EXACTLY How To Get From Kota Kinabalu To Brunei✅[2024]

Published Categorized as Kota Kinabalu, Brunei
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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 interesting, Brunei features stunning architecture, delectable cuisine, pristine rainforests and vibrant culture.

Sunset in Kota Kinabalu
Sunset in Kota Kinabalu

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 shows you the distance between Kota Kinabalu to Brunei.

Kota Kinabalu to Brunei map
Click the map above to open it in Google Maps.

Kota Kinabalu to Brunei distance is 258 kilometres with a travel time of around 6 hours to drive.

BEST OPTION: How To Get From Kota Kinabalu To Brunei [2024]

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.

Here’s a summary of your options:

Mode of transportDurationBest For?Book
Flight3.25 hoursPeople who want the quickest optionBook here
Bus8.25 hoursPeople who want the cheapest optionBook here
Car6 hoursPeople who are happy to hire a car Book here
Ferry24 hours+ (overnight in Labuan required)This involves two ferries but currently the first segment from Kota Kinbalu to Labuan is not runningBook here
Durations take into account an approximate time getting to and from bus stations/airports to a central location as well as waiting time

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. Travel time is 40 minutes and prices vary depending on the date and season. This flight only runs a few times a week, currently on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Prices start at RM370.

Kota Kinabalu International Airport
Kota Kinabalu International Airport

Both airports are close to the city centres with Kota Kinabalu International Airport being eight kilometres away.

Brunei International Airport is approximately 8 kilometres away from the city centre as well.

Taxis are the best and easiest ways to get to and from the airports. The cheapest way is to use the Grab app in Kota Kinabalu and the Dart app in Brunei. They both operate like Uber.

Click here to see the prices for your dates.

Option 2: Kota Kinabalu To Brunei Bus

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 with the Sipitang Express bus company. In terms of the Kota Kinabalu to Brunei bus schedule, the bus leaves at 7:30am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I suggest that you purchase your ticket online so you don’t miss out on your preferred day.

Travel time is 7.25 hours, and the fare costs around RM150.

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.

This is the cheapest option.

Click here to see the latest timetables and prices.

Option 3: Ferry Kota Kinabalu To Brunei

At the time of publishing this article in December 2023, the ferry from Kota Kinabalu to Labuan is temporarily paused. It has not been announced when it will restart. Check the Facebook page here or the ticket pages here to see if it has started again when you travel. The information below is for your reference if it does start again.

The ferry service in this part of the world has been heavily impacted by the pandemic, so don’t believe information online that says these ferries run regularly as they don’t currently. This information below about the Labuan to Brunei ferry is correct at the time of publishing.

If you want to travel from Kota Kinabalu to Brunei by ferry, you need to take two different boats. First, you need to catch the ferry from Kota Kinabalu to Labuan then one from Labuan to Muara in Brunei.

If your accommodation is near the city centre in Kota Kinabalu, you can walk to Jesselton Point where the ferry to Labuan departs. Alternatively, you can catch a taxi or Grab.

You can purchase your tickets at the terminal. I suggest you book online in advance to avoid the hassle. The fare was around RM43 for adults and RM29 for children. Malaysians pay less.

The ferry to Labuan departs at 8am and takes around 2.5 hours when it is running.

Click here to see the latest prices.

Labuan International Ferry Terminal
Labuan International Ferry Terminal

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.

Once you get to Labuan, catch a ferry that will take you to Muara, Brunei.

For the ferry schedule from Labuan to Brunei, there are now ferries daily. The ferry schedule does vary daily, but there is usually one leaving Labuan around 9:30am and 3pm. There’s also one at 12pm on same days. This journey also takes around two hours. It costs RM63 for an adult after fees.

You can see these timetables, prices and book online here.

Even when the Kota Kinabalu to Labuan ferry is running, this method will require an overnight stop in Labuan.

Alternate Option You Can Take In 2024 – Bus + 2 Ferries

You can also take a bus from Kota Kinabalu to Menumbok in Sabah and from here you can take a ferry to Labuan. You can read more about how to do this in this article.

If you do this first thing in the morning (bus timetables here), you can get there in time for the 3pm ferry to Brunei as described above and arrive in Brunei in the same day as you left Kota Kinabalu.

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 about 338 kilometres. It will take approximately 6 hours.

Keep in mind that you’ll be encountering a lot of border crossings, and this can slow you down.

Click here to read more about driving in Malaysia. Finding a car rental company that will let you drive over the border is tricky.

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. Approximate travel time is 40 minutes. Find them here.

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 8am on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Travelling Brunei to Kota Kinabalu by bus takes around seven hours. Make sure you book in advance to get your preferred day.

Click here to find the latest timetable and prices for the bus.

Another alternative is to travel Brunei to Kota Kinabalu by ferry. Note that for the Brunei to Kota Kinabalu ferry, you need to take two boats. The ferries travel from Brunei to Labuan and then Labuan to Kota Kinabalu.

Unfortunately, the ferry from Labuan to Kota Kinabalu is not running at the time of publishing so this is not an option. You can see if that has changed yet here.

You can still take the first part of the Brunei – Kota Kinabalu ferry journey. For this, you need to catch a ferry bound for Labuan at the Serasa Ferry Terminal just outside of the town of Muara. To get there, you can either take a bus or taxi.

From the terminal, take a ferry bound for Labuan. This takes around two hours and leaves at 12:30pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It costs BND$20.

Once you arrive in Labuan Ferry Terminal, if the ferries have returned to Kota Kinabalu, purchase your onward tickets. This is the final stretch of your journey with a travel time of approximately 3-3.5 hours.

The last and final option is to travel from Brunei to Kota Kinabalu by car. The Brunei to Kota Kinabalu drive takes approximately six hours.

Final Words

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 easy, but not cheap.

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 – if it’s running.

You can find bus prices here.

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 or travelling between Miri and Brunei here.

Planning a trip to Malaysia? Have any questions? Join our Malaysia Travel Planning Facebook group here now! It’s the perfect place to ask any questions and to be inspired!

By Sharon Gourlay

Sharon is a certified Malaysia travel expert and can't get enough of travelling and talking about Malaysia since she first visited 21 years ago. She travels around Malaysia multiple times a year both alone and with her kids. She used to call Penang home and especially loves this food paradise. Sharon also has a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies, a Certificate III in International Travel Sales and has been certified by Tourism Malaysia as a Malaysia Travel Expert. Through this site, she'll help you have the perfect trip to this amazing destination.