a car ferry now daily from labuan to brunei it seems to be taking off so hopefully it will continue you can not return the same day as yet but if it takes off and becomes a popular journey then they are thinking of having a return to labuan on the same day.

  4. Bella Ladio says

    Hi! Is there a ferry going to Labuan in the evenings from Brunei? And is it possible to stay in Labuan for a night and then catch a ferry in the morning to Kota? Pls let me know. I’m catching a 1:30 pm flight. Thanks

  5. says

    I’ll be in Kota Kinabalu for 8 days, although I know there’s a lot to do in KK already, any suggestions on what to do in Brunei though? 2days there should be enough or not? I am a lil planning my itinerary there so suggestions will be very very helpful. Thank you.

  6. says

    Hello! :)

    You really have a nice and insightful blog!! :)

    I just have some query, I am doing our itinerary fro Kota Kinabalu trip and would like to include Bandar Seri Begawan as our sidetrip, since we will be pressed for time (we need to get back to Kinabalu since our flight back is there) we need to explore Brunei for a limited time then catch the trip back to Kinabalu at 6:30 AM the next day. If we arrive in Brunei at 4:00PM what are the places to visit (during night time) in order to maximize our stay in Brunei? are there places to visit in Brunei during night time? Your response will be highly appreciated! :) Many thanks!


    • says

      Hello Fina,

      Have you seen this article: ?
      To be honest with you, I was there such a short time that I mostly just took a boat ride, saw the golden mosque, and ate some local food. As for things to do in the night, you could walk around Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque (not sure if you can go inside though), and get some good dinner. I don’t know a lot about Bandar, but there wasn’t a lot to do at night but relax.

      Hope this helps and hope you have an excellent trip!

  7. says

    One of my worst travel experience came while on the boat from KK to Brunei. The boat wasn’t properly ventilated thus the engine fumes flooded the cabin, near giving us Carbon Monoxide poisoning. Once we got to Brunei it was a wonderful time… So I guess it evens out.

  8. jen says

    hi I will go to KK for 4d 3n i wonder if i can include Brunei to my itinerary. any suggestions please. thank youu

  9. says

    Hi, I just did exactly this trip 2 days ago.
    First I have to say thank you for the great description.
    I only wanna update the prices.

    Ferry from Kota Kinabalu to Brunei RM 60,- plus RM 10,- ferry terminal tax in Labuan

    Taxi from the Jetty in Brunei to BSB B $ 35,- to 40,-

    Way back –> Bus to the Ferry B $ 2,-
    Ferry to Labuan B $ 17,-
    Labuan to KK RM 35,-
    –> Bus to Kota Kinabalu B $ 45,- (8-9 hours)

    I stayed in L.H. Soon (next to Brunei Hotel) the Dorm Room is B $ 18,- and a double room would be B $ 35,- or 40,-

  10. Desiree says

    it’s nice to see you’re still around. I have booked a flight to KK in February next year and decided in the last minute to include BSB. I’ll travel solo and plan to ride the bus from KK to BSB just to see the countryside and take the ferry back to KK. perhaps stay one night at Labuan. I expect there’s not much night life in BSB, nor KK. But my real plan is to climb Mt. Kinabalu which I reda would take at least 3 days for slow speed hiking. I allot 9 days for this trip. Hope it’s safe to travel solo there. Your article is an added info for me. Thanks for sharing.

  11. says

    Hi Mark,

    Another great article from you. I’ve been wanting to visit Kota Kinabalu for some time now because of the nice nature scenes I’ve heard about. Then, also been wanting to take that same ferry trip to Brunei. Hopefully, I can do that this coming year and I’ll bookmark this article as my e-guide. Thanks a lot!


  12. says


    Thanks for posting great info on this blog, apparently taking time to jot down these helpful tips and transpo fares bits and pieces. Very helpful especially to someone like me whose planning to do the KK-Brunei trip this year!

    Kudos to your blog!


  13. My Doan says

    Hello Mark,

    I planned to go to Brunei this March and will be staying at Terrace hotel but I am concerning about the bus leaving Brunei. Do you know where is the nearest bus station nearby that goes to Serasa Ferry Terminal so I can go back to KK?

    Many thanks :)


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