Brunei’s water village (Kampong Ayer) visit - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Brunei’s water village (Kampong Ayer) visit

Brunei has a small city located right on top of Brunei river. Probably because land and housing is very expensive in city center (aka Bandar Seri Begawan), many would have found it lot cheaper to build a home over water. Supported by concrete pillars built into river bed, there’s an entire city over water. Residents here have to connect to mainland via boats- boat ride across the river cost 1 BND per person per ride.

If you'd been to Phuket's James Bond Island which passes by a similar water village, it is a similar experience.

We found this particular house super interesting- the owner had carefully decorated it with flowers and coloured flooring.
A foundation for a to be built house in Brunei's water village.
A mosque in water village
A reasonably well built house in Brunei's water village, standing out among the rest.
Other homes
I didn't spot any restaurant- saw a school, prayer rooms and more. But then we explored only a portion of it. The water village also has a road access via the bridge. Don't miss to visit this bridge nearby- you can walk from the mosque or go close in a boat or come back, hire an electric scooter and reach the bridge.
There were many cats in the water village- super friendly as well. Spotted at least 5 of them.
Reaching Brunei's Water village
You need to reach Bandar Seri Begawan and reach the river bank of Brunei river. This monument is from where you can board the ferry to visit water village. (There could be many more) Jalan Residency Jetty is name of the spot. Mercu Dirgahau 60 is the name of the monument- this monument was built in memory of 60th Anniversary of the Sultan of Brunei. Exercise caution while walking on the bridge made of wooden planks- there are gaps- if you lose something like a phone, retrieving would be tough.
You will pay in cash to the boat operator. They will be plying around at regular intervals, so if you wait for a few minutes you will get a boat for your return trip.

If they had planned well may be they could have built a floating village like Venice. But then, sometime water level is very low and house would touch the riverbed. Thus fixed height home was probably better. Tourist websites try to sell the water village as "Venice of the east" but it is nowhere close. So keep your expectations in check.

Our boat person offered to take us for a tour for BND 20, but we were not keen as I had limited time. 1 BND is almost equal to 1 USD.

Visiting on your own vs booking a tour
Just walk to the riverside and you can visit water village for just 2 BND per person (1 BND each one way)-book a proper tour you will pay much more- half a day city tour+ water village visit will cost you about 40 BND+ will off course include  hotel transportation, city tour + boat ride and back to water village. If you can walk around a bit, you can do this entire exploration in about 4 BND or 10% of what the tour costs (take any bus to Bandar Seri Bagawan- 1 BND each way, 1 BND for boat ride across the river, 1 BND to come back and another BND to reach hotel by bus.

Related: Brunei in a day-my shortest international trip


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