Bandar Seri Begawan is served by a small network of public buses, which reaches out around the main roads of Brunei-Muara district. However, multiple bus routes ply between BSB Bus Terminal and Brunei International Airport, and with Qing Yun Resthouse Bandar just in front of BSB Bus Terminal, I opted to get to the airport by bus for just B$1 (S$1).
The “main concourse” of the BSB Bus Terminal.
It’s really rather sparse as compared with other bus terminals around the world, with a proper building structure but no information counter or staff around for that matter. Some route information signs on the pillars are also missing.
There is, however, one route map on display, which shows the Brunei-Muara Public Bus network.
View the high-resolution .pdf file from the Ministry of Communications (Brunei) here: http://mincom.gov.bn/ltd/SiteAssets/Site%20Pages/Land%20Transport%20Department/Quick%20Links/Bus%20Route/New%20Bus%20Route.pdf
The interior of BSB Bus Terminal. Yes, you walk through this area to get to your correct bus.
Buses that run from BSB Bus Terminal to Brunei International Airport and vice-versa are Bus Services 23, 24, 34, 36, 38 and Express. Bus Services 23, 24, 34 and 38 are the most direct and most likely in operation during the day, Bus Service 36 runs around the city, taking a longer journey of 45 minutes and Express does not seem to be in operation. There are no public bus services after around 6pm.
As Bus Service 34 was about to depart first, I boarded it.
I handed B$1 to the driver (since the coin box was too far out to reach), who dispensed the ticket from the ticket-dispensing machine.
My dot-matrix slip of ticket for the journey to Brunei International Airport.
Tickets for the Brunei-Muara Public Bus cost a flat B$1 (S$1) regardless of distance travelled, but no transfer fares are applicable – you pay B$1 each time you board a bus.
A clearer view of the ticketing system used on the Brunei-Muara Public Bus – the same one that Singapore used before 1990 and the fare card system.
The interior of the Brunei-Muara Public Bus. Almost every bus in the fleet is a minibus, and ran empty or half-empty during a weekday morning.
Turning away from downtown BSB.
A typical bus stop in Bandar Seri Begawan.
It was a rather straight route to the airport.
Making a stop outside The Airport Mall.
Here, it’s just another junction to the airport.
Approaching Brunei International Airport.
The driveway looks kind of like Singapore already – a preview to the destination of my flight back.
Wonder what the Royal Pavilion looks like.
The bus went up the departure lane to drop me off.
The Surau of Brunei International Airport, by far the most elaborate Surau I have ever seen.
Arriving at Brunei International Airport.
The bus dropped off at the departure driveway and then went down to the arrivals level for the airport bus stop. The journey from BSB Bus Terminal to Brunei International Airport took around 20 minutes.
From here, it’s just a stroll into the departure check-in area to check-in for my flight.
On the reverse direction from Brunei International Airport to BSB Bus Terminal, head straight out of the arrival hall.
Turn left at the driveway.
The bus stop is at the end of the driveway.
Overall, with the multiple routes available between BSB Bus Terminal and Brunei International Airport, it is a cheap and efficient way to get between the two places using the public bus service as even though individual frequencies may be not ideal, having buses on parallel routes stacked together makes the waiting time significantly shorter. And with taxis scarce in this city where probably everyone owns at least one car, there are not much crowd on the public bus services as well, apart from foreigners (tourists and foreign workers alike) since taxis are pretty expensive in Bandar Seri Begawan – and Brunei in general.
For just B$1, take the bus to the airport next time.