Due to subsidised fuel prices, the most common mode of transport is car. Hiring a car is probably the best way to explore Brunei and prices start from $60 per day. Most rental agencies will bring the car to your hotel and pick it up when you’ve finished. Drivers can also be arranged, though this will increase the cost to around B$100 per day.
Despite the high level of car ownership, the roads aren’t heavily congested with traffic, except during peak hours between 7am and 8am, and 4pm to 6pm. The main roads are in good condition, but some back roads require a 4WD.
Many of Brunei’s attractions lie within walking distance of each other in the heart of the capital city, Bandar Seri Begawan. But if you need to go further afield, a convenient new public transport system services the capital and other destinations, with fares starting from just B$1. There are six main routes in Brunei-Muara which run from 6am to 8pm and depart from the central terminal on Jalan Cator. Buses heading to other parts of the country such as Tutong, Kuala Belait and Seria also depart from same terminal.
Metered taxis can be found at the airport, hotels, shopping centres, and the central bus station in Bandar Seri Begawan. However, outside of these locations, taxis are few and far between and rather on the pricey side. It’s almost unheard of to flag down a cab on the street, so if you need a ride it’s best to book a taxi with your hotel ahead of time and get the driver’s personal number.
Water taxis and speed boats
Unique to Brunei, the water taxi is the most common means of transport in Kampong Ayer. You can hail a taxi from any of the jetties along the Brunei river and it is an ideal way to see the water village up close. Fares cost 50 cents one-way and increase to $1 after 6pm. For longer tours of Kampong Ayer and the nearby mangroves, a price must be negotiated with the water taxi driver beforehand.
If you’re heading to the Temburong district, take a speedboat from the new jetty on Jalan Residency. Services operate from 7.45am to 4pm daily and fares are $7 one-way.
Passenger ferry services to the Malaysian island of Labuan operate from 7am to 4pm and depart from the Serasa Terminal in Muara town. The journey takes about 45 minutes to an hour.