Friday, May 27, 2011
From a distance Kampong Ayer looks like a slum but this water village can actually deceive you. Don't worry, you're not the only one who gets this first impression, most people do.
Kampong Ayer is right in the heart of Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei. Most people refer to it as the 'Venice of the East' and is considered to be the world's largest water village comprising of 42 clustered villages that is built entirely of stilt houses and wooden walkways.
A lot of first-time visitors frequently mistake this place for a ramshackle shanty town similar to the ones that you see along Pasig River but the utilities here are actually very striking. In fact, most of the households in this village are equipped with airconditioning systems and even satellite antennas! Most of the people who also live here actually have their own cars which are usually parked ashore and guess what, it is normal for them to have at least of three cars for each household. Talk about luxury!
But this isn't just a residential area. They have shops, restaurants, mosques, schools and even a hospital. Now, is this what you call a slum?
If you happen to visit Bandar Seri Begawan, I'd highly recommend that you visit this centuries-old water village and have your own personal experience of this heritage.
How to get there
Take a water taxi in front of the Yayasan Complex. Standard ride costs about BND 1.