Brunei visa scam and back to 3

Kota Kinabalu Travel Blog

 › entry 151 of 658 › view all entries

People i met here, who contributed to and improved my trip: Julia (Russia), Hannes (Sweden)

Our last day in Kota Kinabalu was a 'preperation day', where we hoped to sort out our future plans. First stop of the day was the Brunei embassy to get Julia her visa. We soon received bad news that it would take her 2 months to get a tourist visa and if she wanted a transit visa, then she would need to have flight tickets booked in and out of the country. For us both to do that would cost around $400, so not really an option. Not to be defeated, i decided that there was one possible option that i'd never tried before, but have heard about. So we went to a travel agency and met a very nice lady, who kindly bought us some 'dummy' tickets in and out of Brunei, which we presented to the embassy and they issued us with a 30 day transit visa - please tell me why the hell it would take 30 days to transit a country the size of Brunei, i could walk across it in a couple of days! So hopefully we can use this visa overland, if not we only lose $3, so no big deal - time will tell!

Next stop and now buzzing from our naughty little scam, was a travel agency to book our climb up Mount Kinabalu. We discovered that we could climb it the following day, or otherwise it was fully booked for the next 3 weeks! We decided to book it on the spot, but were pretty alarmed by some of the prices, including $20 for a dorm bed on the mountain. All in, the 2 day trip excluding food was touching $100, pretty expensive for this part of the World.

We had an afternoon meal in Pizza Hut and awaited the arrival of Hannes from Manila, who we had spent a few weeks with in the Philippines. He eventually showed up and we spent the evening planning our immediate travel plans and enjoying some noodles from the local eatery for a whopping $1! We made it to bed, satisfied that our plans had somewhat come together, although rather nervous about what the mountain may have in store for us!

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