Kota Kinabalu is the capital of the Sabah state of Malaysia found on the island of Borneo. It’s famous for its pristine beaches, lush rainforests, a serene waterfront boardwalk, and bustling weekend markets. It also serves as the gateway to Kinabalu Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Equally as stunning, Brunei is known to be the richest country in the world. It features stunning architecture, delectable cuisine, and vibrant culture.
If you’re planning on traveling from Kota Kinabalu to Brunei, then you’re in luck as this guide will show you how to get between the two destinations. Below, I describe exactly how to get from Kota Kinabalu to Brunei whether you are looking for a Brunei to Kota Kinabalu flight, want to travel from Kota Kinabalu to Brunei by bus, take a Kota Kinabalu to Brunei ferry or want to drive in your own car.
I also describe the reverse journey from Brunei to Kota Kinabalu.
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Map: Travel From Kota Kinabalu To Brunei
This map will show you the distance between Kota Kinabalu to Brunei.
Kota Kinabalu to Brunei distance is 241 km. with a travel time of around 7 hrs.
BEST OPTION: How To Get From Kota Kinabalu To Brunei
There are various ways you can travel to and from these destinations. Travelling by plane is definitely the fastest option, while the bus is the cheapest option.
A good balance between the two, taking into consideration both travel time and cost is to take the ferry.
Option 1: Kota Kinabalu To Brunei Flight
Flying is the fastest way to get from Kota Kinabalu to Brunei.
You can take a direct flight from Kota Kinabalu to Brunei via Royal Brunei Airlines, and Malaysia Airlines. Travel time is 40-50 minutes and prices vary depending on the airline and season.
The Brunei International Airport is close to the city centre, approximately 8 mins away. To take the bus going to the airport, ride buses 23, 24, 36, 38, and 57 at the south end of the main terminal. These run every 30 mins or so, but there’s no fixed time schedule. The cost is B$1 -2.
Alternatively, you can hop on a taxi that will take you to the main city centre. Travel time is 15 mins and cost around B$20-25.
Option 2: Kota Kinabalu To Brunei Bus
Another convenient option is to take the Kota Kinabalu Brunei bus.
There’s only one bus that takes this route. In terms of the Kota Kinabalu to Brunei bus schedule, the bus leaves at 8:00 am, every day. I suggest that you purchase your ticket online to avoid the long queues at the terminal.
Travel time is 8-10 hours, and the fare costs around RM100.
If you plan to take the bus from Kota Kinabalu to Brunei, note that you are required to get off the bus several times for the immigration process.
Option 3: Ferry Kota Kinabalu To Brunei
If you want to travel from Kota Kinabalu to Brunei by ferry, you need to ride 2 boats on this route. First, you need to catch the ferry from Kota Kinabalu to Labuan, then, another one from Labuan to Muara in Brunei.
If your accommodation is near the city centre, you can walk to Jesselton Point. Alternatively, you can catch a taxi or Grab (RM 60.)
You can purchase your tickets at the terminal. I suggest you book online in advance to avoid the hassle. Fare is around RM60 for adults and RM45 for children.
For the Kota Kinabalu ferry to Brunei, make sure to arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled travel time because passengers usually board earlier. Travel time is approximately 2 hours, and there are only two trips daily. The first trip leaves at 8:00 am, and the last trip at 1:30 pm.
Once you get to Labuan, catch a ferry (3-3.5 hours.) in Serasa Ferry Terminal that will take you to Muara, Brunei.
In terms of the Kota Kinabalu to Brunei ferry schedule, there are three trips daily. You can take the earliest trip to 10:30 am. If you miss that, there’s also a 1:30 and 4:00 pm trip.
Option 4: Kota Kinabalu To Brunei By Car
The last alternative is to travel Kota Kinabalu to Brunei by land via car. The total distance is 241 km. and will take approximately 7 hrs.
Keep in mind that you’ll be encountering a lot of border crossings, and this can slow you down.
Brunei to Kota Kinabalu
In terms of how to get from Brunei to Kota Kinabalu, all you need to do is to take the above transportation options in reverse.
You can either fly via plane, travel by bus, ferry, or car to get to your destination.
If you’re travelling by plane, book any Brunei Kota Kinabalu flights via Royal Brunei or Malaysia Airlines. Approximate travel time is 40-50 mins.
Meanwhile, If you’re travelling from Brunei to Kota Kinabalu by land, purchase a bus ticket and take the Sipitang Express at Bandar Seri Begawan. The Brunei to Kota Kinabalu bus leaves only once a day, around 8:00 am. Travelling Brunei to Kota Kinabalu by bus takes 8-10 hrs.
Another alternative is to Brunei to Kota Kinabalu by ferry. Note that for the Brunei to Kota Kinabalu ferry, you need to take 2 boats. For the first part of the Brunei – Kota Kinabalu ferry journey, you need to catch a ferry bound for Labuan at Serasa Ferry Terminal in the Port City of Serasa. To get there, you can either take the bus, taxi or rent a car (45 minutes.)
Then, from the terminal, take a ferry bound for Labuan (2 hours.) Once you arrive in Labuan Ferry Terminal, purchase your tickets for Kota Kinabalu. This is the final stretch of your journey, and travel time is approximately 3-3.5 hours.
The last and final option is to travel from Brunei to Kota Kinabalu by car, or arrange a private vehicle transfer. The Brunei to Kota Kinabalu drive will take approximately 7 hrs.
So, there you have it. We’ve covered the various ways you can travel from Kota Kinabalu to Brunei, (and vice versa.) As we’ve discussed, travelling to these destinations is pretty easy and convenient.
The fastest option is to take the plane. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly alternative, you can travel by bus. Meanwhile, travelling via ferry helps balance out the speed and the travel costs.
I hope you found this guide to how to travel from Kota Kinabalu to Brunei useful. We also have travel guides for reaching Kota Kinabalu from other places such as Labuan and Sandakan. You can find our Kota Kinabalu itinerary here and our complete travel guide to Kota Kinabalu here.
We also have other travel guides for travel to Brunei from other Malaysian destinations such as taking the ferry from Labuan.
Sharon is an Australian who has fallen in love with Malaysia! She explores Malaysia multiple times a year, often with her kids, and has previously lived in Penang.