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Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, Buses

Brunei-Muara Public Bus Service 34: BSB Bus Terminal to Brunei International Airport by Bus

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).

Read more at: http://railtravelstation.com/2018/09/25/brunei-muara-public-bus-service-34-bsb-bus-terminal-to-brunei-international-airport-by-bus

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Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, Buses, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Sipitang Express/Jesselton Express: Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Boarding Guide (Bus to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia)

Sipitang Express is one of the popular bus operators in Sabah, and the only one to offer the international Bandar Seri Begawan (Brunei) – Kota Kinabalu bus service under their subsidiary Jesselton Express. This journey is probably one of the most unique bus journeys in the world, departing once daily, which gives you a whopping 8 immigration stamps in your passport when on the full route from BSB to KK, crossing Brunei-Muara, eastern Sarawak (Limbang), into Temburong on the mountainous eastern part of Brunei, back into Sarawak (Lawas), and finally crossing western Sabah onwards to KK.

Read more at: http://railtravelstation.com/2018/09/24/sipitang-express-jesselton-express-bandar-seri-begawan-brunei-boarding-guide-bus-to-kota-kinabalu-malaysia

Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, Buses, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Sipitang Express/Jesselton Express: Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia to Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei by Bus

Sipitang Express is one of the popular bus operators in Sabah, and the only one to offer the international Kota Kinabalu – Bandar Seri Begawan (Brunei) bus service under their subsidiary Jesselton Express. This journey is probably one of the most unique bus journeys in the world, departing once daily, which gives you a whopping 8 immigration stamps in your passport when on the full route from KK to BSB, crossing western Sabah, eastern Sarawak (Lawas), into Temburong on the mountainous eastern part of Brunei, back into Sarawak (Limbang), and finally Brunei-Muara on the main western part of Brunei.

I purchased my ticket off Easybook about one month before this journey, not wanting to risk not having a seat since there is only one such bus daily. Tickets are sold under Sipitang Express for the Jesselton Express Kota Kinabalu – Bandar Seri Begawan bus service.

Read more at: http://railtravelstation.com/2018/09/22/sipitang-express-jesselton-express-kota-kinabalu-malaysia-to-bandar-seri-begawan-brunei-by-bus

Buses, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Kota Kinabalu Airport Bus: Padang Merdeka and Centre Point to Kota Kinabalu International Airport by Express Bus

The Kota Kinabalu Airport Bus is the only bus service serving Kota Kinabalu International Airport directly, offering an easy and affordable way to get from KK city to the airport. Buses from KK city depart from Padang Merdeka Bus Terminal, making a stop opposite Centre Point Sabah before heading express to KKIA.

Read more at: http://railtravelstation.com/2018/09/18/kota-kinabalu-airport-bus-padang-merdeka-and-centre-point-to-kota-kinabalu-international-airport-by-express-bus

Buses, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Kota Kinabalu Airport Bus: Kota Kinabalu International Airport to Centre Point and Padang Merdeka by Express Bus

The Kota Kinabalu Airport Bus is the only bus service serving Kota Kinabalu International Airport directly. Before the existence of this bus service, choices were limited to either renting a car, getting an expensive taxi or to walk out of the airport and catch an irregular passing public bus. With the Airport Bus now a main staple in the airport, getting to KK town is easy, straightforward and cheap.

Read more at: http://railtravelstation.com/2018/09/17/kota-kinabalu-airport-bus-kota-kinabalu-international-airport-to-centre-point-and-padang-merdeka-by-express-bus

Buses, China, Hong Kong

Cityflyer Service A10/A12: Water Street Shek Tong Tsui to Hong Kong International Airport by Express Bus

Cityflyer is the brand of express buses linking Hong Kong International Airport with Kowloon and Hong Kong Island, operated by Citybus. Cityflyer services are well spread out across the major districts, however, boarding the bus at Water Street (Shek Tong Tsui) on Hong Kong Island will get you double the frequency as Cityflyer Services A10 and A12 serve this bus stop before hitting the Western Harbour Crossing and North Lantau Highway, direct to Hong Kong International Airport.

Both Cityflyer Services A10 and A12 serve the Water Street bus stop before hitting the Western Harbour Crossing.

Bus service details can be found on the bus stop stand.

Both Cityflyer Services A10 and A12 travel the same highway route from this bus stop to Hong Kong International Airport, so just board the first one that comes along. Fares are HKD40 (~S$7.00) for the journey from Water Street (Shek Tong Tsui) to Hong Kong International Airport, payable by cash or Octopus at the same rate. Section fares apply on different starting points.

The interior of the lower deck of the Cityflyer bus.

Luggage racks are available, and luggage must be stored in them for the journey, aside from small hand-carry personal bags.

Goodbye Hong Kong, on a rainy day.

Entering the Western Harbour Crossing to get across Victoria Harbour.

The interior of the upper deck of the Cityflyer bus.

The Cityflyer provides coach-like reclining seats with ample legroom for this airport run, as well as an hour’s worth of free WiFi for the journey.

Crossing over the Stonecutters Bridge.

Inside the Nam Wan Tunnel.

Onto the main highlight of the journey to the airport – crossing the Tsing Ma Bridge, a suspension bridge 1,377 metres long over the Ma Wan Channel.

Breezing through the toll at Lantau Toll Plaza.

The Cityflyer bus drops off passengers at both terminals on the journey to the airport, stopping directly at the departures level. Terminal 1 is the first airport stop.

Most passengers alighted at Terminal 1. However, as check-in for Scoot was at Terminal 2, I remained on board.

Passengers-in-wheelchair may also use the Cityflyer bus service.

Dropping off at Terminal 2 to catch my Scoot flight back to Singapore.

The bus terminates at the next stop, at the Ground Transportation Centre. However, there was no one remaining on board any more, since the bus stops directly at the terminals.

The bus stops right outside the entrance to Terminal 2.

Heading to the check-in counter to check-in for my flight back to Singapore.

Overall, the Cityflyer service was a quick, efficient and affordable way to get from Shek Tong Tsui to Hong Kong International Airport. With a waiting time of less than 12 minutes and a journey time of around 30 minutes from Water Street, the service is on par with the MTR Airport Express Line, at cheaper fares and a more convenient pick-up point from my hotel on Hong Kong Island. Perhaps the Cityflyer would be my next choice in getting to and from Hong Kong International Airport in future.

Buses, Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoibus Express Bus Service 86: Noi Bai International Airport to Hanoi Railway Station by Express Bus

Hanoibus Service 86 is an express airport bus service linking Noi Bai International Airport to Hanoi city centre, terminating at Hanoi Railway Station, offering an affordable and convenient public transport link. With taxi fares costing around VND320,000 (~S$18.73), Hanoibus Service 86 costs around 10 times lesser than that at just VND35,000 (~S$2.05), so it was quite an obvious choice.

The bus stop for Hanoibus Service 86 at Noi Bai Terminal 2 is on the left side after exiting the terminal building.

Look out for the clearly posted signs.

The stop at Terminal 2 is just an intermediate stop for the Hanoibus Service 86, so seats may not be available on board.

Inside the crowded Hanoibus Service 86.

The standing area on board doubles up as a baggage storage area.

Exiting Noi Bai Airport.

After the bus stop outside the airport before hitting the highway, the conductor comes around to sell tickets for the bus ride to the city. Tickets cost VND35,000 (~S$2.05) per person.

Hanoibus Service 86 takes the new highway from Hanoi Airport to Hanoi city centre.

Aproaching the Nhat Tan Bridge.

Crossing over the Red River on the Nhat Tan Bridge.

Heading on the local main road after crossing the Red River.

The bus makes a stop at Long Bien Bus Station, where the bulk of passengers alighted at, presumably to transfer to other bus services.

What’s left of the bus after departing from Long Bien Bus Station.

The standing area on the bus.

Bells are provided around the bus to indicate your wish to stop, but you can just inform the conductor of your destination and the bus will prepare to stop there.

Hanoibus Service 86 makes a stop near the Old Quarter, and another near the Hanoi Opera House before heading to Hanoi Railway Station.

The overall interior of the bus, after everyone has alighted at Hanoi Railway Station, the terminus of Hanoibus Service 86.

The journey from Noi Bai International Airport to Hanoi Railway Station took about 1 hour.

From here, the train station itself is just steps away, or you can get a taxi or Grab to further destinations.

Overall, the Hanoibus Service 86 is an affordable and efficient way to get from Noi Bai International Airport to Hanoi city centre. Despite costing 7 times more than a regular bus, it still is about 10 times cheaper than the official taxi fare, and takes the highway so speeds aren’t that much different. Furthermore, buses seem to have an unofficial priority on local roads with all other vehicles giving way whenever the bus signals its intention, so it makes zipping around the city slightly faster. The premium fare of the Hanoibus Service 86 over the regular bus is pretty worth it for this airport transfer to the city.

Buses, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Singapore

Starmart Express: Golden Mile Tower to KL Sentral by Bus

Despite the previous negative experience, I opted for Starmart again for their Singapore to Kuala Lumpur midnight departure due to their high frequency and affordable fares despite being the start of a long weekend, and I’ve not experienced anything negative so far for the northbound journey, so here it goes.

I picked this journey to make it to KLIA for an afternoon flight the next day as the flight was a lot cheaper if I departed from there than from Changi Airport, and since I’m travelling light with some time to spare, this seems like a good combination.

As this was the start of the National Day long weekend, the staircase of Golden Mile Tower feels more like The Float@Marina Bay instead with the immense crowd.

The queue to check-in for the bus ride also u-turned itself. But thankfully, this was quite a quick procedure as always.

Probably to save time, the counter staff immediately printed my ticket out from the system and drew circles and boxes of the important details on it, and proceeded to get the next passenger to the counter before sending me off.

I’m used to transfer buses being labelled Bus 1 to Bus 4 or something, but today, I’m all the way on Bus 17. Wow.

When standing by at the driveway at midnight, the staff were calling for around Bus 4 to Bus 6 only, so I knew this was going to take a long while.

The bus calls went on until about 1am, when the staff came around to check for tickets of everyone left. This was followed by announcing for passengers to KL Sentral on Bus 17 that there will no longer be a transfer bus, but rather, a direct bus all the way from Golden Mile Tower to KL Sentral, and asked us to wait just a little while longer. The staff then came around to write the new bus number on all the tickets. Despite the huge crowd, they all seem to be able to maintain their composure and started to lighten up with us since we’re the last bus to depart.

About 10 minutes after that, the direct bus to KL Sentral pulled in, which formed the very last Starmart departure of the day.

Inside the rather full bus to KL Sentral.

The bus departed at 1.10am – 71 minutes delayed from schedule. But I guess with the amount of buses they had for this long weekend, and with the driveway only able to fit 2 buses at a time, this was to me quite understandable. Furthermore, they didn’t surge the fare for the long weekend, so I shouldn’t be complaining too much anyway.

The journey went without a hitch via Tuas Checkpoint and Tanjung Kupang CIQ. With the late departure, there wasn’t too much of a crowd at both checkpoints, which was a plus point.

The bus arrived at KL Sentral at 6.25am, thanks to the minimal crowd at both checkpoints, and dropped off at the entrance to the KLIA Ekspres departure side.

Overall, a simple and fuss-free journey to KL once again, with my faith in Starmart somewhat restored. Here, it’s just a short transit in KL for breakfast before I head off to KLIA to catch my flight.

Laos, Minivan, Vientiane

PTS Transit Service: Vientiane Nam Phou Fountain to Thanaleng Railway Station by Minivan

Thanaleng Railway Station is the only railway station in Laos, located in the middle of nowhere, near the border but approximately 22km from Vientiane city itself. The only way to get from Vientiane city to Thanaleng Railway Station is by private transport. However, as I spoke to Mr Per of PTS Transit Service who did my Thanaleng Railway Station to Vientiane Talad Sao transfer in the morning, who offered a shared ride on his minivan back to the station at the same rate of 200 Baht (~S$8.37), I took on his offer without hesitation.

As promised in the morning, Mr Per of PTS Transit Service showed up at the Nam Phou Fountain bus stop slightly after 3pm. However, he was contactable via Line, when I texted him at 3pm saying that I was at he bus stop waiting for him.

Goodbye Vientiane, it was a short but fruitful sightseeing trip and an insight to Laos.

Along the way, Mr Per informed me that there would be two other passengers from Vientiane city joining on the trip to Thanaleng Railway Station, and he’ll be picking them up.

However, he could not find the two other passengers who said that they were taking up the ride. So, Mr Per actually got off the minivan to ask the cafes and restaurants around the area if they have seen two Thai people waiting around for a minivan transfer, to no avail.

10/10 for trustworthiness.

While he was out searching for the two other passengers, I took some interior photos of his minivan. It may not be the most impressive minivan out there, but I’d take a trustworthy driver over comfort any time.

In the end, the two Thai passengers were not found, so it was just me who will be picked up from Vientiane city.

Heading to another outskirt location to pick up one more passenger to Thanaleng Railway Station.

Passing by the Embassy of the Republic of Singapore in Vientiane. Looks quite Singaporean with the typical gates and shelter.

After picking up the last passenger, Mr Per took a new road not found on Google Maps, but it was less crowded and bumpy than the main road skirting the Mekong River.

This might be Vientiane’s equivalent of a freeway with wide roads and not many traffic junctions anywhere along it.

Crossing over a small river.

Only one side of the new road has been completed on certain stretches, so both directions share the completed side of the road.

After a cool, drizzling day, a rainbow showed up on the way to Thanaleng Railway Station.

A pretty nice end to my first visit to Laos.

Entering the Thanaleng Railway Station compound.

Even from the main gate, the station itself is quite deep in.

Payment is done upon arrival, with Mr Per accepting either 200 Baht or 50,000 Kip for the transfer. I chose to pay in Lao Kip to clear off as much as possible from my wallet, as it is not very widely accepted at banks or money changers outside of Laos. Also, he did not ask for extra money despite me having almost the full minivan to myself with the two Thai passengers not showing up.

I gave him a 100,000 Kip note for the fare, and he returned me 200 Baht in change, saying that “This is easier for you later.”.

10/10 for service and thoughtfulness.

The journey from Nam Phou Fountain to Thanaleng Railway Station took about one hour, inclusive of the time taken waiting for other passengers who showed up or otherwise.

Thank you to Mr Per for a great transfer service to and from Thanaleng Railway Station!

Mr Per is contactable at the following numbers if you would like to reserve his service for your shared transfer to Vientiane, and offering various kinds of ticket purchasing services across Laos, Thailand and Vietnam as well. You can also purchase the PTS Transit Service Train+Minivan Combined Ticket from Nong Khai to Vientiane on 12Go Asia, which will be using Mr Per’s minivan for the transfer from Thanaleng Railway Station to Vientiane.

This is not an advertorial, and a 100% personal experience. I receive no cutbacks (except from 12Go Asia if booked there) if you choose to use Mr Per’s minivan services.

Buses, Laos, Vientiane

Vientiane City 2 Bus Service Airport Shuttle: Wattay International Airport to Nam Phou Fountain and Central Bus Station (CBS) by former Kyoto City Bus

Vientiane City 2 Bus Service is a new bus serving serving Vientiane, promoted to be safe, reliable and convenient. Two new routes are currently in operation, namely the ITECC-Talat Sao Line and the Airport Shuttle, both of which offer through services to the other at most times of the day. The Vientiane City 2 Bus Service uses donated Mitsubishi Fuso Aero Star buses from Kyoto, Japan, which operated on Kyoto City Bus services.

The new Airport Shuttle is a key bus route linking Wattay International Airport with Vientiane city.

Arriving from your flight, head out of the Arrival Hall as per normal to the driveway.

There will be signs along the way pointing to the bus stop for the Airport Shuttle.

If the bus is already there, the driver and/or conductor will be on hand to provide information about the Airport Shuttle to Vientiane city. If not, just wait around the clearly signposted bus stop along the driveway.

While traffic runs on the right side of the road in Laos, the ex-Kyoto City Bus Mitsubishi Fuso Aero Star remains in its original configuration of being right-hand-drive. However, a new door has been cut out on the right side of the bus to facilitate boarding and alighting on the correct side of the road.

The ex-Kyoto City Bus Mitsubishi Fuso Aero Star on the Vientiane City 2 Bus Service at Wattay International Airport.

There are stickers around the donated buses to show that the bus was donated from Kyoto, Japan.

The bus stop post on the sheltered driveway at Wattay International Airport. The bus stop is located outside the International Arrival Hall.

The route map of the Airport Shuttle. Click on the image to enlarge.

The timetable of the Airport Shuttle and the listings of hotels with the corresponding nearest bus stop. Click on the image to enlarge.

Boarding the ex-Kyoto City Bus Mitsubishi Fuso Aero Star.

The interior of the ex-Kyoto City Bus Mitsubishi Fuso Aero Star on the Airport Shuttle.

The driving console of the ex-Kyoto City Bus Mitsubishi Fuso Aero Star.

The door on the left side of the bus is not used in normal circumstances.

Even the clock on board is of “Japan Standard” brand.

Advertisement panels are not removed, with one bearing an apt advertisement of H.I.S. Vientiane.

A door safety mechanism is installed above the door by JICA Laos to prevent the door from shutting when there is an obstruction.

Not a very comfortable seat on top of the wheel.

The small curtain to prevent light from reflecting on the windscreen remains in tact.

The rear door steps has been filled in, with two seats installed on top of it since the doors on the left side of the bus are no longer in use.

After departure, the conductor comes around to sell tickets for the Airport Shuttle.

A ticket from Wattay International Airport to CBS costs 15,000 Kip (~S$2.41). However, fares on this route without coming from the airport costs just 5,000 Kip (~S$0.80) instead.

Leaving Wattay International Airport.

The Airport Shuttle takes the main Setthathilath Street to Vientiane city.

Announcements are made by the driver whenever approaching a bus stop, and when heading for the next one.

Press the bell to alight.

I dropped off at Nam Phou Fountain where my transfer back to Thanaleng Railway Station would pick me up. From here, the Airport Shuttle will continue on to CBS, and thereafter to Lao ITECC.

Overall, based on the staff’s service and information about the Airport Shuttle available, the Vientiane City 2 Bus Service Airport Shuttle is the best airport public bus service in the whole of ASEAN. Both the driver and conductor are extremely friendly and English-speaking, stops are made only at official bus stops as stated on the map and timetable, the driver drives at a safe speed AND according to the timetable like in Japan, the air-conditioning is great especially with the hot and humid weather in Laos (and around ASEAN too), and free WiFi is available throughout the journey.

If travelling between Wattay International Airport and Vientiane city, the Airport Shuttle would be my top choice for a safe and affordable journey.