Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Brunei Holidays :Venice of East-Kampong Ayer Brunei

 Kampong Ayer Brunei
Although not as unique as some people would have you think, it is still very interesting. Its location in the heart of the city makes for some interesting contrasts with the extravagant mosques and commercial buildings. The residents are really friendly and outgoing and welcome you into their homes.

Photos of Kampong Ayer - Venice of East, Bandar Seri Begawan
Kampong Ayer Brunei is the largest water village in the world. It is also one of the main Tourist Attractions in Brunei. To explore the water village you can choose for a guided tour in a tourist boat with explanation of a guide, or you can opt for exploring Kampong Ayer yourself on foot. Both options start at the jetty next to...
Photos of Kampong Ayer - Venice of East, Bandar Seri Begawan
I find this living option an interesting way to live. People living at Kampong Ayer enjoy the same amenities as that of those Bruneians who opted to live on land. Houses are equipped with appliances (air-conditiong, TV, computers, ref etc), making daily living convenient for water village dwellers. And if they want to set foot on land to do some...
Photos of Kampong Ayer - Venice of East, Bandar Seri Begawan
I find this living option an interesting way to live. People living at Kampong Ayer enjoy the same amenities as that of those Bruneians who opted to live on land. Houses are equipped with appliances (air-conditiong, TV, computers, ref etc), making daily living convenient for water village dwellers. And if they want to set foot on land to do some...
Photos of Kampong Ayer - Venice of East, Bandar Seri Begawan
It was really cool to see the water village but it is a little overrated I think. I negotiated a price which I thought included the crocodile and monkey viewing down the river but found out otherwise when offered to bring me for an extra $10-15. So just be sure you know what you are getting when you finalize your...
Photos of Kampong Ayer - Venice of East, Bandar Seri Begawan
Hire a boat operator to take you on a tour of the village. This 'water village' is very unique, as it comprises almost 30,000 people living on houses on stilts. Get off the boat and walk along the gangplanks to get a feel of the village life.
Photos of Kampong Ayer - Venice of East, Bandar Seri Begawan
Probably the biggest watervillage on the wolrd. Absolutely nust see. Walking on hundreds bridges free but motorboat ride about 25-30 BR$/hour. Motorboat driver will your gide also and show all interesting places.
Photos of Kampong Ayer - Venice of East, Bandar Seri Begawan
We took a tour of the water village and were impressed to find out that there are schools, a police and fire station, stores and everything else that a community may need.
Photos of Kampong Ayer - Venice of East, Bandar Seri Begawan
This a vast village on the water with traditional and modern building, it was lovely to be on the water to visit all this, we stopped off to have tea and biscuit at a traditional house during the tour and was very interesting as to how they all live, there are schools and all normal public buildings there.
Photos of Kampong Ayer - Venice of East, Bandar Seri Begawan
This was a favourite trip of ours and over our 3 years in Brunei we must have caught a water taxi down the river a dozen times. More exciting to us than the water village itself was the crocodile and proboscis monkey viewing opportunities afforded by a trip further down the river. Best ever trip we saw countless macaques, proboscis...
Photos of Kampong Ayer - Venice of East, Bandar Seri Begawan
To explore this place, be careful of getting taken by schemes, for it only costs .50 cents per passenger to get a water taxi across to the village. Some tourists get ripped off or talked into doing a tour instead, which is fine, but a lot more expensive. Jump on a taxi boat, pa your .50 cents and then go...
Photos of Kampong Ayer - Venice of East, Bandar Seri Begawan
Well worth visiting, do it independently, arrive by water taxi and just head off along the walkways and see where they take you - there's always a water taxi to take you back to base, no matter where you end up. People we met were friendly, some even wanting to have a chat. Modern units all look identical, older ones have real character. Hope they don't do any more updating....
Photos of Kampong Ayer - Venice of East, Bandar Seri Begawan
A really interesting look at how some Bruneians live. It is a village built on stilts in the water and is virtually run as a small city in its own right housing some 20,000 residents. Definitely worth a visit. This was included in our half day tour and we were taken into a local house which was interesting. You can take a water taxi on your own around the village also. Definitely recommend seeing this.
Photos of Kampong Ayer - Venice of East, Bandar Seri Begawan
long before it just lame Venice for me.. sorry but this year, the new housing look so cool!!! even have a lot of activity started 6th January!!! thanks god i visit it for 2 weeks! gonna enjoy my Soto and Nasi Katok!!
Photos of Kampong Ayer - Venice of East, Bandar Seri Begawan
A boat trip around the Kampong Ayer Water Village in Brunei's capital is a very nice experience. We hired a boat (after some bargaining - 30-40 Brunei dollars seem to be a fair price) for an hour or so. Boat had shade and they offered life saving west as well (after we asked!). First we went up the Brunei river and had a nice look towards a mosque and the big castle of the Sultan, which was hiding between the trees. The guide took us further up the river to show us some wild animals. We were very lucky and saw a crocodile as well as a snake!!! 
Then we went back and came after 10-15 min. to the Water village, which is home to some 30-40.000 people (15% of the city's population and almost 10% of the countries population!). The friendly guide told us enthusiastic of the village, where he grow up himself. The buildings are constructed on stilts above the Brunei River and have dozen of schools. The trip gave a good impression of what it would mean living there. A must do visiting the capital I would say!
Photos of Kampong Ayer - Venice of East, Bandar Seri Begawan
Plenty of houses on stilts but your river taxi guide (who probably lives in the village) can show you old and new buildings, schools, fire and police stations, mosques and restaurants. It's also good to see the modern capital from the water. For value for money get it included with a trip up the river to see the proboscis monkeys (around $50 for the two tours and about 2 hours).
Photos of Kampong Ayer - Venice of East, Bandar Seri Begawan
Biggest water village in the world.. need I say more? Its easy to get a boat for a relaxing river cruise, a visit to a local residence and maybe if you are lucky, you may even see the proboscis monkey up close! The experience is truly unique and can only be experienced in brunei.
Photos of Kampong Ayer - Venice of East, Bandar Seri Begawan
The sultan have tried to build free houses for the people living on the houses in the river, but people wants to stay. There are still approximately 10.000 citizens living on the river. It would be great if there was a small boutique hotel here but unfortunately there is not.
You can just take one of the long tail boats a go for a one hour ride. Remember to agree on the price before you step into the boats.
Photos of Kampong Ayer - Venice of East, Bandar Seri Begawan
This is really an attempt to make a tourist attraction out of nothing. It is moderately interesting to see the houses on stilts, and, yes, it is the biggest “Water Village” in the world, but there is very little of interest. Having said that Brunei is such a boring place that this ranks as one of the top spots. We paid a guy BN$15:00 to take us around the village, and up the river to see the Proboscis Monkeys (which was good).
The “Visitor Centre” is quite revolting since it proclaims the “Social Development” of the villagers, proudly boasting about female circumcision. 
The whole place left me feeling sick.
This place should be avoided, not celebrated.
Photos of Kampong Ayer - Venice of East, Bandar Seri Begawan
I paid B$1 to across the waterfront to visit Kampung Ayer (starting from the Cultural and Tourism Gallery) ---- the spelling varies between Kampung or Kampong. I walked around myself there. There were old houses but they built many new ones especially in the front facing the river. Probably they look nicer than the old houses.
Photos of Kampong Ayer - Venice of East, Bandar Seri Begawan
ey houses on water. its amazing. you wont believe it when you are invited to one of the houses there. they have Cables, BIG plasma TV's etc.....and the history of this water village is dated way back since the 15th century. Ferdinand Magellan once said "this is just like Venice"
Photos of Kampong Ayer - Venice of East, Bandar Seri Begawan
Take a water taxi tour. The driver actually took us to his house. Beautiful "town" of between 30-40,000 residents including schools, police stations, etc. all on raised water locations.
Photos of Kampong Ayer - Venice of East, Bandar Seri Begawan
you may thought that this is slum areas, but in fact people here are with aircons, electricity and most houses are huge with a lot of rooms.
Photos of Kampong Ayer - Venice of East, Bandar Seri Begawan
While it is quite fascinating that nearly 30,000 people live in BSB's water villages, the conditions are quite appalling considering that Brunei is one of the wealthiest nations on earth. Interesting to see that the water villages have their own mosques, fire and police stations, and schools, and supply of fresh water. But I'm guessing from the smell that there's no sewage treatment plant! And despite the "garbage boats" trying to pluck all the trash from the water, there's a truly impressive amount of garbage lining the banks, especially at low tide. Interesting to tour through for 15 or 20 minutes by boat, but not worth walking through on the boardwalks
Photos of Kampong Ayer - Venice of East, Bandar Seri Begawan
After negotiating the price and the length of the tour, the trip by motorboat through the canal-like thoroughfares of the water village was quite interesting. The newly built culture and tourism gallery offers valuable explanations of the history and background of the people who live there. It's also worth the time to explore on foot the walkways connecting the various parts of the village -- but it's more extensive than it first appears. The people there were quite tolerant of a camera-toting tourist wandering around their neighborhood.
Photos of Kampong Ayer - Venice of East, Bandar Seri Begawan
I paid my boat driver $25 after a bit of haggling for an hour's hire. I probably could have got it cheaper - he wanted $30. Interesting part of the city, petrol stations on piles! Good if you're up one end of the area and wanted to get dumped at your hotel on the way back.
Photos of Kampong Ayer - Venice of East, Bandar Seri Begawan
We ( a party of three) went on a trip organized by Borneo Tours and were taken by one of the typical "speed" boats around the Kampung (village on stilts), and also into the boat owner's house to see how people live in this village. The boat trip included a tour around the area, with good explanations on both the culture and the geography. The height of the tour was probably the part in the mangrove area - seeing both the nose-monkeys and a baby crocodile, as well as quite large lizards. A tour not to be missed while in Brunei.
Photos of Kampong Ayer - Venice of East, Bandar Seri Begawan
I cant see any comparision with Venice. I believe this is the largest floating Village but there are many places exactly like this all over SE Asia although on a smaller scale .
I guess if you have never seen before this would be a good excursion to do in Brunei as there are limited things to do for Tourists in Brunei. 
There are many boats all along the river offering there services and prices can be hangled. About $20 -$30 seems the norm for an hour. 
The water Village seems to be on both sides of the River and you can walk onto one side without taking a River Taxi but getting the river Taxi in my view is all part of the fun.
Various other reviewers have commented on the cleanliness of the river which seems to be awash with floating containers of all sizes and shapes which is shame, and lets the experience down somewhat.
Photos of Kampong Ayer - Venice of East, Bandar Seri Begawan
This place has been around for more than 800 years. We can see most part has been developed by the authority. Beautiful scenic but serious action needed to maintain cleanliness. Take the boat for the tour and if you are lucky they will invite you into their water houses for tea. Spread a few kilometers from Seri Begawan towards Muara. Please bargain for the boat ride as sometimes they take advantage on tourist. Normal fare should be around 15 to 20. Tips are discretionary.
View of the Waterfront as seen from Kampong Ayer.

View of the Waterfront as seen from Kampong Ayer.















Water taxi cruise around the sprawling water village known as Kampung Ayer is a must especially for tourists visiting Brunei for the first time..! Typical tour should ideally include a visit to the Kampung Ayer Cultural and Tourism Gallery, a brief visit to enjoy local light refreshment featuring Brunei's traditional delicacies at one of the houses on stilts, enroute view of the Istana Nurul Iman where His Majesty the Sultan resides, and a leisurely cruise towards the new water village resettlement area.

This photo of Kampong Ayer - Venice of East is courtesy of TripAdvisor

source :
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g293938-d541841-Reviews-or20-Kampong_Ayer_Venice_of_East-Bandar_Seri_Begawan_Brunei_Muara_District.html#REVIEWS

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  1. Brunei Holidays :Venice of East-Kampong Ayer Brunei

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