Saturday, July 28, 2012

Backpacking Malaysia: From Kota Kinabalu to Labuan to Brunei

On our second day in Kota Kinabalu, we planned to spend the day going around the Sabah Museum and travelling to Labuan Island in the afternoon to meetup with my friend's Malaysian friend (which became my friend also) there. We decided to spend the night there since it is on the way going to Brunei, which is our next destination after KK.

Going to Labuan Island, you need to ride a ferry in Jesselton Point. This will bring you to the small island and is the midpoint port if you plan to go to Brunei from KK. Located at the edge of town, Jesslton Point welcomes you with the big arc and and their ticketing office going to the different areas in KK.

When you plan to go to Labuan Island or Brunei, you must remember that the first trip going to Labuan Island is at around 8am in the morning and the last one is at around 1pm in the afternoon. If you plan to go to Brunei, you better get the morning trip since it would be 3-4 hours from KK to Labuan Island and another 1-2 hours from Labuan Island to Brunei. Also, you better take some sea sickness pills if you are not used to travelling by sea. It is quite a long ride so prepare yourself accordingly.

Selamat Datang! Welcome to KK

It is better to buy tickets early and be sure of the time of departure. The lady in the inn we stayed in said that there are travelers the past day that stayed for another night because they missed their boat ride in the afternoon. This was enough to send us early morning there and buy our tickets ahead, and go there early in the afternoon as to not to miss the ride at 1:30pm.

Tickets going to Labuan Island costs MYR35. This includes the taxes and other fees you need to settle for this trip. If you'd go straight to Brunei, it is much cheaper but it is almost a half day trip. Here are their schedules:

Schedule and Rates

The place is huge and there are a lot of ticket booths in the lobby and a waiting area for passengers. there are a lot of destinations here so better read all the stuff posted. There are chairs here for waiting passengers and you can stay fr the cool air conditioned room.

ticketing area

waiting area for passengers

Outside, there are a lot of restaurants and cafes you can choose if you are hungry. You can also seat on the chairs there but surely, there would be crews in the cafe that would ask for your order, so if your planning to jut sit there, find a far off spot to avoid them. Before that, there is a nice area where they show the history of the port. There is a red telephone booth that is really cute. We took some photos here just for fun (but it was with my friend's camera so I couldn't post it, sorry).

table and chairs in the waiting area

view at the port

When your departure time is near, you can go to the port and wait. If you go here, you can stay at the benches and rest or doze for a little while. This is their boarding area. As soon as the ferry arrives, you can go in. Make sure to show your passport and ticket to the crew.

Inside the economy class are rows of chairs for passengers. Each are assigned a seat but you can change if there are no occupants in others. You can leave your stuff at the front area if you wish. It is nice and air conditioned. They have a big flat screen TV where they play movies. The one available there was Battle Ships. Though, I really don't like the smell of gasoline and the sea movement. It makes me sick. So instead of watching in their flat screen, I just slept the whole ride. They are quite fast as compared to the ferries here in Manila and are quite prompt in their scheduled time. Though very bumpy and dizzy, I am glad I survived that ride without sea sickness medicines.

inside the economy class

movies to keep passengers entertained

As we arrived, we waited at the port for my friend's Malaysian friend, Gladys. She fetch us at the port and while waiting, we walked around chocolate stores and they are pretty cheap. I learned that the whole area is duty free so their merchandise is cheap. I was so tempted to buy, good thing, our friend arrived  and we didn't splurge there. Our second leg of adventure begins in Labuan!

Jesselton Point

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