Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia and Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei are two of the major cities in the island of Borneo. Travel between these two is easy and convenient, since there are a lot of options available. There are flights between Kota Kinabalu and Bandar Seri Begawan served by different airlines; there are ferries you can take from Kota Kinabalu to Labuan and onwards from Labuan to Brunei; and there is also an option for a long land journey, if you have enough time and you’re not in a rush. During my tour in Borneo, I only had a short time of vacation but I took the last option, because of one reason: PASSPORT STAMPS! In case you’re not aware of it, choosing this route will let you earn EIGHT (8) passport stamps, and this is a good way to fill up your passport if you’re fond of collecting them.
Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar Ali Saiffudien, Bandar Seri Begawan
The only bus that caters this route is Continue reading
I had a great experience in the islands of Kota Kinabalu. I enjoyed the city as well, with its laid-back atmosphere and natural ambiance despite some big establishments. It was my time then to leave the place and head to my next destination, which just lies near Sabah; I was bound for the oil-rich country of Brunei.
Situated at the northwestern coast of Borneo, this tiny nation is divided into two sections by the Malaysian state of Sarawak. Its capital is Bandar Seri Begawan, which spans an area of 100 square kilometres. Travel between Kota Kinabalu and Brunei is easy, with a lot of options either by land, water, or air. Just like Singapore, the city can be explored in a short period of time and the sights here mainly includes mosques, parks, and shopping areas. On my one (and a half) day trip in Bandar, I saw most of its notable landmarks.
View of Sultan Omar Ali Saiffudien Mosque from Yayasan Complex
Having a Philippine Passport, one of the things that makes us difficult to travel aside from purchasing costly airfares is the mandatory application for tourist visas to most of the countries. Based on Passport Index, currently our national passport is only ranked 63 by the number of visa-free countries where we can enter (which is 62), that is a long way down from Germany and Sweden with 158.
Thankfully, our neighbours will always welcome us. Last 2006, there was a signed agreement between the ten ASEAN member countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) that grants the passport holders of these nations to move freely around the region and enter each country without applying for a visa for a stay of up to 30 days, depending on the regulations of each one of them. It means worry-free travel to those who wish to explore the culture around us!
Here is the list of the ASEAN Countries with their corresponding number of visa-free days: Continue reading