Kota Kinabalu is a quaint, and charming capital of Sabah. Travellers often come here to visit as it is the gateway to the highest peak in Southeast Asia, Mount Kinabalu. It’s also blessed with natural wonders like pristine beaches, lush rainforests, and fresh seafood.
Equally as stunning, Labuan is well-known in Southeast Asia as a duty-free centre and a financial district. Also known as the “Pearl of Borneo,” this underrated destination also features interesting WWII attractions, fascinating shipwrecks, and beautiful beaches.
Below, I describe exactly how to get from Kota Kinabalu to Labuan whether you are looking for a Kota Kinabalu to Labuan flight, a Kota Kinabalu Labuan ferry, or want to take your car from Kota Kinabalu to Labuan.
I also describe the reverse journey from Labuan to Kota Kinabalu.
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Map: Kota Kinabalu To Labuan
This map will show you the Kota Kinabalu to Labuan distance.
The distance from Kota Kinabalu to Labuan is approximately 171.1 km with a travel time of 3 hours and 47 minutes.
BEST OPTION: How To Go From Kota Kinabalu To Labuan
There are several ways you can travel to and from these destinations.
Although flying is quicker, you still have to factor in the airport wait and travel times. The most convenient way to get to your destination is to take the ferry from Kota Kinabalu to Labuan.
Option 1: Kota Kinabalu To Labuan Flight
Flying is the easiest way if you want to get from Kota Kinabalu to Labuan. To reach the Kota Kinabalu Airport, take the shuttle bus or taxi from the main city centre. The distance is approximately 9 km with a travel time of about 14 minutes.
Malaysia Airlines offer flights from Kota Kinabalu to Labuan. Ticket prices cost around RM 189 – RM 303, depending on the promo and season. The approximate flying time is 40 minutes.
Once you arrive in Labuan, the airport is already close to the main city centre, 2 km. Northeast, and a quick 8-minute drive.
Although flying is the quickest way to get to your destination, you have to consider the wait times at the airport, and overall travel times as well.
Option 2: Kota Kinabalu Ferry To Labuan
Another option is to take the ferry from Kota Kinabalu to Labuan. From the main city centre, Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal is within walking distance. Alternatively, you can take a Grab or taxi and will cost around RM60.
You can purchase your tickets once you arrive at the terminal. You can also book online in advance to avoid the long queues. Travel time is 3 hrs and will cost around RM41.
There are only two trips that ply on this route daily. The first trip leaves around 8:00 am, while the last trip leaves at 1:30 pm.
Option 3: Kota Kinabalu To Labuan By Car
If you’re travelling by car from Kota Kinabalu, the drive to Menumbok town (1-2 hrs.)
Then, ride a ferry that departs from Menumbok Ferry Terminal to Labuan Island. This will take 30-40 minutes, depending on the tide, and the weather. Ferries usually depart around 6 am, 10 pm, and 4 pm.
Travelling by car allows you to have a more flexible itinerary.
Labuan To Kota Kinabalu
In terms of how to get from Labuan to Kota Kinabalu, all you need to do is to take the above transportation options in reverse.
You can either fly via plane, take the ferry, or travel by car to get to your destination.
If you’re flying via plane, from Labuan’s main city centre, take the taxi or shuttle to Labuan Airport. Malaysia Airlines offer flights to Kota Kinabalu. A Labuan to Kota Kinabalu flight will cost around RM 189 – RM 303. Once you arrive at Kota Kinabalu Airport, ride a taxi that will take you to the city centre. Travel time is approximately 14 minutes.
Similarly, you can take the ferry from Labuan to Kota Kinabalu. Travel time takes approximately 3 hrs and will cost about RM41.
Note that there are only two ferries that leave Labuan Ferry Terminal daily. The first one leaves at 8:00 am, and the last and final ferry at 1:00 pm.
Finally, you can travel via car. From Labuan, take a 1-2-hour drive to Menumbok town. Then, hop on a ferry from Menumbok Ferry Terminal to Kota Kinabalu (30-40 mins.)
So there you have it. In this post, we’ve covered the various transportation options that you can take if you’re travelling from Kota Kinabalu and Labuan (and vice versa!)
A quicker option is to fly via plane, but you have to take into consideration the waiting times at the airport as well. If you want to get to your destination in the most convenient way possible, I suggest that you take the ferry. Another alternative is to travel via car.
I hope you found this guide to how to travel from Kota Kinabalu to Labuan useful. We also have travel guides for reaching Kota Kinabalu from other places such as KL, Kuching, Sandakan and Brunei. 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 Labuan from other Malaysian destinations such as taking the ferry from Brunei. You can read our guide on all there is to in Labuan here, where to stay here and all our guides to Labuan here.
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.