Kota Kinabalu to Brunei (BSB) by Bus: 8 Passport Stamps in a Single Journey

Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia and Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei are two of the major cities in the island of Borneo. Travel between these two is easy and convenient, since there are a lot of options available. There are flights between Kota Kinabalu and Bandar Seri Begawan served by different airlines; there are ferries you can take from Kota Kinabalu to Labuan and onwards from Labuan to Brunei; and there is also an option for a long land journey, if you have enough time and you’re not in a rush. During my tour in Borneo, I only had a short time of vacation but I took the last option, because of one reason: PASSPORT STAMPS! In case you’re not aware of it, choosing this route will let you earn EIGHT (8) passport stamps, and this is a good way to fill up your passport if you’re fond of collecting them.

Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar Ali Saiffudien

Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar Ali Saiffudien, Bandar Seri Begawan

The only bus that caters this route is a day trip bus by Sipitang Express. The bus leaves every 8 o’clock in the morning and its terminal is located adjacent to the city park. Tickets can be bought either online or at the booth, which costs RM100. Even though it’s the sole bus that leaves for Brunei, it rarely gets full and on my experience, only half of the bus were filled and most of the passengers alighted at Lawas, Sarawak, which is just halfway to the destination. Only five of us were left after that time. The entire trip lasts for 8+ hours and ends at the waterfront in Bandar Seri Begawan.

Why eight stamps?

From Kota Kinabalu, as the journey progresses, the bus will exit Sabah and enter Sarawak. This will be your first encounter with the immigration borders. Even though these two states are part of Malaysia, you will have to have your passport stamped when you cross the boundary. Upon leaving Sarawak, you will enter the first Bruneian immigration. If you look at the map of Brunei or if you’re familiar with it, this tiny nation is composed of two sections divided by Sarawak. So it means that after the first entry in Temburong District in Brunei, you will exit immediately, enter and exit Sarawak again, and then enter Brunei for the second time. Check out the map to see the location of entry and exit points.


Entry and Exit Points in Blue Pins


Somewhere in Sarawak

The entire travel does not only guarantee you eight stamps, but you will also have the chance to see the towns and scenic mountainous views between these two cities. So what happens while on the road? During my own travel, I recorded the time we entered the immigration gates and which borders we have crossed. As a reference, read more below:


8:00AM – Bus Departure from Kota Kinabalu
11:05AM – Sabah/ Sarawak Border (Sindumin, Sabah/ Merapok, Sarawak)
11:45AM – Lunchbreak at Lawas, Sarawak
12:30PM – Bus Departure from Lawas, Sarawak
1:05PM – Sarawak/Brunei Border (Mengkalap, Sarawak)
1:10PM – Sarawak/ Brunei Border (Labu, Brunei)
1:50PM – Brunei/ Sarawak Border (Ujung Jalan, Brunei)
1:55PM – Brunei/ Sarawak Border (Pandaruan, Sarawak)
3:15PM – Sarawak/ Brunei Border (Tedungan, Sarawak)
3:30PM – Sarawak/ Brunei Border (Kuala Lurah, Brunei)
4:20PM – Bus Arrival at Bandar Seri Begawan

So that’s the end of the trip. Based on my experience, the immigration at Kuala Lurah is the busiest and strictest of them all. There are a lot of Filipinos in Brunei, thus having a Philippine Passport can be another factor for the officers to be more strict in checking. Just be ready to show them the flight and hotel reservations, and there will be no problems. Good luck!


Bruneian Immigration at Kuala Lurah

52 thoughts on “Kota Kinabalu to Brunei (BSB) by Bus: 8 Passport Stamps in a Single Journey

  1. Hi, magkano po total expenses nyo for this trip? Safe po kya ung route na to for solo travelers? Planning to do this next year, pero balik KK po balak ko ang mahal po ng return tix from BSB haha. May route dn po kaya si Sipitang Express from BSB back to KK?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Di ko po matandaan kung magkano yung expenses ko, pero di naman sya kamahalan since yung food dun ay mura lang din. Safe po sya for solo travelers. May mga solo travelers po naman around kk and bsb. May route sya pabalik kk pero sa pagkakaalam ko po sa hapon ang byahe


    • Ayun thanks po sa info, ung buses po b prang ung sa HCM to Siem Reap? May compartment po pra sa luggage? Safe nmn po kya ilagay dun? haha. Maliit na backpack lng po kse dala ko lagi at medium-sized na luggage pag nag travel.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi!

    Thanks for this. Naghahanap kami ng way to travel from KK to BSB without the ferry so it was really nice to see this blog.

    Eto yung planned itinerary namin:

    Nov 1-4 : Kota Kinabalu
    Nov 4 : Travel from KK to BSB
    Nov 4-6 : Explore BSB
    Nov 7 : Travel back from BSB to KK
    Nov 8: Flight from KK to MNL

    My question is, kelan kami pwede bumili ng ticket ng bus? Is there a return ticket that can be bought? Clinick ko kasi yung link, and it requires me to log in. I dont have Malaysian account.



  3. Hi John. Thanks for sharing this. I’ve read blogs about travelling from KK to Brunei and most of them involved ferries which I’m not very fond of. So I love it that you wrote about travelling the route by bus. So I guess that’s 8 hours of sitting in one vehicle? Do you think they have comfort rooms in the immigration offices in case nature calls? Hehe. And how much did you pay for the bus fare?


      • I just read the blog again and did not notice that you already mentioned the bus fare. Sorry. 😁 just want to know. How’d you survive the 8 hour bus ride? That’s really looooong. Any tips? And how’d you keep your bags whenever you left them for the passport stamp. Sorry got too many questions. I’ll be a first time traveller soon and i’m really concerned about security and stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Umm.. it was a daytrip so I just did mainly sightseeing from the bus. Or if you have anything else to do like read books or watch something, as if you are on a plane trip too. Haha! The bags aren’t much of a concern, you will only get off the bus and have your passport stamped for a few minutes then the bus will wait you on the other side of the border office. 🙂


  4. Hello! We’ll leave Manila on Jan 12, 2017, and we’ll arrive in Kota on Jan 13, 2017 1:35 am. I just want to ask, is it ok to go straight to the bus station (Sipitang Express)? We don’t have hotel reservations yet, is it OK to tell the Immigration that we’ll just find a hotel. Thanks a lot,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes po. Hmmm 1 day KK city tour, 1 day island hopping, 1 day byahe sa brunei tapos 1 day brunei tour. Nasa 600 MYR gastos ko sa KK at 200 BND sa Brunei, including na accommodation dun 🙂 mura lang usually yung flights pa-KK.


  5. hi ask ko lang ung bus terminal sa kota kinabalu, you mentioned that it is adjacent to city park. Do you mean City Park Lodge? when I click kasi sa link, wala po akong makitang city park don sa google map. We’ll do vice versa po kasi, from brunei to kota kinabalu. In brunei, is it the waterfront hotel? as in sa labas lang nila?

    thanks you in advance


    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh! Yung city park po, click nyo yung hyperlink. Park po sya hindi hotel. Nakatutok na po sa google maps yun pag naclick nyo 🙂 Not sure po sa Brunei, pero galing KK sa waterfront po kami bumaba. Most probably dun din po ang pabalik KK


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