Brunei's limited public bus system, run by a variety of companies, is somewhat erratic, at least to the uninitiated, so getting around by public transport takes effort. Buses (B$1) operate daily from 6.30am to about 6pm; after that, your options are taking a cab or hoofing it. If you're heading out of town and will need to catch a bus back, ask the driver if and when they're coming back and what time the last bus back is.
Finding stops can be a challenge – some are marked by black-and-white-striped uprights or a shelter, others by a yellow triangle painted on the pavement, and yet others by no discernible symbol. Fortunately numbers are prominently displayed on each 20- or 40-passenger bus.
The bus station lacks an information office or a ticket counter, though there is a schematic route map that, while it's hard to decipher, explains what buses (routes are numbered) go where. It may be best to ask about transport options at your hotel before heading to the bus station.
Useful bus routes include:
- Airport 23, 24, 34, Express
- Brunei Museum, Malay Technology Museum, Maritime Museum 39
- Empire Hotel, Jerudong 57, 58
- Gadong 1, 20, 23
- Istana Nurul Iman 44-49, 56
- Jame'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque 1, 20
- Kiulap 20, 23
- Serasa Ferry Terminal 33, Express
Brunei has Southeast Asia's cheapest petrol (cheaper per litre than bottled water). If you're driving a car (eg a rental) with Malaysian plates and are not a Brunei resident, you'll be taken to a special pump to pay more (this is to prevent smuggling).
Hiring a car is the best way to explore both BSB and Brunei's hinterland. Parking is plentiful and driving conditions are very good. Rental prices start at about B$75 a day. Surcharges may apply if the car is taken into Sarawak. Most agencies will bring the car to your hotel and pick it up when you've finished, and drivers can also be arranged, though this could add B$100 to the daily cost. The main roads are in good condition, but some back roads require a 4WD.
Indera En Voy Transportation Local rental company with competitive rates. Near airport.
Hertz Has a counter at Brunei airport.
Taxi & Dart
Taxis are a convenient way of exploring BSB – if you can find one, that is, as there are only about 50 in the country. There is no centralised taxi dispatcher, and it's difficult or impossible to flag down a cab on the street. Hotels can provide drivers' mobile-phone numbers. Most taxis have yellow tops; a few serving the airport are all white.
BSB's only proper taxi rank is two blocks north of the waterfront, at the bus terminal on Jln Cator.
Some taxis use meters, although many drivers will just try to negotiate a fare with you. Fares go up by 50% after 10pm; the charge for an hour of wait time is B$30 to B$35. Sample day-time taxi fares from the city centre include the Brunei Museum (B$25), Gadong (B$15), the airport (B$20 to B$25), the Serasa Ferry Terminal in Muara (B$40), the Empire Hotel & Country Club (B$35) and the Jerudong Park Playground (B$35).
Download the Dart app if you have a smartphone and you get access to Brunei's answer to Uber, meaning prices are more competitive than taxis.
If your destination is near the river, water taxis – the same little motorboats that ferry people to and from Kampung Ayer – are a good way of getting there. You can hail a water taxi anywhere on the waterfront a boat can dock, as well as along Venice-esque Sungai Kianggeh. Crossing straight across the river is supposed to cost B$1 per person; diagonal crossings and tours of Kampung Ayer cost more.